Monday, July 31, 2006

Fidel Castro undergoes surgery and temporarily leaves power for his brother

For the first time since the Cuban revolution in 1959, Fidel Castro left power while he underwent surgery for intestinal surgery tonight. Fidel ceded power temporarily to his brother Raul, according to a letter read on live television in Cuba.

Final Update (02:15am): Quick check at the news stories before I call it a night-
*Key facts on Cuba and a timeline of Fidel's known illnesses via Reuters

*Cuban exiled community in Miami await with baited breath the possible confirmation of Fidel's death

*the New York Times gives a brief bio on Raul Castro

*the White House is "monitoring" the situation in Cuba

Update (02:00am): Some more blog posts on Fidel include-
*a transcript of the statement made on Cuban television signed by Fidel (link in Spanish)

*a Republican blogger from Miami notes how President Bush just so happened to be visiting Miami on Monday

*worry that chaos will engulf Cuba once Fidel's death is confirmed

*a look at how this may affect Hugo Chavez via a Venezuelan blogger (link in Spanish)

Update (01:15am): The dual views on Fidel Castro, via Reuters.

Update (12:50am): Some bloggers are happy at the possibility of Fidel's death while others warn against premature celebration.

Update (12:30am): Newsweek analyzes what could be expected from a Raul Castro regime. Key quotes from two different, anonymous U.S. intelligence sources:

"Raul is a reluctant, unpopular leader. He has prospered by being his brother's brother, surrounded by those who he sees as competent and loyal".

"Raul will seek consensus. He built the party, built the military and built the government. He is Mr. Cadre, Mr. Personnel, Mr. Talent Scout."

Update (12:25am): Very detailed and updated post by Babalu Blog, a Cuban exiliado(?), who happens to be in Miami and is very closely following this developing news story.

Some key quotes:
he public will not be informed until all elements of the government are in place to keep the Cuban people under strict and total control (if Fidel dies)."

"I feel I must urge everyone to take this news...with a grain of salt. castro has "died" many times before, only to then reappear like genital herpes."

"Congreswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is urging all Cubans in Miami with boats to NOT attempt to go to Cuba to bring family members over or for any other purpose. All vessels will be intercepted at sea".

Update (12:15am): Univision's national news interviewed former mayor of Miami Alex Penelas who discussed Miami's public safety plans and preparedness for any sudden change in news in Cuba. Penelas notes that the situation has yet to get to far out of hand and advises leaders of the Cuban exile community to encourage sympathizers to go "beyond the bounds of the law." Penelas assumes that Bush administration officials are trying to analyze intelligence in order to verify what's going on in Cuba.

Speaking of the Bush administration, Univision informs that White House spokesman Tony Snow that the administration is being cautious while they figure out what's going on in Cuba.

Update (12:05am):
Univision's national news showed how the streets of Miami (Little Havana?) have flooded the streets in jubilation at the possibility of Fidel's "death." Some of the people interviewed are certain that Fidel is dead and that the Cuban media are not disclosing all information.

Apparently some bloggers seem to be getting a little too far ahead of themselves and believe that Fidel is dead.



TexSport Publications said...

Perhaps Castro is close to taking a dirt nap. All red blooded Americans and free Cuban exiles can only hope. Please feel free to visit my blog and post your thoughts on this and other matters.

Erwin C. said...

To use an old cliche- "don't count your chickens before they hatch".