[Marxism] Cause for gnashing of teeth at Human Rights Watch

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jul 10 17:22:59 MDT 2010

July 10, 2010
New Photos of Smiling Fidel Castro Posted on Web

Filed at 6:49 p.m. ET

HAVANA (AP) -- New photographs of a smiling, tracksuit-clad Fidel Castro 
greeting workers at a scientific think tank were posted on the websites 
of two Cuban journalists Saturday, offering a rare glimpse of the 
reclusive revolutionary leader in a public forum.

Castro, 83, appears slightly stooped but otherwise healthy in the four 
pictures, which were apparently taken Wednesday with a worker's mobile 
phone. The former Cuban leader is seen raising his hand to wave in one 
picture and apparently being led away in another.

''He is thin but he looks good, and according to our director, he is 
very good mentally,'' reads a comment accompanying photos on the blog of 
Rosa C. Baez, a journalist who works for official Cuban media.

The comments were sent to her along with the photos by an unidentified 
Cuban worker, who said Castro stopped, said hello and blew kisses to the 

''They didn't let us get close to him, but when he left, there were too 
many people standing around and I was standing just three meters (yards) 
from him,'' gushes the worker.

The photos, taken at the National Center for Scientific Investigation in 
Havana, were also posted on the blog of Norelys Morales, a well-known 
Cuban television journalist. Morales told The Associated Press she got 
them in an e-mail sent to various people by the worker. She would not 
reveal the worker's name.

Repeated calls to the think tank went unanswered Saturday.

Cuban media are strictly controlled by the government, and the fact the 
photos appeared on blogs of two official journalists was significant. 
The photographs were not posted on the websites of state media like 
Granma or Cubadebate.

Castro had not been photographed in public since falling seriously ill 
in July 2006. The illness forced him to turn over power -- first 
temporarily, then permanently -- to his younger brother Raul, who is 79.

Photographs of him behind closed doors, usually with a visiting head of 
state or other dignitaries, are published from time to time by Cuban 
media, most recently during a visit in February by Brazilian President 
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. In those pictures, Castro looked cheerful and 

The elder Castro remains head of Cuba's Communist Party and continues to 
publish his thoughts on world events in frequent opinion pieces.

The two Castros have ruled Cuba since overthrowing dictator Fulgencio 
Batista in 1959. Fidel's health has for years been the subject of 
frequent rumors -- particularly among exiles in Florida.

Castro himself said last year that he does not think he will see Barack 
Obama re-elected in 2012 -- though it was unclear if he was passing 
judgment on his own life expectancy or the political fortunes of the 
U.S. president.



Rosa Baez's blog: http://cubacoraje.blogspot.com

Norelys Morales blog: 

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