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Friday, October 22, 2004

Castro: Workaholic

The life of a brutal dictator is never all it cracks up to be. There's a steep price to pay for the imported Cognac, pliant village girls and gold-plated commodes: the constant paranoia that at any given moment someone, somewhere is plotting your liquidation.

After Cuba's Fidel Castro fell after a televised speech yesterday and broke his arm and leg, his ministry of information immediately began disseminating the news that Castro was still firmly in charge, running the country via cell phone while in the ambulance en route to the hospital. He reportedly received only local anesthetic during his three hour surgery, so he could "attend to numerous important issues" with his chief of staff, who stood in the OR with him, wearing surgical scrubs.

A little Kremlinology here: Obviously a country roughly the size of Nova Scotia, with an economy roughly the size of Manitoba’s isn’t going to veer off the rails if the leader is out of touch for a few hours. Let’s face it: Canada’s leaders are often missing in action for weeks at a time, and we actually seem to manage better without them. But to Castro, any momentary lapse in vigilance could spell a military coup/U.S. invasion/peasant revolt. His grip is weakening. His country’s liberty is nearing. (Even the EU vice-president seems to have his number in a death pool, having said yesterday that she wishes he would kick the bucket. I mean, what kind of lousy dictator do you have to be if even the EU doesn’t like you?)

Heavy is the head that wears the square cap.

Posted by Kevin Libin on October 22, 2004 | Permalink


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Er, I think that should be "local anesthetic".

(ED: Right you are, Justzumgai. I have made the correction)

If Cuba gets a EU-style socialist democracy after the demise of Castro, will it also get a massive generational debt, "corrected" by a huge unassimilated Arab minority, just so they feel like they're really part of the club?

I wonder whether (and how) the US might try to invoke the Monroe Doctrine, post-Castro.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2004-10-22 2:26:36 PM

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