Entry for August 10, 2006

Larry Wright of the Detroit News published this cartoon, “Don’t Get Well Quick” on  August 6.

With the Voice of America ramping up its Cuba coverage after Castro ceded power to his brother Raul, I was interested to read a piece in the New York Daily News which ran today.  In “No Panic in Havana,”  Albor Ruiz comments,

Havana is as charming as usual and Cubans are going about their business without any noticeable change because of the health problems of Fidel Castro, the man who has ruled their country for 47 years.

It may not be earthshaking news, but that was what I saw in Havana during the four days – Aug. 2 to 5 – that I spent in Cuba’s capital city.

The Daily News sent me to Cuba to find out what was really going on (Was Castro dead? Were Cubans about to rise up?) after the surprising news of “El Comandante’s” emergency surgery circled the world.

Another surprise was that, for the first time in half a century, Castro – who turns 80 on Sunday – had transferred power, albeit temporarily, to another person, in this case his brother Raúl, 75, Cuba’s first vice president and minister of defense.

This scenario was never envisioned by the White House or by the ultraconservative Cuban-Americans who practically dictate U.S. policy toward Cuba. Every plan, every idea, every wishful thought contemplated a change of power in Cuba after the death of Castro, not before.

He quotes Miami radio commentator Grancisco Aruca on CNN

What no one thought would happen – a transfer of power in Cuba with Fidel alive – just took




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