By Yvon LacroixCSMS Magazine Staff WriterEl Comandante is doing fine after surgery, according to Cuban Health ministry and “Innumerable messages wishing the President a rapid recovery continue arriving in the country; their common denominator is desire for his good health and for him to take care of himself, while there in that city in the south of Florida they are still exacerbating hatred,” a note read in Cuban T.V. Fidel underwent surgery from which he is recovering satisfactorily, according to Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer during a visit to Guatemala. His comments came two days after the national assembly speaker said Castro appeared “very alert.” Balaguer did not give more details on Castro’s condition. Granma, the country’s leading newspaper reported today that the island nation was prepared to defend itself but remained calm as US officials urged Cubans to press for democracy, and some exiled Cubans called on those at home to revolt.”We are prepared for the defense, Fidel said so in his proclamation to the people, and Raul is firmly at the helm of the nation,” the official newspaper said in a front page article entitled “Frustration and Hatred Toward the Cuban Nation.” President Fidel Castro, 79, has appeared publicly since the elder brother, who has ruled since 1959, temporarily relinquished power Monday as he recovers from gastrointestinal surgery.Since then, Cuba was placed under heightened alert with reservists called to military duty and neighborhood watch groups prepared to defend the country of more than 11 million. The centre-left daily El Pais newspaper from Spain reported that Raul Castro, who is the defense chief, had named a team to rule under him. According to the paper Raul Castro has appointed a team of six senior communists to govern under his supervision. Meanwhile the Barcelona daily La Vanguardia, citing diplomatic sources, said that Raul Castro had not appeared in public since taking power because he was suffering from “depression” due to the serious illness of his wife Vilma Espin. Raul Castro’s ruling team reportedly includes Cuba’s Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Carlos Lage, who championed the country’s economic reforms in the 1990s. Also on board are three officials in a more traditional mould: Ramon Machado Ventura, Jose Ramon Balaguer and Esteban Lazo, El Pais said. The sixth member is the president of Cuba’s central bank, Francisco Soberon, who favors a centralized approach to economic policies. Regime watchers are not surprised by Raul taking his time, but the uncertainty helped fuel speculation over whether Cuba might move toward some kind of transition, stay the same, or even see the government take a harder line. Fidel Castro, who turns 80 on August 13, has last been heard from in a statement attributed to him late Tuesday, saying he was in “good spirits” and that the armed forces were ready to defend the country. Castro was last seen publicly on July 26.Also, see Castro: http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20060802I201And aslo see: Castro’s trip to Argentina last week: http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20060724I187
Welcome! Log into your account
Recover your password
A password will be e-mailed to you.