Castro Absent from Cuban Festivities

July 25, 2007 05:31 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
With his non-appearance at the Revolution Day celebrations, Fidel Castro’s return to power looks less and less likely; analysts suspect that Castro’s chosen successor, despite his leftist reputation, will introduce market reforms.

30-Second Summary

The deterioration in Castro’s health over the past year, and his withdrawal from public life, suggest that his 47-year reign is drawing to a close.

On July 26, 2006, the 80-year-old leader was taken ill a few hours after the Revolution Day celebrations, the annual festivities marking an attack he led on an army barracks in 1959, launching the Cuban Revolution.

Except for an occasional television appearance, he has not been seen in public since falling ill. Now, on the eve of this year’s festivities, the Communist Party has announced that El Commandante will not be present to deliver his customary speech.
Castro has been through a number of operations in recent months to treat what is believed to be diverticulitis, a condition that causes the colon to bleed. One operation is known to have gone badly.

It is increasingly unlikely that he will ever return from semi-retirement.

His brother Raul, 76, is scheduled to take Fidel’s place. Although Raul has long been considered to be further to the political left than Fidel, many contemporary analysts expect that he would introduce market reforms to free up trade.

Until Raul’s succession, Cuba is set to remain in political limbo.

Headline: Cuba in stasis, Castro's nonattendance

Reference Material: Castro's column, his illness, and a Cuban overview

Background: Castro's last public appearance

Key Players: Fidel and Raul Castro

Fidel Castro
Raul Castro

Opinion: Cuba's future


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