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Rain Man
08-01-2006, 10:07 AM
Castro has for the first time ever temporarily ceded power over Cuba. I'll bet the resort and casino industry already has bulldozers massing in southern Florida.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14131285/?GT1=8404

Extent of Castro's illness, condition unknown
Cuban leader hands over power to brother after intestinal surgery

Updated: 42 minutes ago
HAVANA - Little was known of Fidel Castro’s condition Tuesday after he underwent an operation and temporarily turned over the Cuban presidency to his brother Raul, ushering in a period of uncertainty at home and celebrations by his enemies abroad.

The surprise announcement that Castro had been operated on to repair a “sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding” stunned Cubans on the island and in exile, and marked the first time that Castro, two weeks away from 80th birthday, had relinquished power in 47 years of absolute rule.

The news came Monday night in a statement read on state television by his secretary Carlos Valenciaga. The message said Castro’s condition was apparently due to stress from a heavy work schedule during recent trips to Argentina and eastern Cuba. He did not appear on the broadcast.

Castro, who took control of Cuba in 1959, resisted repeated U.S. attempts to oust him and survived communism’s demise elsewhere, said he was temporarily handing over the presidency and the leadership of Cuba’s Communist Party to his brother, Raul.

Raul Castro, Cuba’s defense minister who turned 75 in June, also did not appear on television and made no statement on his own. For decades the constitutional successor to his brother, Raul Castro has assumed a more public profile in recent weeks.

'Several weeks of rest'
Fidel Castro last appeared in public Wednesday as he marked the 53rd anniversary of his July 26 barracks assault that launched the revolution. The Cuban leader seemed thinner than usual and somewhat weary during a pair of long speeches in eastern Cuba.

“The operation obligates me to undertake several weeks of rest,” Castro’s letter read. Extreme stress “had provoked in me a sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding that obligated me to undergo a complicated surgical procedure.”

The calm delivery of the announcement appeared to signal that there would be an orderly succession should Fidel become permanently incapacitated.

Reactions differ in Miami, Havana
A small group of Cuban exiles gathered in the Little Havana neighborhood early Tuesday, hours after the streets had filled with packed cars and people banging pots and pans celebrating the news that Fidel Castro had temporarily ceded power to his brother.

But some cautioned that celebrations may be premature after the 79-year-old Cuban president temporarily transferred powers to Raul Castro late Monday.

“Raul is worse than Fidel,” said 52-year-old Maria Bencomo Page. “He is a worse person in every way. This guy, hope and pray, that he does not take over as such. Raul will not be able to fill Fidel’s shoes, not with the people of Cuba, not with the outsiders.”

Havana’s streets were quiet overnight as Cubans awaited further word on Castro’s condition.

It was unknown when or where the surgery took place, or where Castro was recovering.

Ongoing intestinal bleeding can be serious and potentially life-threatening, said Dr. Stephen Hanauer, gastroenerology chief at the University of Chicago hospitals. He said it was difficult to deduce the cause of Castro’s bleeding without knowing what part of the digestive tract was affected.

Ulcers are a common cause of bleeding in the stomach or upper intestine, while a condition called diverticulosis also can provoke bleeding in the lower intestine, especially in people over age 60, said Hanauer. He said this condition involves weakened spots in the intestinal lining that form pouches, which can become inflamed and provoke bleeding.

Fidel seemed optimistic of recovery, asking that celebrations scheduled for his 80th birthday on Aug. 13 be postponed until Dec. 2, the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Fears of unrest
With Havana’s streets calm, an electronic news ticker at the U.S. diplomatic mission provided the only clue that something dramatic had occurred inside Cuba’s government: “All Cubans, including those under the dictatorship, can count on our help and support. We respect the wishes of all Cubans.”

Waiters at a popular cafe in Old Havana were momentarily stunned by the news, but quickly returned to work.

“He’ll get better, without a doubt,” said Agustin Lopez, 40. “There are really good doctors here, and he’s extremely strong.”

But Martha Beatriz Roque, a leading Cuban government opponent in Havana, said she believed Castro must be gravely ill to have stepped aside — even temporarily.

“No one knows if he’ll even be alive Dec. 2 when he’s supposed to celebrate his birthday,” she said in a telephone interview. She said opposition members worried they could be targeted for repression during a government change — especially if authorities fear civil unrest.

White House spokesman Peter Watkins said U.S. authorities were monitoring the situation: “We can’t speculate on Castro’s health, but we continue to work for the day of Cuba’s freedom.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Castro’s strongest international ally, was the first foreign leader to react to the news, expressing his distress during a visit to Vietnam. He said he called the Cuban leader’s office after hearing the news.

“Waking up this morning and receiving that news, you may see what feeling one would have toward a good friend,” Chavez said Tuesday morning. “When there is such an announcement, it’s worrisome.”

“We wish President Fidel Castro will recover rapidly,” Chavez said. “Viva Fidel Castro.”

Miami's Cubans celebrate
Across the Florida straits in Miami, exiles waved Cuban flags on Little Havana’s Calle Ocho, shouting “Cuba! Cuba! Cuba!” as drivers honked their horns. Over nearly five decades, hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled Castro’s rule, many of them settling in Miami.

Castro has been in power since the Jan. 1, 1959 triumph of the armed revolution that drove out dictator Fulgencio Batista. He has been the world’s longest-ruling head of government and his ironclad rule has ensured Cuba’s place among the world’s five remaining communist countries, along with China, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea.

Castro resisted U.S. demands for multiparty elections and an open economy and insisted his socialist system would long outlive him.

The son of a prosperous plantation owner, Castro’s official birthday is Aug. 13, 1926, although some say he was born a year later.

Talk of Castro’s mortality was taboo until June 23, 2001, when he fainted during a speech in the sun. Although Castro quickly recovered, many Cubans understood for the first time that their leader would eventually die.

Castro shattered a kneecap and broke an arm when he fell after a speech on Oct. 20, 2004, but laughed off rumors about his health, most recently a 2005 report he had Parkinson’s disease.

But the Cuban president also said he would not insist on remaining in power if he ever became too sick to lead: “I’ll call the (Communist) Party and tell them I don’t feel I’m in condition ... that please, someone take over the command.”

Moooo
08-01-2006, 10:10 AM
This scares me. I posted this in DC, but I'll say it again.

Cuba is stable right now. Maybe not stable in a good way, but stable. If someone else comes in with thier one philosophy on how to mix it up, who knows what might happen.

Pay very close attention to the next 6 months down there, cause I have a feeling it will be important...

Moooo

StcChief
08-01-2006, 10:18 AM
Fidel .... Too many Cigars?
Moooo is right

This could get ugly down there. I'd watch out for Venezeula's Chevez insurgents stiring it up.

htismaqe
08-01-2006, 10:45 AM
Is anybody gonna help Denise with her candlelight vigil?

Demonpenz
08-01-2006, 10:46 AM
the final piece to world war III

HarryParatestes
08-01-2006, 11:00 AM
I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

I hope that bastard dies a slow excrutiating death.

:mad:

BIG_DADDY
08-01-2006, 11:08 AM
At some point that Cuban Real Estate is going to shoot the moon.

kc1977
08-01-2006, 11:36 AM
I'll bet that he's already dead and that this is part of the transition.

htismaqe
08-01-2006, 11:56 AM
At some point that Cuban Real Estate is going to shoot the moon.

Did you say "shoot the moon"?

The freak with the top hat is leaving with the basketball. I think we've got something here, Harry. It might be the Mexican connection.

Spicy McHaggis
08-01-2006, 12:04 PM
If Castro passes I think the chances of the embargo being lifted increase exponentially. That would be a boon to the Cuban economy and finally get rid of something that is illogical and outdated at this point.

Rain Man
08-01-2006, 12:05 PM
I'll bet that he's already dead and that this is part of the transition.

That's a reasonable possibility.

mikey23545
08-01-2006, 12:09 PM
Where will they find enough black armbands to supply Hollywood if he dies?

mikey23545
08-01-2006, 12:14 PM
This scares me. I posted this in DC, but I'll say it again.

Cuba is stable right now. Maybe not stable in a good way, but stable. If someone else comes in with thier one philosophy on how to mix it up, who knows what might happen.

Pay very close attention to the next 6 months down there, cause I have a feeling it will be important...

Moooo

I'm sure all of Cuba's political prisoners share your concern, cocksucker....

MVChiefFan
08-01-2006, 02:18 PM
I'm sure all of Cuba's political prisoners share your concern, one who sucks the penis....


ROFL

Ari Chi3fs
08-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Viva Che!

http://www.poster.net/che-guevara/che-guevara-portrait-5001050.jpg

Mr. Laz
08-01-2006, 02:30 PM
best thing castro can do for cuba is die.