Fidel Castro should have been long departed by now, according to (among so many others) U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. “Everything we see indicates it will not be much longer . . . months, not years” before Castro would die, Negroponte told the Washington Post. That was
Nearly four years later, it hasn’t quite turned out that way.
For a long time, while remaining out of public view, Fidel eased back into the public discussion with his newspaper commentaries, which certainly sound like him but were never enough to convince about the state of his health.
Then there are the interviews with the
Coming late to the discussion, I’ll just say a few things.
Fidel Castro’s ability to draw media attention remains formidable as ever, as does his knack for exasperating his opponents.
In his recent appearances he has continued to focus on big-picture global affairs, now emphasizing the
But during the generally lighthearted conversation (we had just spent three hours talking about
“The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore,” he said.
This has been interpreted as a green light for economic reform, as a signal to the European Union, and more. This essay on Fidel’s return says it’s all “an act of desperation by a ruling clique unable to control a fast-moving chain of events and looking to shore up a wobbling regime facing unprecedented threats.” Well, why not?
For my part, I find it hard to read much of anything into such a short quip.
If you want to go out on an optimistic limb, you can assume he is talking about
What counts, as always, are policies rather than words.
Cuban media, to date, have not reported on Fidel’s remark.