13 April 2008
Exclusive: Fidel Castro is in a coma: death imminent
The life of the former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, appears to be drawing peacefully to its close. No official word to that effect has been issued by Havana, but the rumours are strong that the heart of this giant of Latin-American politics will cease to beat, probably this month.
A source in Mexico who has connections to the Cuban diplomatic service says that Fidel is on a life-support machine and has been unconscious now for over a week.
This writer spent most of Saturday evening chatting on the telephone to various Cuban friends in Havana and the story that is going around the streets is pretty much the same. The Grand Old Man just cannot fight any longer, and Cubans are quietly waiting to see what comes next.
The Havana Journal has listed 17 major reforms or initiatives that have come into effect in Cuba since Raul Castro Ruz assumed the presidency on the 28th February this year, nine of them having taken place since the 24th March.
The Journal's editor believes that "Raul wants to capture peoples’ attention in a positive way so there is no disruption," when Fidel passes.
Finally, Cubans appear to be ditching their convertible pesos in favour of the national ones that people are actually paid in. The national peso trades at 24 to one convertible, which is a considerable rise on the exchange rate of three years ago when it stood at 33-1. This speculation has been fuelled by the rumour that the Cuban government will finally ditch the convertible peso, and make the national one the only currency.
It is unlikely that any of this would be happening if the rumours of Fidel's impending death were not based on hard information. Along with very many others, The Exile was hoping that he would be alive to welcome in the New Year 2009, as that day will be the 50th anniversary of the entry into Havana in 1959. The sight of Fidel, the Lion of Latin-America, spitting contempt at los gusanos (the maggots) in Miami, would have been a sight worth seeing, if only to hear those creatures howl in impotent fury.
That will not come to pass, but those same gusanos need to bear one thing in mind. Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz will die in Havana; the gusanos will continue to live in exile in Miami.
Swivel on that, fuckers.