Monday, August 07, 2006

Some Doubt Castro Will Return to Full Role

The New York Times

Published: August 7, 2006

HAVANA, Aug. 6 (Reuters) — Fidel Castro was recovering from surgery on Sunday, Cuban officials said, but some said they did not know whether he would ever be strong enough to return to full power.

Almost a week after the 79-year-old Mr. Castro’s unprecedented provisional transfer of power to his younger brother Raúl, Fidel Castro’s exact whereabouts and condition remained a mystery to most Cubans.

Cuban officials, seeking to allay suspicions that Mr. Castro had lost his grip on the island nation he had dominated since his revolution in 1959, insisted in brief statements that he was recovering from surgery for internal bleeding. But they said he might have to reduce his workload.

The National Assembly president, Ricardo Alarcón, said Mr. Castro came through the complicated surgery so well that a few hours later “he was talking, he was making jokes.”

“That’s why I feel confident he will recover very soon,” he said, adding that Mr. Castro would have to slow down. He spoke Saturday night in a radio interview broadcast in Miami, home to 650,000 Cuban-Americans and the center of opposition to Mr. Castro.

A midlevel Communist Party official in Havana said on Sunday that “Fidel is definitely out of intensive care and doing as well as can be expected for his age, though no one knows exactly where he is, what he has and if he will ever resume all his activities.”

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