When it comes to non-objective reporting about Cuba, The Miami Herald is a known entity. They hate Cuba and anything that is associated with the Socialist nation. And so, it was not surprising to see another one of those articles where their non-objectivity shines: Fidel has parkinson's, Fidel has cancer, Fidel is dead, he is in a coma, he won't make it to end of the year.
Next, they will probably write that Fidel has been abducted by aliens.
I am reproducing below their latest rumors so that people can see how their sick minds work.
November 2, 2006
There's no question that Castro is sick, but does he have cancer?
By Pablo Bachelet and Frances Robles
His movements are slow and awkward, his voice shaky.
An oversize track suit covers the elderly dictator's gaunt body as he swings his arms oddly, as if to prove to the world: Fidel Castro lives.
Three months after the Cuban leader temporarily ceded presidential powers to his brother Raul, the world is still asking: What's ailing Fidel?
While the answer to that question is a state secret that's dogged American news and government agencies for months, this much is sure: U.S. officials are certain that Fidel Castro will never return to work as he had before.
"I have been saying it for a while, that the recovery would be prolonged and not exempt of risk. In reality, well, I'm coming along just as it had been foreseen," Castro said in a video released Oct. 28. "... But I'm not worried. I have no fear of what may happen."
The video, aired on Cuban TV, served as a "proof of life" of sorts. The rumor mill was churning so briskly that even Castro felt he had to respond. Before Saturday's video, more than a month had passed since any photos of the pajama-clad leader had been released, leaving the news media with a variety of conflicting and always anonymous sources.
Last month Time magazine cited anonymous U.S. sources as saying that some in the Bush administration are convinced that Castro has terminal cancer, which American officials deny. A week before Castro's video, Contacto, a bilingual magazine out of California, reported that its sources close to the "circle of power" in Cuba said he was in a coma.
"Now let's see what they say. Now they'll have to resuscitate me, huh?" Castro said in the video. "... They're making fools of themselves."
Since declaring July 31 that intestinal bleeding required surgery, the government of Cuba has offered photos of Castro but no facts. It's never even reported the specific nature of his ailment.
Pictures released over the past three months show Castro in an apparent slow decline. He's acknowledged losing 41 pounds, and in the last video has his jacket zippered so high that it's unclear whether the 80-year-old is wearing a colostomy bag. He still sports a head of hair and a beard, suggesting that he hasn't lost hair to chemotherapy.
"What you saw on the video is exactly what you would have expected for somebody who has been ill for an extended period of time, who has not been active," said University of Miami Dr. Jeffrey Raskin, a gastroenterologist. "You have a wide-based gait to steady yourself because you're weak. ... Probably in his own environment, he's walking around with a walker."
Raskin and Dr. Charles Gerson, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai in New York, said the extended recovery time suggested a serious illness, such as cancer.
"Usually for a benign condition, if you have surgery, after a month or six weeks you are back to normal," Gerson said. "Three months after surgery, he should be better."
The U.S. intelligence community thinks that Castro is very sick, but the United States possesses no evidence to confirm reports that he has terminal cancer, several officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
However, intelligence officials reiterated their belief that Castro has Parkinson's disease, a degenerative neurological disorder associated with trembling, stiffness and loss of balance, as The Miami Herald first reported last year.
Intelligence officials' belief in the gravity of Castro's illness has prompted them to shift focus to better comprehending how the Cuban government will evolve once the Castro brothers have departed.
A former government official, who requested anonymity so as not to jeopardize his contacts with the Bush administration, said the United States had obtained what he called "pretty reliable" accounts of Castro's condition, which indicated that he was ill but not necessarily with cancer.
"The latest I've heard was still pretty grave for Castro," the former official said, "and there is a possibility that his decline is significant."
"Castro," he added, "may not make it through the new year."
The former official wasn't told of a specific malady, information that U.S. officials say is held in a small circle in the Cuban government, possibly composed only of the Castro brothers and the doctors.
One other intelligence service that The Miami Herald consulted does think that Castro has cancer.
According to a well-connected official, a South American intelligence service thinks that Castro has a slowly progressing cancer and his visits have been cut back to reduce the risks of getting an infection. The agency said he had cerebral ischemia, a condition in which obstructed blood vessels damage an organ.
It was unclear how the agency obtained such details, and they couldn't be independently confirmed.
Robles reports for The Miami Herald. McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief John Walcott, Miami Herald correspondent Jacob Goldstein and Miami Herald translator Renato Perez contributed to this report.