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Thursday, August 03, 2006

August 3, 1960: Fidel Castro Ill This Day Too

"The illness of Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba has stirred a furor of speculation. The picture, typically, is not at all clear. The Premier has had pneumonia and he did not take care of himself while he had it. Beyond these facts we get into what the Cubans call "bolas" -- rumors of a somewhat wild nature....

"The two secondary leaders of the Cuban revolution -- Fidel's younger brother, Raul Castro, who is Minister of the Armed Forces, and Ernesto (Che) Guevara, who is president of the National Bank -- have their positions and power because they are loyal to Dr. Castro and follow policies of which he approves. Neither of them is popular. If anything, they are unpopular. Their power was delegated to them by Premier Castro and depends on him. ...

"The Premier said last year that if anything happened to him (he was thinking of assassination) his brother, Raul, would take over. In that case one would, indeed, expect to see a different situation and one that would certainly be even worse for the United States.

"The intense interest in Fidel Castro's illness is a measure of the stature he has assumed in world affairs. Whatever one thinks of him, there is no denying that he has made a great impact on the Western Hemisphere."

-- The New York Times, August 3, 1960