13 September 2006

I'm Not Actually Surprised, but Still Disgusted

This article in Reuters might as well have been a direct translation from a piece from Granma.

If anything, the article in Granma is less gushing and fawning over Fidel than the Reuters article is.

Here's the opening two paragraphs
Ailing Fidel Castro is no longer bed-ridden and is working the telephone giving orders but whether he will make his first public appearance since falling ill and show up at a summit hosted by Cuba is still anyone's guess.

"Don't think he is lying back in bed ... he has a telephone!" his brother and acting president Raul Castro told Cuban reporters in comments posted on the Web site of the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma.

So Reuters opens with the nearly exact same wording as Granma, and doesn't question the veracity of the published report of the party run newspaper in a dictatorship. You think they might exhibit a tad more skepticism. Here's the entire report from Granma's English edition that Reuters references above

FIDEL is no longer confined to his bed, and is becoming active again, according to comments on September 12 by General of the Army Raúl Castro, who was visibly enthusiastic about the rapid improvement in his brother’s health as he left a ceremony where the Benito Juárez International Prize was given to the five Cuban anti-terrorists imprisoned in the United States.

“I’m going to go see him right now,” Raúl remarked, as he greeted about 20 Cuban reporters, who bombarded him with questions about the Cuban president’s health. “Moreover, don’t think that he’s lying there in bed — he’s right next to the phone, keeping up on everything that’s going on,” he added cheerfully.

Previously, the first vice president had spent several minutes personally congratulating each of the family members who received the international award on behalf of Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, René González and Antonio Guerrero. (JGA)

Hard to tell them apart, really.

More Castro love can be found later in the same Reuters article

In a message to Cubans last week, Castro said he was well enough to receive some visiting leaders, but he indicated that might have to happen in private.

Delegates said they expect Castro, who has championed the cause of Third World countries for four decades, to speak to the summit at least in a brief televised address.

Doesn't that make you wish Castro had been more successful in spreading his revolutionary fervor throughout the Third World?

With 'champions' like Fidel, who needs enemies?

Despite the reports of Fidel's great vigor, the article mentions that

Cuba watchers say the summit will offer clues on the gravity of Castro's illness and whether a political succession has actually begun under his brother.

Some governments have used the meeting as an opportunity to get first hand information on where the West's only communist country is heading.

But if The Maximum Leader is so vigorous and healthy, why should anyone be worried about political succession?

I'm confused, it's as if Reuters doesn't really believe the pablum they served in the first paragraph of this same article.

No comments: