UnNews:Castro misses military parade due to his death
2 December 2006
|UnNews Audio (file info)|
|Listen to this story!|
HAVANA, Cuba -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro was forced to miss a military parade for the 50th anniversary of the start of his revolution. In a note sent to disappointed supporters at the rally, Castro wrote he is very sad he can't attend "due to my death." His doctors recommended that he is far too dead to be out in public, and must instead remain at the mortuary.
Castro's brother Raul, who is temporarily acting President while Fidel is dead, attended the parade and delivered a half hour speech. He reminisced about the start of the revolution, railed against America, and promised that Fidel will be back in power soon to "defeat the capitalist enemies." He also assured nervous Cubans that Fidel's death is "a minor condition" and that recovery is imminent.
Hundreds of politicians from around the world attended the festivities, including Castro ally and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez was given the opportunity to visit personally with the ailing President before the parade. He described the visit as cordial, and reported that "Castro's body is well-preserved and properly frozen" at the Havana mortuary. Recently elected Bolivian President Evo Morales was able to oversee preparations of Castro's burial plot at the national cemetery, saying that they are going "exactly according to plan."
On December 2nd, 1956, Castro and 81 of his supporters first landed in Cuba aboard the yacht "Grandma," sailing from Mexico. Battling the government of Fulgencio Batista, Castro was eventually able to establish power in 1959. He held power continuously until his death due to cancer this August, when he temporarily ceded authority to younger brother Raul. He is widely expected to recover soon, return to office early next year, and rule for another thousand years
The United States is largely ignoring the Cuban celebrations. American Presidents have tried for years to depose Castro and bring democracy to the island nation, but so far they've been met with constant failure. Press Secretary Tony Snow acknowledged frustration, saying "It's indeed disappointing that even death can't take Castro away from power." President Bush meanwhile refused to take the military option off the table, saying that "we can liberate Cuba, just like we liberated Iraq."
- AP "Castro absent from Cuban military parade". "", December 2, 2006