Cuba Denies Rumors of Castro's Failing Health

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 22 2012 10:54 AM

Castro Is So Healthy He Can't Even Remember What Being Sick Feels Like (Says State-Run Media)

An image of former Cuban President Fidel Castro (third left) is held up by former Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua in La Havana on Sunday

Photo by Adalbrto Roque/AFP/Getty Images.

Rumors about the failing health and imminent death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro appear to have been exaggerated—at least if you believe photos and a letter published by state-run media on Monday.

"I don't even remember what a headache feels like," read the letter that was published under Castro's name in Cubadebate. The letter was accompanied by photographs said to be taken by Fidel's son Alex. One photo shows the the former leader standing outside wearing a straw hat and reading Friday's copy of the Communist party newspaper Granma.


The photos were published, according to the Castro-bylined letter, to show "how dishonest" those spreading rumors about his poor health have been. They came one day after former Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua showed off what he says was a picture of Castro attending a weekend meeting.

Speculation of Castro's failing health was prompted in part by his uncharacteristic silence in the wake of ally Hugo Chavez's re-election to the Venezuelan presidency this month. Castro's last public appearance was in March for Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

Addressing the sudden stoppage of his opinion pieces in state media in June, the letter explains (translation via Globe and Mail): "I stopped publishing Reflections because it was really not my role to take up pages in our press which are needed for other work the country requires." 

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.



The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?