Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 02:20:16 AM EST
It may be just another normal surgery or it may the end of an era: Fidel Castro today handed power over 'temporarely' to his brother Raul.
From the BBC:
"Cuban leader Fidel Castro has undergone surgery and temporarily handed power to his brother Raul.
A statement written by the president and read on TV by his personal secretary said Mr Castro had suffered internal bleeding. The Cuban leader, who turns 80 next month, said a punishing schedule in recent weeks had affected his health.
It is the first time Mr Castro has relinquished any of his duties since he came to power in 1959.
Raul Castro, the defence minister, has long been designated as his successor should he become incapacitated."
It may be just temporarely but the timing - just two weeks before the 80th birthday - strikes me as not accidental. Would Castro's days in power end, it would mean the end to an extraordinary reign as the worlds last socialist leader.
I am not sure whether I wouls miss him. Being a socialist myself I always disliked polititians in uniform. Being a gay socialist, I always hated regimes that systematically persecute gays and lesbians. Being a German gay socialist, I want my island back.
Still, he is/was an extraordinary person. And Cuba achieved extraordinary things for a developing country on the fields of health care and education. But we'll have a long time to discuss it - but I have to go to work.
In any way, the sanctions must end,too.