Updated: How Is Anyone Certain Fidel Castro Is Dead?

UPDATE – December 6, 2016 8:41 PM

There is a certain photograph which is supposedly of Fidel Castro’s corpse. If one does an image search on Google for “Fidel Castro dead” one can view it by going to Tools, and setting custom dates to start on October 20, 2012 and end the same date. If one sets the dates to October 19, 2012, one should also see a photograph indicating he had a stroke. Setting it to October 18, 2012 (starting and ending), one should find a photograph of his head lying down. These predate his death by four years.

Indeed, when I first mentioned that the New York Times had published the photo, I was referring to the October 20 image, but that was apparently not the New York Times’. Thus, apart from the international media spectacle, there is now one less piece of evidence that Mr. Fidel Castro has died. What I had written in my previous update should be now corrected to state: Is there no reason to be surprised that sustaining the international drama of his presumed death is no proof, other than ashes in a crypt, and his successor’s – his brother – assertion that he is dead?

Have any international journalists in Cuba requested evidence from Mr. Raul Castro, that could be published, and that would independently and objectively establish that inside the crypt which Mr. Raul Castro placed inside the tomb are for certain the ashes of Mr. Fidel Castro’s cremated corpse, beyond reasonable doubt?

UPDATE – December 6, 2016 – 2:28 PM

It would be utterly stunning if it turned out that Mr. Fidel Castro has not died. It’s almost unthinkable. But is the spectacle surrounding his death the proof?  Is there no reason to be surprised that sustaining the international drama of his presumed death is no proof, other than ashes in a crypt, a photograph taken by the totalitarian regime, and his successor’s – his brother – assertion that he is dead?

According to the Castro regime, Mr. Fidel Castro was cremated because he did not want cult to his personality. Below are a couple of lines that were mixed in among many others (my translation), and published in Bohemia, a national magazine that was part of Cuba’s free press prior to Mr. Castro, but now is part of their totalitarian media.

“…Fidel, Bayamo adores you.”…
“Fidel, Dos Rios prays to you…”

(Spanish: “…Fidel, Bayamo te adora….Fidel, Dos Rios te reza.”)

Screenshot from 2016-12-02 22:58:26.png

*****

And below is a link to Mr. Castro receiving a portrait of himself from the president of Argentina, the last photograph taken of him (Really?), according to Argentina’s newspaper La Nacion.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1960389-fidel-castro-muerte-ultima-foto

*****

A second link La Nacion  is to an April 2016 video of Mr. Fidel Castro talking about the fact that his turn to die was coming soon (my translation below):

“Soon I should turn 90; never had such an idea occurred to me, never was it the result of an effort. Perhaps this is one of the last times that I will speak in this forum. Soon I will be like the rest. All of us have our turn…”

Spanish: (“Pronto deberé cumplir 90 años, nunca se me habría ocurrido tal idea y nunca fue fruto de un esfuerzo. Tal vez sea de las últimas veces que hable en esta sala…”Pronto será ya como todos los demás. A todos nos llegará nuestro turno…”)

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1959904-el-dia-que-fidel-castro-hablo-de-su-muerte


December 6, 2016

We all know Fidel Castro died, I think. But did any independent witnesses verify this? Or is one supposed to take Mr. Raul Castro’s word for it? Who verified Mr. Castro’s body was dead? All I’ve seen is a photograph in the New York Times*, the same newspaper whose 1950’s reporter, Herbert Mathews, Mr. Castro misled into reporting that there were numerous troops supporting him, although in hiding, in the Sierra Maestra. It must also be pointed out that after Ernesto Guevara returned to Cuba from the Congo, his physical appearance was totally remade by the regime so that no one could recognize him inside Cuba. He left for Bolivia without the Cuban people even knowing he had ever been back. Unless there is credible independent verification of Fidel Castro’s death, it isn’t certain that he is.

It’s notable that allies such as Lula, Kirchner and Bachelet did not attend his funeral; and that he died and was buried to coincide with the dates of his expedition on the Granma. It certainly isn’t impossible that he is still alive, but went underground to insure a peaceful retirement for himself. And Mr. Raul Castro has not demonstrated that this is not possible.

  • Apparently such photo is not the New York Times’, although I had seen it on an image of said paper in a google search. See my update from December 6, 2016 at 8:41 PM.

“Fidel ‘absolved by History'”

 

Like collapsing dominoes the totalitarian media outlets in Cuba (not “Cuba’s!”) are beginning to report Mr. Fidel Castro’s death. But none of them beat the “Ministry” of Foreign Relations website which features a picture of the deceased man with the caption “Fidel ‘absolved by history.'” That is surely what Mr. Castro wished and boasted. However, the man never faced trial by his millions of accusers, or his perhaps countless dead victims. This is in part how I began a post that I had finished writing, when it accidentally disappeared from my blog drafts. I’ll publish it after rewriting.

Castro dies – an era ends for the Cuban People

It’s hard to believe what I’m about to write. Fidel Castro has passed to his next existence. May God have mercy on his eternal soul. Having left Cuba in 1960 I have lived most of my life in exile. That is better than what happened to numerous others – the quantity fluctuates depending on who one includes. I sincerely pray that God may  have mercy on his soul. Granma.cu cannot be reached. I first heard about it somewhat casually from another Cuban exile. Then I read the news on the BBC site, which Fox has confirmed.

Why Did Cuban Patriot Huber Matos Believe Death Was Imminent?

The Associated Press and the Miami Herald both reported that, according to his family, Huber Matos had died of a heart attack. But apparently Mr. Matos knew death was imminent, for the 95 year old reportedly requested that he be disconnected from the oxygen system so that he could say farewell to “children and grandchildren.” And apparently that is what they did at Kendall Regional Hospital in Miami.

El Nuevo Herald reported (my translation):

“The previous day he had asked that the apparatus to help him breathe be removed because he wanted to say farewell to his wife María Luisa Araluce, his children and his grandchildren…”

Then, the Herald reports that according to family members, he took calls from supporters in Cuba. My translation follows:

“Members of Matos family said that shortly before dying he received calls from the principal leaders of his organization in Cuba, who told him the group would not cease their labor ‘until the island was free’.”

Why did Mr. Matos believe that he would imminently die? And if he believed that, why did he reportedly ask that the apparatus that provided him with oxygen be disconnected? And how is it that the hospital did not know he was a t risk of imminent death? For if it did know, why would it have disconnected the oxygen? But if he told them that he wanted it disconnected in order to say good-bye to family and supporters, then someone should have known that he believed death was imminent. Again, if so, why did they disconnect the apparatus  that helped him breathe? Did medical staff stick around to see if he had any problems breathing? I realize that he was a nonagenarian, but did anyone ask if he was not feeling well or if something was wrong? Didn’t anyone suspect something was wrong when he asked that the oxygen providing him with apparatus be removed so that he could say fare well?

RELATED:

Cuban Patriot Huber Matos Dies

Cuban Patriot Huber Matos Dies

Huber Matos passed on to his eternal dwelling after suffering a massive heart attack in Miami on February 28 at the age of 95. In his autobiographical work How Night Fell (Como Llegó la Noche) Matos described the outrage he felt as a schoolteacher in eastern Cuba when on March 10, 1952 he heard that former president Batista had overthrown Cuba’s (last) democratically elected government. Subsequently, the schoolteacher became a warrior, and offered his services to Mr. Fidel Castro, who had launched a rebellion, but who unbeknownst to Matos and to most others, would become Cuba’s next dictator. And so schoolteacher Matos became a Comandante, appointed by Mr. Castro, who had been an attorney.

But after the rebellion’s triumph over Batista, realizing that Mr. Castro did not intend to restore democratic rule, Matos patriotically resigned. That ultimately led to his arrest on charges of treason, and to being sentenced to twenty years in prison, and thereafter to exile.

According to the Miami Herald, there will be a funeral on Sunday, March 1, after which his corpse will be transported to Costa Rica, where he requested that it remain interred, until he can be buried in Cuba.

This links to a photograph of Huber Matos with Camilo Cienfuegos and Castro upon their arrival in Cuba after overthrowing the Batista dictatorship.

In a Miami Herald video video from 2009 Matos considers the nature and extent of the damage done to Cuba (by the Castro dictatorship).

The damage is apparently irreversible. That is to say, there are millions of Cubans that have become people of double morality, of a double face. In a certain manner this is irreversible. But there are many good people in Cuba, many people of virtue, many who have not become evil. And there are many in exile who constitute a formidable moral reserve for the Cuban nation.

Mr. Matos never gave up his love for his homeland of Cuba, and for the Creator’s gift of liberty. He did not hesitate to risk his life to defend liberty in the nation he loved so dearly, but in pursuit of such a purpose, he braved war, suffered betrayal, prison, and then exile, where he died. In that sense, his existence on earth was dedicated to redemption of what he understood was most important to redeem, and he went through a painfully extended passion as a result, never seeing and enjoying on earth the fruit of his sacrifice and pain.

I am not aware of his religious beliefs, and only God knows the innermost of every human being. I pray that he may have mercy on his eternal soul, and may make him worthy of the happiness of his friendship, and of eternal peace.

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The post was edited to correct the assertion that Huber Matos spent “more than half his life in exile.” That neglected to take into account the 20 years in prison in Cuba.

RELATED:

Why did Cuban Patriot Huber Matos Believe Death Was Imminent?

UPDATED DEC 14 – Christian Nuns Forcibly Taken by Muslim “Rebels” in Syria

As Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, IslamicJihadists rebels   forcibly remove twelve nuns from the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Tecla in Ma’lula. This is a Christian city just outside Damascus, the place where Saul, a Pharisaic Jew and assasin of Christians, was heading to when he was knocked off his horse by a “light from the sky”. According to Scripture, upon falling to the ground, Saul (now Saint Paul) reported hearing a voice questioning him:

“’Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
He said, ‘Who are you, sir?’
The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.'”

Indeed, who was Saul persecuting if not Jesus? For Christians believe themselves to be part of his mystical and resurrected body. Pope Francis has asked Christians to pray for the safe release of the Catholic nuns (video).

The Islamic Jihadist group holding the Christian nuns is apparently perhaps a branch of Al Qaeda. In September the United States wanted to bomb the Syrian government, as punishment for its alleged use of chemical weapons, but then Pope Francis called for Christians worldwide to fast for peace. The Syrian government followed by offering to rid itself of all chemical weapons. Immediately thereafter, the U.S. invasion was called off. But had the United States proceeded with the bombing, it would have been supporting this Jihadist group. It has now been reported that the rebels have also used chemical weapons.

Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s dictatorial president, and most of his government are Alawati Muslims, while the Jihadists are Sunni Muslims (seventy five percent of all Muslims). Thus, in one sense Syria’s Christians are caught up in the violence between two Muslim denominations, but in another they are clearly being deliberately targeted. One news source claims that the nuns will be used as protective shields. Ma’lula was occupied by the Jihadists in September, and at that time they apparently also sequestered Christian nuns. It isn’t clear who controls the town at the moment.

Over one hundred thousand have thus far been killed in the Syrian war, one-third civilians, and over two million refugees are reportedly scattered throughout the Middle East. The Christian population is severely affected, and the Syrian Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic church blames the United States for supporting those who persecute Christians. RT, an English language Russian news source reports:

“According to the Syrian Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic church, Gregory Laham, some 450,000 Syrian Christians have been forced from their homes by the civil war that began in March 2011. He added that “at least 57 Christian sites” have been damaged or destroyed since the beginning of hostilities, and blamed the United States and its Western allies for aggravating the situation by providing assistance to the rebels.”

He is not the only one. Take a look at this video: Maaloula Syria gave the West St Paul. The West Gave Syria Al Nusra.

In the United States there are over two thousand Mosques and Muslims practice freely. Indeed, according to a Pew report most Muslims rate their community in the United States as excellent or good. There are no Mosques in Cuba and the Koran is apparently not available.

In his recent apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis pleaded with Muslims to reciprocate Christian hospitality in the west by respecting the rights of Christians in areas they control.

“We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

Pope Francis, however, has also said that Christians should not relinquish the Middle East.


“We must not resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians, who for two thousand years have proclaimed Christ’s name…”

REVISION

In the original post I wrote: “It is not only ironic that the US President was on the brink of supporting what appears to be an Al Queda led group that attacks Christians, but that Cuban and Cuban-American Catholics have been thrust into a temporary tactical alliance with the Castro regime, which is one of Assad’s staunchest supporters.” But that statement was not as carefully thought through as it should have been. When I wrote it I was thinking as an ordinary man, and as someone of Cuban and Cuban- American heritage, but not as a Catholic. And I am a Catholic first.

Catholics belong to Jesus Christ, who we believe is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who is God.The Catholic Church is a divine institution founded by God. Its alliances transcend all human categories, and encompasses all humanity.

Catholics believe all human beings owe their existence to God and eternal salvation is possible to all through Jesus Christ, even for those who are not aware of it, “through no fault of their own.” That  includes all of a Catholic’s earthly enemies, regardless of their ideology or religion. Thus, in union with Jesus’ salvific mission, Catholics are allies to all human beings. For no one is excluded from Christ’s invitation to eternal salvation. The Castro regime and all of its followers are included; and so are Muslims, and everyone else. There is no special “temporary tactical alliance” to which Cuban Catholics have been thrust into with the Castro regime, resulting from its support of Assad. We are allied to Christ’s work for the purpose of the salvation of their souls, and of everyone else’s. That is it. May God save us all.

UPDATE (DECEMBER 5, 2013)

According to Aciprensa, the Vatican nuncio in Syria has reported that the nuns were “possibly” moved to Yabrud, and that they were “well.” The pope asked for prayers.

UPDATE (DECEMBER 6, 2013)

The  nuns have appeared on a video released by Al Jazeera which you can watch here  or an abridged version from al-akhbar Al-Akhbar here. While there are conflicting reports of what is transpiring, and the nuns remain detained, they are alive. The Los Angeles Times reports that “Syrian rebels” are holding them hostage and  want to swap them for one thousand women detained by the government. The Daily Star, a Lebanese news source, reports of two groups being involved and that their spokesman has communicated the swap offer to the Syrian government through the Vatican. They report that the Vatican requested that the nuns be transferred to a Christian’s house in Yabroud, but the spokesman for the rebels said this would not happen “until demands are met.” There now appear to be more than twelve nuns abducted. The orphans they were caretaking remain unaccounted for. The Syrian Lebanese prime minister rejected this as an authentic expression of Islam.

UPDATE (DECEMBER 9, 2013)

The nuns have still not been released, the authenticity of the videos is suspect, and it is unclear which Islamic “rebel” group is holding them. There are several expressions of Islam in this conflict; and they are not equally hostile to Christians. In Lebanon, for example, Christians and Muslims have lived in peace, and freedom of worship is respected. But it’s no secret that in Saudi Arabia, a long time ally of the United States, Christians (and other religions) are not permitted to worship in public. And the “Free Syrian Army”, Sunni rebels supported by the Saudi Arabian Monarchy, are one of the groups wresting for control. It opposes al Nusra, also Sunni rebels, but connected to Al Queda.

Both want to establish an Islamic state in Syria. But the Saudi backed group is apparently supported by the United States. If either group gets their wish it means that Christians would be prohibited to worship in Syria. Therefore, the United States should oppose both groups unequivocally.

The Lebanese Daily Star’s most recent news stories are not visible in a Google news search though they have three new ones today. While other stories by them appear, these particular ones are  not (yet?) accessible in the United States, except to those who know the source exists, and who go there directly. One of the stories reports that the nuns are not wearing crosses in the previously released video. If the video is authentic and not technically altered, it means that they are being held against their will. Another Daily Star story alleges that an  Orthodox bishop, Bishop Luca al-Khoury, is calling on Christians to take up arms in self-defense. But what appears to be a pro rebel Arabic news source, Al Jadid, characterizes this bishop an apologist for the Assad regime who pits Christians against Christians.

The Daily Star also reports thirteen nuns, not twelve, in its story on the bishop.

UPDATE (DECEMBER 11, 2013)

Yabroud has been under intense attack by the Syrian government for the past two days but there is no news regarding the nuns, though is believed they have been taken there.

It is astonishing that the United States has been financing the rebels, and yet that none of them has done anything to help obtain the release of the nuns. According to a US Department of State fact sheet from September 7, one billion dollars had thus far been provided by the United States.

In a December 10 BBC video interview a rebel reveals the general intention to establish Sharia law throughout Syria, and that Al Queda is now one of the dominant groups. He discloses that recruits from all over the world are being trained there. And the United States has been assisting them? That’s exactly right, although today it was announced that they were suspending “non-lethal” assistance, but only in North Syria, and would be continuing with “humanitarian” aid.

The interviewee exults in hatred does not show much love for towards Shia Muslims, who he does not regard part of the Islamic religion, and explains that he does not have an issue about killing them. I suppose he has been dehumanized like other soldiers, I suppose that he has not read, or has forgotten, or does not agree with Christ’s words: “Pray for your enemies.” Or does he really think that God created humans, in his own image, so that one would kill the other, and then the victim be eternally damned?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Christian gospel of Matthew 5: 43-48

Only another tyrant like Castro might gladly support someone like Assad. But it is surely better isn’t that he preferable to have him than to have forcing Christians and other minorities to live under a Sunni Islamic state controlled by Sharia law.

Where are the nuns? Why doesn’t the United States, the United Kingdom and all of those who finance the rebels demand an answer? Why don’t Americans begin demanding an answer from their government?

Why don’t their captors clearly explain why they are holding them and have not released them to Christians?

UPDATE (DECEMBER 14, 2013)

According to the Lebanese Daily Star, two Syrian activists report that there are ongoing negotiations between the Assad regime and a specific rebel group that wants to trade the nuns for “hundreds of imprisoned female activists.” The rebel group is known as Al Habib Al Mustafa and it is a branch of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The FSA is supported by Saudi Arabia and has received $1 billion in financial assistance from the United States alone, and more from the west. And yet they have abducted Christian nuns.

But according to the US Department of States the aid was intended to enhance stability to “liberated” areas of Syria. Isn’t that something?

“This assistance is helping the Syrian Coalition, local opposition councils and civil society groups provide essential services to their communities, extend the rule of law, and enhance stability inside liberated areas of Syria. These funds also provide nonlethal assistance to support the Supreme Military Council (SMC) of the Free Syrian Army.”

United States Department of State, September 7, 2013

RELATED EXTERNAL NEWS STORIES AND VIDEOS:

Vatican Insider – “Syrian Islamist militia group Jahbat al-Nusra – which is tied to al-Qaeda – attacked the Christian village of Maalula”

Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front)abduct Christian nuns (video)

Ma-lula photographs

Al Qaeda calls for attacks inside United States

Ma-Lula: “Christians and Muslims are brothers in this town” (Video)

Nuns taken also in September? – (video)

UPDATED – Another Political Murder in Cuba or What Should We Call This?

The first time I read this January 26 letter published by “Cruzar las Alambradas”  (Spanish, English) blog on June 18 , I felt compelled to immediately respond to this imprisoned dissident’s plea for help.

But I had not read the introduction written by Luis Felipe Rojas, the blogger, and instead jumped immediately to the letter at Internet reading speed. After my first reading, I quickly felt compelled to write something about this allegedly endangered Cuban dissident and began rereading it only to discover that he had already died in a Cuban prison on February 12 at the age of 39.

“They imprison us, disappear us, humiliate us, violate us, and I think there no words to explain so much crime. And the nations, the governments, and all humanity on this earth does nothing to put an end to so much pain and suffering.”

“I am 39 years old, which I have lived in prison, approximately 14 Continue reading