Cuban Leader Out of Sight After Surgery
HAVANA (Aug. 1) - Fidel Castro who has wielded absolute power in Cuba for nearly half a century, remained out of sight Tuesday after undergoing intestinal surgery and temporarily turning over power to his brother Raul.
The surprise announcement that Castro had been operated on to repair a "sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding" stunned Cubans on the island and in exile, and marked the first time that Castro, two weeks away from 80th birthday, had relinquished power in 47 years of rule.
Castro, who took control of Cuba in 1959, resisted repeated U.S. attempts to oust him and survived communism's demise elsewhere, also said in the statement that he was temporarily handing over leadership of the Communist Party to his younger brother. Raul Castro, the defense minister who turned 75 in June.
Editor Rozek’s Note: Fidel gives directions to his younger brother: “Listen Ra ra, I know you are just a boy but I need you to listen carefully for a few seconds. Ole Fido has a little bit of gas and needs you to do him a favor. I want you to go down to wal-mart and gather up all of the working class, steal their Swedish fish and make sure no one takes a vote on anything! Got it? Can I count on you to do this one simple task? Remember the time daddy sent you down to the country store for peanuts and you came back with a half eaten bag of chips? You need to focus!