El Blogador asks: is Fidel Castro dead? After 47 years at the helm as the world’s longest serving, he has handed over control of the Cuban state to his brother Raul the country’s Defence Minister. His demise has been subject to frenzied public speculation over the last four to five years as his health has visibly deteriorated. According to the New Yorker, last year the CIA reported he was suffering from Parkinson’s.It is understood that he has also been obsessed with the idea that socialism Cuban-style will not survive his death. At 75, Raul is hardly well placed to keep the political home fires burning either. Castro’s last effort has been what he termed the Battle of Ideas, an effort to connect the ideals of the revolution with those of younger Cubans who came of age in the wake of the collapse of Communist eastern Europe.
The island has faced a series of crises, which Castro has often overcome through sheer force of his larger than life personality. Not even the US has a prefered leader to take over when he finally does go officially. Although it does plan to help with the ‘transition’.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty