Signs of life
HAVANA -- (AP) -- Elián González, who as a boy was the focus of an international custody battle, said ailing President Fidel Castro called him Thursday and told him he was doing well.Elián turned 14 yesterday. Happy Birthday.
''It was a very exciting moment,'' Elián said, who turned 14 this month.
The teen spoke with Cuba's state television his hometown of Cardenas, where National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcón headed a celebration of the launch of Cuba's ''Battle of Ideas,'' the ideological campaign that Castro began during the monthslong tug-of-war to return the boy to his father on the island.
The ''Battle of Ideas'' has since become a kind of social works program aimed at increasing support for the communist-run system.
Castro, 81, has not been seen in public for more than 16 months since announcing he had undergone intestinal surgery for a still undisclosed ailment and provisionally ceding power to his younger brother Raul, the defense minister and his constitutionally appointed successor.
It appears Elián is still being used as a propaganda tool by the regime in Havana. That isn't at all surprising. He was used in just such a manner in 2000.(Though I believe the right decision was made when Elián was returned to his father.) Little has changed, which also can be said for Fidel Castro. These small bits of staged news prove little about the Cuban dictator's present status and provide fodder for think Castro has already departed this world.
Linked, to- Adam, High Desert Wanderer, Woman Honor Thyself, Yankee Sailor,