Cuba’s Fidel Castro in near vegetative state after stroke, doctor claims

Venezuelan physician José Marquina told a Miami newspaper that former Cuban leader Fidel Castro had a cerebral hemorrhage that left him unable to feed himself, speak or recognize people.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since March, during a visit by Pope Benedict.

Cuban strongman Fidel Castro may be fading, and rumors that he’s on death’s door are gaining strength.

A Florida doctor claimed Friday that Castro had suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to speak, recognize anyone or fend for himself.

“He suffered an embolic stroke and recognizes absolutely no one,” Marquina told the Miami-based Spanish-language paper El Nuevo Herald.

“People with a condition of this nature have difficulty eating and, of course, they end up with total deficit in their neurologic capacities.”

Marquina told The Associated Press that he knows about the 86-year-old Castro’s condition from sources in Venezuela. He would not identify them or say how they would know about the former Cuban leader’s condition. It was unclear when the stroke might have occurred.

According to Marquina, Castro is getting the kind of care most people in the so-called workers’ paradise can only dream about — round the clock, top-of-the-line treatment at his villa in Havana.

“He could last weeks like that, but what I can say is that we’ll never again see him in public,” Marquina said.

Marquina is also the doctor who declared in April that he had “first-hand” knowledge that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was losing his battle with cancer.

Chavez, who was recently reelected, is not only still kicking — he flew to Havana this week to check up on Castro, Marquina claims.

The Cuban government has not denied Marquina’s statements, but Castro’s sister, Juanita, recently told The Associated Press in Miami that reports of her brother being close to death were “pure rumors” and “absurd.”

And Castro’s son, Alex, recently told a weekly Cuban newspaper that his pop “is well, going about his daily life,” CBS reported.

Castro has been out of sight since March, when he met with Pope Benedict. The steady stream of “Reflections” opinion pieces he cranked out for state-run media, in which he regularly railed at the U.S., ended in June.

Speculation that Castro might be dying ramped up fast this month after he did not publicly congratulate his buddy Chavez on his reelection.

A longtime thorn in America’s side, Castro was the undisputed dictator of his island nation for half a century. But Castro signaled that he was running out of steam in 2006 when he temporarily ceded power to brother Raul. He made the transfer permanent in 2008.

Source: NY Daily News

~ by Rafael Martel on October 19, 2012.

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