January 16, 2007


Castro surgery seems to have been botched: experts (Tom Brown, 1/16/07, Reuters)

Cuban leader Fidel Castro has long prided himself on Cuba's doctors and free public health care system, but that system seems to have let him down after he fell ill in July , U.S.-based doctors said on Tuesday.

Based on a report in Tuesday's edition of Spain's El Pais newspaper, the doctors -- who have no first-hand knowledge of Castro's condition -- said Castro had received questionable or even botched care at the hands of health experts on his communist-ruled island.

"It's not a good story. Too bad they didn't send him to Miami for surgery," said Dr. Charles Gerson, a clinical professor of medicine in the gastroenterology division of New York's Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

According to two medical sources cited by El Pais, the veteran revolutionary was in "very serious" condition after three failed operations on his large intestine for diverticulitis, or pouch-like bulges in the intestine, complicated by infection.

The sources in El Pais were from the same Madrid hospital where a surgeon who visited the 80-year-old Castro in late December works.

The Spanish surgeon, Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, had not changed his opinion that Castro was slowly recovering after stomach surgery for an undisclosed ailment, his secretary said.

But El Pais said Castro was being fed intravenously and his outlook was bleak. If confirmed, the newspaper's account was the first with details of Castro's clinical history since he first underwent surgery six months ago. His condition is considered a state secret inside Cuba.

Here's to you, Mr. Fancypants Tenured Screwball who never shuts up about Cuban health care.

Posted by Matt Murphy at January 16, 2007 10:24 PM

Or perhaps his Cuban surgeons didn't really want to save his life....

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 16, 2007 11:34 PM

So, he's been term limited?

Posted by: Dave W at January 17, 2007 12:39 AM

Which James Bond movie is it where the South American drug lord makes a thinly vailed threat to the puppet president saying, "Remember, you are only president for life".

Posted by: Dave W at January 17, 2007 12:43 AM

I hear Arafat and Saddam are in charge of the welcoming committee.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 17, 2007 9:37 AM

after three failed operations on his large intestine for diverticulitis

Fidel Gastro?

Actually, once it all gets declassified, we'll find out that the CIA has been plying Fidel with microwave popcorn for the past 25 years.

Finally got something right.
(CIA bashers, take note.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at January 17, 2007 9:54 AM