Cuban expats - Nothing will change
OTTAWA - Despite reports that Fidel Castro is inching closer to sharing cigars with Che Guevara, Cubans in Canada doubt radical change will hit their Caribbean island home once El Comandante dies.
Spanish newspaper El Pais reported yesterday that Castro faces "a very grave prognosis" as a result of an infected large intestine and three failed operations.
Cuban expats believe Cuba's state machinery will continue to hum as it has since Castro, 80, transferred power to his brother Raul in late July. Canada's Foreign Affairs Department shares the same view and has not issued any warnings to Canadians planning trips to Cuba. Canadian officials believe tourism is too important for the Cuban government to allow disruptions in the wake of the aged revolutionary's death.
"Castro is going to die. If illness doesn't kill him, the stress from not having power will kill him. That is a special sickness of the tyrant," said Ismael Sambra, a Cuban journalist jailed by Castro in the 1990s. "Government officials and functionaries will want to maintain their power.," he said.
A Cuban embassy official in Ottawa refused to confirm or deny the Spanish report. Another Cuban official with the state-run newspaper Granma called it a "total lie."