Maggie Alarcón

Fidel Castro, recent reflections and media hype

In Alan Gross, Blockade, CAFE, Cuba, Cuba/US, History, Politics, US on June 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

Margarita Alarcón Perea

In the past weeks Fidel Castro has limited his reflections to minor comments of no more than 65 words each. The subject matter has oscillated from yoga to terse observations on leaders from the past.

The media  both in the US and Europe has been speculating that the former leader of the Cuban nation is either tired, old, or simply slowly going insane given the somewhat vague literary entries, oft times, inexplicable to the reader.

Although these bursts of speculation could all well be true, and the 85 year old leader could be seen as a man who has finally lost his unearthly ability to speak and command the written word, this is both as unlikely as it is hyperbole as an analytical assumption.

Fidel Castro can’t be expected to blog or Tweet. The main reason for this is the reality that Internet restrictions on the island are real and that one of the main criticisms towards the government of Cuba is precisely the constraints on Internet connection and its accessibility  which includes foreign agencies (including the press corps and businesses) and the Diplomatic missions accredited on the island among others. Unlike other world leaders like Presidents Obama, Chavez and Correa, it would be totally unacceptable for Fidel to either Blog or Tweet.

Due to this, Fidel Castro has been writing what for many would have been the perfect literary food for a Blog spot but instead of blogging on the www his thoughts are posted on the front page of the two main newspapers and the internet version is posted in Cubadebate the unofficial government news blog.

These reflections in keeping with Fidel Castro’s character have gone from one page to over 4 pages in recent months making them both a long read and not functional for modern day media coverage. It is because of this that it be highly probable that what the former president of Cuba is doing at the moment is precisely his training game of learning to perfect the art of “Tweeting”. If one takes into account that mastering  the art of 140 characters to get a point across is not as easy as it may seem.

In a recent entry for the Huffington Post by Sarah Stevens, the author puts much of this possibility into a very enlightening and fathomable concept.

Whether it be that he has lost his mind, again, sadly for some, very much unlikely, or be it that he is learning the art of mastering the modern day form of Haiku, the reality is, that the media and governments insist on reading and listening to what he says and how he says it. Wouldn’t it have been easier to have sat down with the man for a face to face conversation over 60 years ago? Or better yet, sit down with his brother now?

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