Castro Reportedly in Grave Condition

Fidel Castro may finally die.

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is in “very grave” condition after three failed operations and complications from an intestinal infection, a Spanish newspaper said Tuesday.

The newspaper El Pais cited two unnamed sources from the Gregorio Maranon hospital in the Spanish capital of Madrid. The facility employs surgeon Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, who flew to Cuba in December to treat the 80-year-old Castro.

In a report published on its Web site, El Pais said: “A grave infection in the large intestine, at least three failed operations and various complications have left the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, laid up with a very grave prognosis.”

Cuba has released little information on Castro’s condition since he temporarily ceded power in July to his brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro, until he could recover from emergency intestinal surgery, prompting much speculation and rumor in the country and around the world.

El Pais‘ report, which could not immediately be confirmed, was a rare detailed description from a major media outlet about Castro’s condition.

Given that Raul his been governing Cuba for months, Fidel’s death may not change all that much in the near term. Still, his passing would be welcome news.

There is some irony that he has held on so long. The United States has been trying to oust him since 1959 and he has outlasted nine presidential administrations and is well through his tenth. Six of those presidents have preceded him in death.

FILED UNDER: General, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    When is SNL going to do the Castro death watch skit ala Francisco Franco?

  2. Blair Zarubick says:

    Castro hasn’t outlasted the Capitalist dogs with irony but with pure Socialist machismo!!!

    Viva Fidel!

  3. Eneils Bailey says:

    Castro’s Cuba was never much of a threat throughout his reign as the Head Macho Man. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which required no involvement what-so-ever on his part was his greatest Socialist moment. After that he remained a permanent orphan of the USSR until that country dissolved. Castro was a mere pimple on the ass of this hemisphere’s progress. He was a good local foil to point at every time someone started blaring about the virtues of socialism.
    Pure Socialist machismo was unfortunately directed to his own people to keep him in power. Guess that would make him a hero in some circles, everyone in Cuba was equally miserable, except for a selected few. To some, he was a great leader, ruling over a great socialist paradise, loved by all. Truth is, he was a brutal dictator, drove Cuba into economic ruin, and kept people in constant fear of losing their lives at his hand.

    Viva Fidel! You betcha, buddy.

  4. Jim Henley says:

    I won’t believe he’s dead until I read it in Pajama’s Media.

  5. BillT says:

    I’m constantly amazed at the vitriol fired off at Fidel after 50 years. Fifty hears, people. So, he’s a socialist and were capitalists. BFD. That we haven’t found enough common ground as humans to trade, even in a limited capacity, with Cuba is a sorry reflection on right wing lunacy. Instead of a partner we get a nemesis. I mean, we trade with China, hell our whole economy is pretty much based on trade with China; a country 100 times more malevolent towards their own people than Fidel’s regime. What the Hell is wrong with this country that priorities are so askew.