Fidel Castro Reportedly Suffers Stroke

The Miami Herald is reporting that Fidel Castro has apparently suffered a debilitating stroke:

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and his state of health is so precarious that he has trouble feeding, speaking and recognizing people, said a Venezuelan physician who assured El Nuevo Herald that he has access to firsthand sources and information.

“He suffered an embolic stroke and recognizes absolutely no one,” said José Marquina, a respected doctor who in the past has claimed to have direct information about the illness affecting President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

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

Rumors about Castro’s health have circulated consistently in social networks and the media. But the speculations intensified recently, to the point that word spread that he had died and that the Cuban government would make an official announcement to that effect.

Castro was last seen in public in March, during the visit to Cuba of Pope Benedict XVI. Since June, he has not written his opinion columns, called “Reflections.” He did not send any message or congratulation to Chávez for his recent election victory.

Castro is in his home in El Laguito, Havana, receiving constant and specialized medical care, Marquina said. The idea of the Cuban authorities and Castro’s family is to maintain him alive and far from public view, the doctor said.

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

Rumors about Castro’s health have circulated for years, of course, so reports like this should be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, the fact that he has not been seen in public in seven months would seem to be significant.
FILED UNDER: Latin America, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Herb says:

    Good for him. I hear that Cuba has the best medical system in the world………

  2. Franklin says:

    Not to kick a man when he’s down, but this is not a stroke of luck.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: Ouch!

  4. rudderpedals says:

    What is “the cat has nine lives” in Spanish?

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Actually it was not a stroke at all…but a reaction to an amatuerish youtube clip called “The Innocents of the Cubans”…which spoofs the Castro Brothers and Communism.

    If you have never been to Cuba, you should go soon. Once the cowards that chose to move to Miami instead of fight for their country return, along with American $$$ from quality men like Trump and Adelson…that Island will be ruined forever.

  6. JohnMcC says:

    Just because it is in my wheel-house and so jumped off the page at me, that newspaper story is extremely shoddy writing. There are two kinds of stroke. One is ‘hemorrhagic’ – bleeding into the skull or brain tissue. And ’embolic’ – a blockage of the circulation to the braIn. The reporter quotes a physician in Naples FL making a diagnosis without explaining how he came to his depth of knowledge about Mr Castro’s condition and then compounds his journalistic catastrophe by confusing the two kinds of strokes in his story.

    If I’d noticed that it was posted by Mr Mataconis I would not have bothered to read it. It seems typical of his quality of postings.

  7. tps says:

    May he rot in hell.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:


    May he rot in hell.

    Hell will have to wait a bit just yet.