Tuesday, February 19, 2008


From the Caribbean Affairs Desk
special report

After months of failing health and speculation over his political future, Cuban president and Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro has announced plans to end his 50 year reign in order to focus on the day-to-day operations of the island nation's state baseball team. In his 1,076-word "Message from the Commander in Chief" printed in Tuesday's Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, the 81 year old dictator stated that all of his attention must be turned to the 2009 World Baseball Classic. "To bring a championship home to Cuba will be the ultimate insult to the American Imperialists and the fascist stooges at Major League Baseball," said Castro. In 2006, Cuba lost to Japan in the final round of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
"In the past five decades," the message continued, "I have stood up to ten American presidents, pointed a nuclear arsenal at the imperialists' homeland, and shook hands with Popes and Soviets Premiers; but all the while my heart and mind were never far from the great game of baseball." While members of Castro's inner circle believe he will continue to have a great influence on Cuban policy as long as he is alive, they also contend that their fearless leader has a keen mind for baseball and can put together a batting line-up like nobody's business.

Castro: A Look Back

[Time-line courtesy of the Communist Party of Cuba's Historical Society]

August 13, 1926: Castro is born, marking the first time a child was born in Cuba with a full beard.

1932: At age 6, Castro kills a wild puma that had been terrorizing his village.

1945: Castro enters law school at the University of Havana.

1947: While in school, Castro pitches a perfect game; his first of 24.

1953: Castro and the 26th of July Movement attack the Moncada Barracks in an attempt to overthrow the Batista government. Castro is sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role; he serves two years and moves to Mexico where he would meet Che Guevara and plot a violent communist take-over.

1956: Castro writes the Elvis standard, "Heartbreak Hotel."

1959: After 6 years of revolution, Castro's army takes Havana and Castro assumes power as Commander-in-Chief; Mojitos were served.

1961: After breaking off diplomatic ties earlier in the year, the U.S. government unsuccessfully attempts to depose Castro from power by supporting an armed force of Cuban exiles to retake the island - forever known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis

1976: Castro releases an album of duets featuring several political heavyweights, including Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

1984: Castro gets executive producer credit for Academy Award winning film "Amadeus."

1991: Castro wins the Cuban National Lottery jackpot - for the 17th and final time.

1998: Castro and a team of Cuban scientists build the first working time machine

2,000 B.C.: Castro builds the Pyramids and leads a Marxist coup against Pharaoh Mentuhotep II.

2002 A.D.: Castro is inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame

2008: Castro benevolently steps down.

No comments: