Cuba’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega has urged the country to pray for their ailing president. Fidel Castro remains out of sight a week after stomach surgery forced him to put his brother in charge of the island he has led for nearly five decades. Speculation about whether Fidel will return to power has led some Cuban-Americans in Miami to call for an interim government to take over. But Cardinal Ortega dismissed the idea. He said the Catholic Church would “never support, nor accept, any foreign intervention.”
Castro, 79, is said to be on the road to recovery, but facing weeks of convalescence. The Cuban government has said the revolution will continue under the leadership of his brother, Raul, even when Castro departs. Raul has not been seen in public either since Fidel’s treatment was announced.
Nevertheless, that seems to be causing little or no concern to many on the streets of Havana who see President George Bush’s call for democratic change as a provocation. “We’re happy and content because our commandants is getting betters and he’s going to be around for 120 years,” said one woman. Another woman also expressed her confidence in the entire commission named by Fidel and said she believed he would make a swift recovery.
Cubans were told last week that most details of Castro’s health would be kept a “state secret” to prevent the island’s enemies from taking advantage of his condition.