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Castro Falls After Speech

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Castro Falls After Speech

Old 10-21-04, 10:01 AM
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Castro Falls After Speech

Castro falls after speech, but is up and moving quickly
HAVANA (AP) Cuban President Fidel Castro tripped and fell after leaving the stage at a graduation ceremony, fracturing a knee and arm but later returning to say that he was "all in one piece."

Castro's off-camera tumble after a Wednesday night speech in the central city of Santa Clara was certain to launch a new round of speculation about the 78-year-old communist leader's health after 45 years of rule.

A medical examination early Thursday confirmed that Castro suffered a broken left knee and a hairline fracture in his upper right arm, said an official notice read early Thursday on state television. Castro asked that the note be made public, the statement said.

Castro spoke live on state television Wednesday night less than a minute after his fall, telling viewers across the island of 11.2 million peoples that he felt like he had broken his knee and perhaps his arm "but I am all in one piece."

"I will do what is possible to recover as fast as possible, but as you can see I can still talk," he said, sweating profusely into his olive green uniform as he sat in a folding chair. "Even if they put me in a cast, I can continue in my work."

An Associated Press photographer at the scene said Castro tripped on a concrete step after he finished walking down the stairs from the stage, then fell onto the ground on his right side, first hitting his knee and hip and then his elbow and arm.

He was immediately surrounded by scores of security agents and others who rushed to help him up.

The note aired Thursday morning said Castro express thanks "for the innumerable expressions of concern and solidarity from the people."

"His general health is good, and is in excellent spirits," the note said. "He asked for calm, considering that very soon he will be back in place."

Castro was earlier seen leaving Santa Clara, about a three-hour drive east of Havana, in his regular black Mercedes Benz sedan.

Television viewers could not see what happened after Castro wrapped up the speech at a graduation ceremony for arts instructors. Television viewers only saw several of his security men running off to the side, evidently to assist him.

As he has grown older, Castro's knees have seemed more wobbly, his step less steady. Nevertheless, he maintains a busy schedule that frequently includes all-night meetings with aides and visitors.

Castro's health has long been closely watched particularly by his political enemies in Miami, home to a large Cuban exile community.

Such speculation was particularly fierce three years ago when he apparently fainted during a speech under a scorching Caribbean summer sun before a crowd of thousands.

Many people burst into tears after watching Cuba's commander in chief start to collapse behind the podium several hours into that speech on June 23, 2001.

Castro returned minutes later to assure people in the audience and millions more watching it live on television that he was fine.

But the incident prompted many average Cubans to reflect for the first time on their leader's mortality and the future of their country after he dies.

The Wednesday night incident seemed far less serious.

Castro on Wednesday asked Cubans to forgive him for "any suffering this may have caused."

Castro noted the presence of international photographers and television camera crews at the event.

"The international press has captured it and surely tomorrow it will be on the front pages of the newspapers," said Castro.

He then encouraged those at the event to continue with their televised musical program, which they did.

_______________________________________________________________________________

I just find the bolded portion particularly amusing...and pathetic.
Old 10-21-04, 10:19 AM
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What a dumb ass........ oh well..... too bad he didnt fall on the picket fence
Old 10-21-04, 10:20 AM
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Did he get up?
Old 10-21-04, 10:30 AM
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"Yeah, that's reeeeeeal funny"
Old 10-21-04, 10:37 AM
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Thats the October Suprise.

A gimp Fidel is the next dictator to go
Old 10-21-04, 10:49 AM
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A lot of sympathy here I see.
Old 10-21-04, 11:11 AM
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I say we attack NOW while he's at his weakest.
Old 10-21-04, 11:25 AM
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I wonder what he did to the guy who told him "Break a leg!" before he got up there for the speech?
Old 10-21-04, 11:53 AM
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What would happen if he were to die? I mean what if he did fall onto a picket fence? Who would take over? Would Cuba just go crazy and embrace democracy once and for all?
Old 10-21-04, 11:54 AM
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So much for the rumors about his death.
Old 10-21-04, 12:29 PM
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Who says the CIA wasted all that tax money developing the Tripping Machine? Now if they'd just get cracking on the Spanking Machine, we could stop making political prisoners crawl through our legs.
Old 10-21-04, 12:41 PM
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Yahoo! News has the video.
Old 10-21-04, 12:41 PM
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His 73 year-old brother Raul is posied to take over when Fidel Castro dies. Raul fought alongside Fidel and Che against Baptista, and has been Fidel's right-hand man since the revolution. He is a more ardent communist than Fidel.

The more interesting question is what happens when Raul and Fidel are both dead.
Old 10-21-04, 12:47 PM
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I hear the Post Office has chartered several cargo jets from the armed forces to assist with the mass flux of "get well" cards from Hollywood to Havana.
Old 10-21-04, 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Croissant!
Who says the CIA wasted all that tax money developing the Tripping Machine? Now if they'd just get cracking on the Spanking Machine, we could stop making political prisoners crawl through our legs.
Ooh...spanking machine....
Old 10-21-04, 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by evitagen
I hear the Post Office has chartered several cargo jets from the armed forces to assist with the mass flux of "get well" cards from Hollywood to Havana.
Old 10-21-04, 01:03 PM
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too bad he didn't fall into an alligator pit
Old 10-21-04, 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by BizRodian
A lot of sympathy here I see.



There should be some?
Old 10-21-04, 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh


There should be some?
Not an ounce.
Old 10-21-04, 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh


There should be some?
Only if he landed on somebody and only for that person.
Old 10-21-04, 02:05 PM
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Blah... Bush choking on a pretzel was funnier.
Old 10-21-04, 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris
Blah... Bush choking on a pretzel was funnier.
So, what if Castro fell while choking on a pretzel?
Old 10-21-04, 02:18 PM
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Maybe if he fell from a Segway, that might top them all.
Old 10-21-04, 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by aintnosin
So, what if Castro fell while choking on a pretzel?

*While receiveing the oral in the Oval Office?*
Old 10-21-04, 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris
Blah... Bush choking on a pretzel was funnier.
No, what was funny was his asking the people to forgive him for any suffering this may have caused.

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