The rumor mill surrounding the health of Fidel Castro churned anew on Friday, despite a letter from the aging Cuban revolutionary published by state media and denials by relatives at home and in the United States that he is on death’s door.
Social media sites and some news organizations have reported allegations by a Venezuelan doctor that Castro, 86, had suffered a massive stroke, was in a vegetative state, and had only weeks to live, though the same doctor, Jose Rafael Marquina, has made some claims before that have not panned out.
Marquina told Spain’s ABC newspaper that Castro had suffered a “massive embolism of the right cerebral artery” and while not on life support or breathing artificially, was “moribund” at a house in a gated former country club in western Havana.
Marquina also said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had traveled suddenly to Havana to be with his friend and ally, an account that could not be immediately verified.
Reached by The Associated Press, Marquina said his sources were in Venezuela, but he would not identify them or say how they were in a position to have information about Castro’s health. He also indicated he had received corroborating evidence from sources on Twitter, but would not say who. […]