The real Fidel Castro has not been seen publicly since July 2006, when he underwent surgery for a "sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding" in a communist Cuban hospital. A transfer of dictatorship over Cuba that was to be temporary—to give Fidel a few weeks of rest to recuperate—became, out of necessity, permanent.
Fidel Castro did not appear publicly with Pope Benedict during his visit to Cuba in late March 2012, which is contrary to basic diplomacy. The Vatican has released, perhaps in a surprise to communist Cuba, a series of photos taken of the Pope's private, closed-door meeting with someone claiming to be Fidel Castro. The recent photos with the Pope were posted here, on Wednesday, March 28, by the Miami Herald.
There are some curious differences between the "Fidel Castro" in the pictures taken by the Vatican, and the real Fidel Castro:
- the real Fidel Castro had a height of 6'3", eight inches taller than the 5'7" Pope; the person in the recent photos is only a few inches taller than the Pope.
- the real Fidel Castro had a nose that sloped slightly upward; the person in the recent photos has a nose that slopes slightly downward, more like a beak.
- the real Fidel Castro had a varicose vein on the upper left side of his face, and many skin splotches on its upper right side; the person in the recent photos has neither.
- the growing pattern for the beard of the real Fidel Castro was different from the person's in the recent photos.
- the New York Times was baffled by why the Fidel Castro (lookalike) was wearing "a scarf around his neck that seemed out of place on a warm day" (Note to the New York Times: it's difficult to make a neck look older, even with make-up.)
- the average male lifespan is reportedly 76 years in Cuba, which means the stand-in for Fidel would of necessity be younger than his extrapolated 85 years (Fidel was born in August 1926); overdressing the stand-in as though it were cold weather is needed to conceal the relative lack of wrinkles
- rather than pontificating about himself as the real Fidel Castro would have done, the stand-in uncharacteristically asked the pontiff numerous questions about the pontiff's own job
- in contrast with the prior papal visit, this time the meeting was "behind closed doors" between the Pope and so-called Fidel Castro.
- while the liberal media clamored for the Pope to meet this phony Fidel Castro -- deceit is the hallmark of liberal style—the media are not calling for Obama to meet the stand-in, which could later humiliate Obama if the truth leaks out
- since 2006 there has not been any word of a single medical problem by the frail octogenarian who was in very poor health
- the 30-minute discussion featured no apparent knowledge of the workings of the Cuban government by the "Fidel Castro," but instead the stand-in was unusually animated for a frail 85-year-old and oddly inquisitive about changes in the Catholic Mass despite being absent at the papal Mass; the questions concerned matters the real Fidel would have had no interest in.
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- Note especially image 7.