PEREZHILTON: “Sources reveal exclusively to PerezHilton.com that U.S. officials will be holding a press conference shortly to announce the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. South Florida police organizations are calling in reinforcements before the announcement is made, we?re told.”
THE AGE: “Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque today said President Fidel Castro was still recovering from his operation last year and was keeping busy, having personally instructed him on his visit to Brazil. While attending the Forum for East Asia Latin American Co-operation (FEALAC), Roque, in an interview with AFP, dispelled rumours about Castro’s health taking a turn for the worse since his 81st birthday on August 13.”
UPDATE: Here’s the deal and what I know up to now, as of 1500 hours, August 24, 2007:First, South Florida Law Enforcement is on alert. An EOC (Emergency Operations Center) has been set-up and manned somewhere in Homestead.
Im also told Local and State government agencies have food, bottled water, and other necessities – valued in the millions – stored and/or staged in Homestead at or near the EOC.
I am presently verifying whether Coast Guard and DHS and Border Patrol agencies are on high alert. (Verified 01445)
Local News stations are abuzz, mostly on reports very much like the above, with massive law enforcement mobilizations throughout Dade county.
Local emergency medical services notified to be on alert by law enforcement agencies.
Im told – and still awaiting confirmation – that buses in Havana have been recalled to terminals and that Cuban workers have been sent home. (still unconfirmed 1500)
Again, I am loathe to publish the title as I did in this post, but I would be remiss in not telling you all what I know, right now. All of my sources are good but the Cuban government, as we all know, is masterful at controlling media and information and we should not rule out that this and last Friday’s “news” have been and are feelers to see what the reactions are here, as well as who reacts within the island. If we’ve been duped we’ve been duped. If not, then bust out the champagne.
Once again, these may all be rumor to discredit us and other media sources. All we can do is exactly what we’ve been doing for quite some time now: wait and see. [via Babalu]
UPDATE: “Watching Polos Opuestos on Channel 22 here in Miami, and the word is that the rumors of Fidel’s death are just that. Host Maria Elvira Salazar interviewed Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and the mayor emphasized that there have been no movement of law enforcement to handle the rumored situation. Most importantly, Diaz said that the city is maintaining contact with the federal government and that the feds would notify the city once they receive the official word. There have been no unusual movement of Coast Guard personnel or vessels either, according to Diaz.
Jesus Marzo Fernandez, ex-high ranking Cuban official, was on the set of the show and stated that he has been in contact with several Cuban officials and they confirmed that there is no unusual movement of Cuban military forces. They showed a clip from tonight’s Cuban TV Mesa Redonda program which was showing regular programming (with none other than Miami resident and Castro agent Max Lesnik in the audience!).
Marzo did say something interesting, that today’s rumors did not come from Havana, but from someone much closer to the exile community, likely in Miami, and that Havana is just fine with the rumors since they make the exile community look foolish.” [via BABALU]