August 24, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Is Fidel Castro dead?

There is probably nothing to it, but The Miami Herald has been reporting that rumors of Castro's death have been spreading today, as they have been off and on for the last three weeks. (I first learned of this from the Babalu Blog, as in Desi and Lucy, via Instapundit.) The Cuban government is denying it, but there is no mention of this on the official Granma Web site. To me, there is not much doubt that this is part of a propaganda campaign waged by the Cuban exile community to unnerve the Cubans who stayed behind, as the get ready to reclaim their former property in the post-Castro regime. At any rate, this reminds us that we should be prepared for the likely chaos to ensue in Cuba and South Florida once Fidel Castro leaves this Earthly existence and Meets His Maker. (!)

Extraditing Noriega?

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who has been incarcerated in the United States since U.S. forces apprehended him in January 1990, may be extradited to France, which has charged him with money laundering. Federal judge William Hoeveler ruled that being a prisoner of war does not make him immune to criminal prosecution. His 15-year prison term ends next month. See BBC.

Venezuela "reforms"?

The BBC headline "Venezuela lawmakers back reforms" raised my interest, wondering if there might be a large enough group of opponents of Hugo Chavez to push for reforms, however unlikely. Then I read the story, which is about the plans of Chavez to remove the last prohibition on consecutive terms in office. Anyone who thinks that's a "reform" is engaging in truly Orwellian language twisting.