suggests Cuban government behind Castro
WASHINGTON, 28 (AFP) - The United States
suggested Monday that the latest round of
rumours of ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro's
death might have been started by the government.
"I would say that the Cuban government
has always been very good at stirring the
nest whenever they felt the need to,"
said Gonzo Gallegos, a State Department
"I can't say whether or not this is
them or something else that is happening,"
he said when commenting on talk among Cuban
exiles and echoed by foreign news outlets,
especially in Florida, that the ailing Castro,
81, had died.
When asked by reporters whether he was
suggesting that Havana was circulating rumours
that Castro was dead, Gonzo replied, "All
I was saying was that the Cuban government
takes the opportunity when it sees fit to
take care of itself."
Castro, who turned 81 on August 13 with
little celebration in Cuba, underwent intestinal
surgery in July 2006 and handed power over
temporarily to his brother Raul.
He has not been seen in public since before
the operation, though he has appeared in
photographs and eight videos, the last of
which aired on June 5.
Gallegos said he did not believe Castro
"I don't have any reason to believe
he is dead."