George Stephanopoulos: Castro is OK!

On ABC's This Week, a gleeful George Stephanopoulos announced that Fidel Castro was A-OK and showed the following picture. However, he failed to note that some question whether the image is photoshopped or real:

castro healthy

From the caption:

This is one of four photographs published Sunday Aug. 13, 2006 by Cuba's Communist Youth newspaper's online edition Juventud Rebelde proporting to show The first photographs of Fidel Castro since his illness two weeks ago. Castro holds a copy of the Saturday Aug. 12, 2006 edition of Granma, the Communist Party newspaper. The headline reads "Absolved by history." The Associated Press cannot verify the authenticity or the date when these photographs were shot. (AP Photo/HO)


photoshopped or real

The Cubans are not that dishonest.

And the authorities have little to worry about, because it is very clear that even with the free-est of free elections, Cubans would vote to keep all the features of la Revolucion, and Castro would be overwhelmingly voted in. Most of Castro's ideologically driven critics are reluctant to concede this: a big majority of Cubans, who are not illiterate rubes, support Castro and his government. And while they would like materially more prosperous lives, they are more likely to blame the US led embargo and sanctions than they are Castro for current conditions, which are bad by western standards.