Castro Is Totally Dying This Time, for Reals

Hey, have you heard? Fidel Castro might totally be dying! Seriously, some guy who served Riptide a café cubano on Calle Ocho says his brother in Matanzas is tight with Fidel's chauffeur's third cousin who told him that Fidel is ALREADY DEAD.

Hey, it's as reliable a source as any on the bearded one's health. And that hasn't stopped the Herald from running front-page stories yesterday speculating that Castro is close to kickin' the can and, today, clarifying that no large-scale party is planned if Castro dies because the Orange Bowl is no more.

Don't get us wrong, the clues this time around sound as convincing and as cyptic as ever:

  • Castro's BFF Hugo Chávez made some vague remark about how we'll never get to enjoy another Fidel parade in Havana.
  • "High sources in Washington are saying that reliable sources have said

    that he has taken gravely ill," the University of Miami's Andy Gomez tells the Herald.

  • Castro's been out of public view for two years and hasn't been writing his column.
But just to recall what a long and fun history we've had of cryptic clues and third-hand speculation, Riptide has compiled a short best-of list of semi-hysterical "Castro is dead!" headlines through the years. Enjoy after the jump!

  • "Briefing: Castro Still Alive," New York Times, Jan. 11, 1986
  • "Cuba Denies Rumor That Castro's Dead," USA Today, Aug. 29, 1997
  • "U.S. Officials Think Castro's Dying," Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 8, 2006
  • "County Prepares for Death of Castro," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Dec. 14, 2006
  • "Castro Death Rumors Crop Up Again," Miami Herald, Aug. 25, 2007
The old bastard himself probably said it best after a round of speculation that a fatal stroke had cut him down in the mid-1990s:

"The day I die, no one is going to believe it."
-- Fidel Castro

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink