Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Fidel richer than the Queen
It seems as likely as claiming that Tony Blair has a second job as a gay porn star. But Forbes magazine has recently claimed that Fidel Castro is one of the richest men in the world, with $900 million in secret Swiss bank accounts, making him twice as rich as HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
In a remarkable twist Fidel has challenged them and promised to step down if they can prove it is true, according to the Granma news agency, Havana.
In exchange for just one shred of evidence, he said that he would offer them everything that they have tried and failed to do over almost half a century, during which time they have tried to destroy the Revolution and assassinate him via hundreds of conspiracies. "I’m giving you everything you’ve tried," he said, "and don’t come with your foolishness and wayside stories. Show me an account, of just one dollar," he emphasized.
"Why would I want money, if I’m soon to be 80 and I didn’t want it before?" Fidel asked, adding that during his life he had entrenched himself in principles and had never abandoned them.
The president added that Cuba is working on a program that will enable millions of Latin Americans to receive restorative eye surgery. Referring to the thousands of patients who have benefited from Operation Miracle, Fidel asked what those people would think when they read the newspapers talking about his personal wealth. "It is a campaign to make me look like a thief," he said, adding that it had a goal: to destroy Cuba, to make Castro look like a crook so that nobody will acknowledge anything that is done to benefit others, even though Cuba is a country that has some 25,000 health professionals working free of charge in a large number of countries.
"And that is because we have human capital, and we certainly can rely on $100 billion in human capital," he commented. He read what had been published by several media agencies echoing the libel published by Forbes, and noted that while deliberate lies were being published, nothing has been said about the almost 20,000 Latin American medical students studying in Cuba, or the fact that the country will be educating almost 100,000 doctors over the coming years.