Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is in "very grave" condition after three failed operations and complications from the intestinal infection diverticulitis, a Spanish newspaper reported yesterday. A Cuban diplomat called the report a "lie."
The newspaper El Pais cited two unnamed sources from the Gregorio Maranon hospital in Madrid. The facility employs surgeon Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, who flew to Cuba last month to treat the 80-year-old Castro.
In a report published on its Web site, El Pais said: "A grave infection in the large intestine, at least three failed operations and various complications have left the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, laid up with a very grave prognosis."
El Pais said that last month, when Garcia Sabrido visited, Castro had an abdominal wound that was leaking more than half a liter of fluids a day, causing "a severe loss of nutrients." The Cuban leader was being fed intravenously, the report said.
Sabrido, the Madrid hospital's chief surgeon, could not immediately be reached for comment early yesterday. A secretary who answered the phone at his office said the surgeon was not planning to comment on the report.
A Cuban diplomat in Madrid said the newspaper's report was "an invented story."
"It's another lie and we are not going to talk about it. If anyone has to talk about Castro's illness it's Havana," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with normal diplomatic practice.
"It's an invented story. I don't know anything about this," the diplomat said.
Cuba has released little information on Castro's condition since he temporarily ceded power in July to his brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro, until he could recover from emergency intestinal surgery, prompting much speculation and rumor in the country and around the world.
El Pais' report, which could not immediately be confirmed, was a rare detailed description from a major media outlet about Castro's condition.
The US government had speculated that Castro could be suffering from cancer -- a supposition which Sabrido denied.
Some US doctors believed Castro was suffering from diverticular disease, which can cause bleeding in the lower intestine, especially in people over 60. In severe cases, emergency surgery may be required.
That idea was supported by El Pais, which reported that its sources said Castro had suffered a bout of the disease.
BREAKING RECORDS: Kuo Hsing-chun’s snatch, clean and jerk, and combined lifts were all Olympic records, although well off her combined world record Taiwanese weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) yesterday completed her elusive quest for Olympic gold, clinching Taiwan’s first win at the Tokyo Games as she set Olympic records in the women’s under-59kg weight class. Kuo, who has not lost a major competition in her weight class since the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she was hampered by injury and finished third, finally chased down the gold medal that had long remained just out of her grasp. The 27-year-old finished with a combined lift of 236kg — 103kg in the snatch and 133kg in the clean and jerk — 21kg more
A TAIWAN FIRST: The duo are the first badminton players from Taiwan to climb an Olympic podium, and Tai Tzu-ying has a shot at doing the same today Taiwanese badminton duo Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) yesterday won the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in the sport when they prevailed over a third-seeded Chinese pair in the final of the men’s doubles at the Tokyo Olympics. Lee and Wang, both first-time Olympians, defeated Liu Yuchen (劉雨辰) and Li Junhui (李俊慧) 21-18, 21-12 in a 34-minute final at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza. As of yesterday, Taiwan had bagged seven medals in Tokyo — two golds, two silvers and three bronzes — topping its previous best of five medals in 2000 and 2004. Taiwan moved to No. 17 in the
NO ‘ONE CHINA’ LIE: The appropriations act passed the US House of Representatives with a vote of 217-212, but still needs Senate approval and the president’s signature The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a foreign assistance spending bill with an amendment forbidding that funds be used to create, procure or display maps depicting Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. The amendment was introduced by five Republican representatives — Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher — and passed unanimously in a bundle with a dozen other amendments. “This is a common sense measure,” Tiffany said, speaking on the House floor on Wednesday. “As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their
THE HOME TEAM: DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu said she canceled her booking for an AstraZeneca shot as soon as she heard that the Medigen vaccine was an option President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗). Tsai wrote on Facebook that she had registered for her first vaccine dose using the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system, which allows people to indicate their preferred vaccine brand and to make an appointment when the shot becomes available. Tsai said that she opted for the Medigen vaccine — one of three now available on the system, along with the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines — even though Medigen has yet to deliver any doses or provide a