Mystery:Did a Fake Fidel Castro Meet the Pope?

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The Vatican has released, perhaps in a surprise to communist Cuba, a series of photos take of the Pope's meeting in late March 2012 with someone claiming to be Fidel Castro. (The real Fidel Castro has not been seen publicly since July 2006, when he underwent surgey for a "sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding" in a communist hospital.[1] A transfer of dictatorship over Cuba that was to be temporary -- to give Fidel a few weeks of rest to recuperate -- evidently became, out of necessity, permanent.)

The recent photos with the Pope were posted here, on Wednesday, March 28, by the Miami Herald. There are some curious differences between the "Fidel Castro" in these pictures and the real Fidel Castro:

  • the real Fidel Castro had a height of 6'3", eight inches taller than the 5'7" Pope; the person in the recent photos is only a few inches taller than the Pope.
  • the real Fidel Castro had a nose that sloped slightly upward;[2] the person in the recent photos has a nose that slopes slightly downward, more like a beak.[3]
  • the real Fidel Castro had a varicose vein on the upper left side of his face, and many skin splotches on its upper right side;[4][2] the person in the recent photos has neither.
  • the growing pattern for the beard of the real Fidel Castro was different from the person's in the recent photos.
  • the New York Times was baffled by why the Fidel Castro (lookalike) was wearing "a scarf around his neck that seemed out of place on a warm day"[5] (Note to the New York Times: it's difficult to make a neck look older, even with make-up.)
  • rather than pontificating about himself as the real Fidel Castro would have done, the stand-in uncharacteristically asked the pontiff numerous questions about the pontiff's own job[6]
  • in contrast with the prior papal visit, this time the meeting was "behind closed doors" between the Pope and so-called Fidel Castro.[7]

(add to list)

References

  1. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/latin_america/july-dec06/castro_08-01.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.fanpix.net/picture-gallery/fidel-castro-picture-12539540.htm
  3. Note especially image 7.
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fidel_Castro.jpg
  5. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/03/29/world/americas/29reuters-pope-cuba-fidel.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Pope+Castro&st=nyt
  6. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Analysis-Pope-Castros-talked-past-each-other-3443196.php
  7. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Analysis-Pope-Castros-talked-past-each-other-3443196.php