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The Cuba connection

Why was America so obsessed by Fidel's recent health scare? Look to the "battleground" state of Florida for an answer

By Steven Hill   September 2006

Fidel Castro’s recent intestinal surgery led to a level of coverage in the US media usually reserved for rock stars and champion athletes. What is this fascination with the ruler of a small island nation? Is it the tempestuous cold war history, Cuba’s close proximity to Florida, memories of the Elián González custody battle of 2000?

Certainly all of these are important. But when it comes to America’s political leaders’ obsession, the answer is more fundamental. Simply put, Fidel has a major role to play in who gets elected president of the United States. This may sound strange, but it’s…

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