Today is May Day. It means different things to different people - to celebrants of spring, labor organizations, political protesters and anarchists. In communist countries it is a state holiday in honor of International Labor Day. There is much speculation this year whether Cuban president Fidel Castro who is sick and has not been seen in public in many months, will make an appearance at the May Day parade in Havana.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has said he thinks Cuban leader Fidel Castro will return to the public eye on 1 May after a long recovery from illness.
Mr Morales made the remarks ahead of a summit in Venezuela, adding that he had not spoken to him in person but heard the news from Cuban officials.
"I am certain that, on May 1, comrade Fidel will resume his role leading Cuba and Latin America," Mr Morales said.
Mr Castro has been out of the public eye for the last nine months.
Some six million Cubans are expected to take part in 1 May celebrations across Cuba on Tuesday. The day marks International Labour Day.
For most of the last 47 years of his rule, Mr Castro has marked the occasion with a lengthy speech in Havana's revolution square.
I don't know how much it matters if he does or does not turn up at the parade. Castro is nearly eighty and surely not a force even in his own country. But he remains a powerful symbol of unbending obduracy against a hugely powerful enemy who sought to destroy him politically and even physically for nearly five decades. His appearance, however fragile his constitution, surely means something to the people of Cuba and Latin America. What I cannot understand is why some of us in the in the US are so obsessed with Castro. Is it very dignified for the leadership of a nation like the United States to be on a vulture like death watch over an aged political enemy who is surely at the end of his political and earthly life?
Miami - President George W Bush took fresh aim on Saturday at Cuba's communist government, calling it a "cruel dictatorship" and predicting that democratic change was near.
The US president's comments came amid signs that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was recovering from an intestinal ailment that has kept him out of the public eye for the past nine months and may soon resume some government duties.
Bush, who has tightened economic sanctions on Havana and boosted aid to dissidents with a goal of hastening the end of Castro's grip on power, said in a commencement speech at Miami Dade College that many Cubans were dreaming of a better life.
"Unfortunately, those dreams are stifled by a cruel dictatorship that denies all freedom in the name of a dark and discredited ideology," Bush said, noting that many people at the graduation had roots in Cuba, which is just 140km from Florida.
"Some of you still have loved ones who live in Cuba and wait for the day when the light of liberty will shine upon them again," Bush said. "That day is nearing."
So, when the light of liberty shines on Cuba, are the Miami Cubans going back to reclaim their long lost motherland? And wouldn't removing sanctions and draconian punitive measures help that light to shine sooner and brighter? But who knows what the real depth of hatred for Castro and Cuba is in the minds of our politicians. Whether this unseemly behavior is only public posturing for the benefit of the Miami Cubans who happen to be among the most unforgiving political constituency in this country. They have parlayed their hatred and vengeance against Castro for decades to hold regional US foreign policy hostage to their narrow and bitter agenda and to keep right wing politicians on a short leash in lieu of a dependable voting bloc.
Anyway, a very happy May Day to all - whatever it means to you and even if you are like me, to whom it doesn't mean much.