February 20, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Predictions and hopes: Cuba’s future after Fidel Castro

The news of Fidel Castro’s resignation is more than 24 hours old, but the longtime Cuban president appeared on front pages around the world today with the question: What’s next?

“Fidel Castro’s resignation leaves nation with uncertain future, hopes of freedom for its people,” The News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla., said.

The Miami Herald International Edition provided a political overview and examined Cuba’s economic future: “Cubans hope for true change — better lives.” The Los Angeles Times offered: “Castro hints at younger leader in the coming Cuba” and added: “A long wait for a little change.”

With its large Cuban-American population, Florida found the Castro announcement big news. A silhouette of Castro dominated the St. Petersburg Times. “Who Follows Castro?” it asked in an analysis. The Palm Beach Post printed a commentary from a Cuban native who found no finality in the announcement.

“Not Quite Gone,” the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale said of Castro. Editor and Publisher magazine reported that the Sun-Sentinel had the only U.S. newspaper correspondent reporting from Cuba. The newspaper referred to “Our man in Havana” and Ray Sanchez’s reporting.

In South America, Diario do Comercio in Sao Paulo, Brazil, used its front page to print Castro’s resignation letter. El Pais in Montevideo, Uruguay, pictured an aging Castro along with headline-sized text.

News from Cuba overshadowed primary results. Democrat Barack Obama won in Wisconsin and Hawaii voting. “The big cheese,” the Chicago Sun-Times said of the senator from Illinois. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said, “Illinois senator garners key demographics.” In reporting on the state’s Democratic caucuses, The Honolulu Advertiser said: “Big crowds favor him 3-to-1 over Clinton.” In Washington State, “McCain skates to primary win,” The Spokesman-Review of Spokane said. Campaigns turned to Texas and its March 4 primary. “Obama sees self as winner,” the Express-News said in its coverage of a San Antonio rally.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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