At this point in his life and in the history of Cuba, Fidel Castro matters only to the extent that not until he dies, will Cuba and the world, with no apologies to Raúl Castro, get a real sense of what a post-Castro Cuba might be.
Because of the political and psychological sway Fidel still holds over the island, and the fear he personifies, democracy, freedom and governmental respect for human rights will not be possible until he is dead. Only then, I believe, will the mass of Cubans be willing to step up and demand change.
Which makes his recent re-emergence all the more frustrating, because from the looks of things, he is relatively healthy for an 84-year-old man affixed with an artificial anus; and more seriously, there is no shortage of sychophantic journalists and other "Cuba experts" willing to apologize for the man's record.
Maybe — as his weird comments about Iran, Israel, dolphins and the failure of the "Cuban model reveal — he has gone crazy.
Or maybe, as one "Cuba expert" explained, Castro is trying to to reshape his image as some sort of "international statesman," a la Bill Clinton.
In the end, it doesn't matter, because whether it's because of old-age senility or an elaborate public relations campaign, nothing can change who and what Fidel Castro has been, and remains to this day.
He will always be a tyrant, a murderer, a thief, a narcissist of the first order, an oppressor of millions. That he is now talking and blogging non-stop about larger issues, and journalists and other "Cuba experts" are willing to spin his words and approach him on bended knee, will never change that.