Julia Ioffe is a writer living in New York.
For all those debating whether Fidel Castro is dead or alive, his editorial in Sunday's Granma Internacional should provide a definitive answer to both camps: Yes, he is. In it Castro hypothesizes on the origins of Rahm Emanuel's last name. "What a strange surname! It appears Spanish, easy to pronounce, but it's not," Castro muses. "Never in my life have I heard or read about any student or compatriot with that name, among tens of thousands. Where does it come from? I wondered." What follows is a meandering stream of consciousness that takes one from Immanuel Kant to Ingrid Betancourt to Rahm's Russian-immigrant father (he is Israeli) and, finally, to "the late and brilliant economist John Kenneth Galbraight [sic]." It's worth a read, every deliciously confusing word of it.