Raul Castro, the president of Cuba and brother of former strongman Fidel Castro, made a surprise visit to the Belfast Co-op today (Thursday, April 1), handing out free cigars and posing for photos. The president said he was visiting Maine to promote free trade.

When Raul pushed his shopping cart up to the Co-op check out line he was asked what his number was. Flashing his trademark smile, he held up one finger and said, “Numero uno.”

Asked what the biggest difference had been since Fidel left office, Raul said, “Shorter speeches, less camo and more skin care products.”

Editor’s note: Any resemblance between Raul Castro and a certain unnamed artist from Swanville who works at the Captain Albert Stevens School in Belfast is entirely not coincidental. Some readers may recall that Raul has made previous appearances in Belfast, including at a roast for former Belfast mayor and current City Councilor Mike Hurley. Any readers who are concerned that a Communist invasion of Waldo County is in the offing are urged to relax, take a deep breath and check their calendars. Specifically, take a look at Thursday, April 1.