Fidel Castro death rumors are like the Nigerian e-mail scam of the news cycle — they've been around forever and are never going away. So here we are: according to the Miami Herald, is Castro "very close to a neurovegetative state" — not quite dead, but close:

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and his state of health is so precarious that he has trouble feeding, speaking and recognizing people, said a Venezuelan physician who assured El Nuevo Herald that he has access to firsthand sources and information.

"He suffered an embolic stroke and recognizes absolutely no one," said José Marquina, a respected doctor who in the past has claimed to have direct information about the illness affecting President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

"The people with a condition of this nature have difficulty eating and, of course, they end up with total deficit in their neurologic capacities."

Castro is 86 years old now and his brother, Raúl, has been the President of Cuba since 2008. He hasn't been seen in public since this past March, and is reportedly receiving treatment at his home in Havana. The Herald also reported that Hugo Chávez flew to Castro's home this week to check on his health, but there is no indication exactly how close to death Fidel might be.

But, that's how Castro death rumors go. If any of your friends forgot to DVR this edition of "Castro death rumors," tell them not to worry. A replay will surely be aired very soon.

[Miami Herald, image via AP]