For Salome, who I KNOW will read this blog.
Some observations on this whole "Post-Castro Era" thing that the press is bleating like sheep today in the wake of Castro's resignation as President of Cuba:
1) Precisely what is the press smoking...
...that they feel the need to report to the public from Miami and Union City: "No disturbances reported yet." Or, "Things have been calm thus far." What breakdown of law and order from the Cubans is the press waiting for? What lapse in logic is the nation expecting from those crazy Cubanos?
CUBAN #1: "Castro's gone!"
CUBAN #2: "Kewl! Let's burn this store down!"
CUBANS ON STREET: "YEAH!"
Come on, America! Last I checked, we were the safe Latinos. Did I miss something? Check out my wet foot/dry foot! Check out my entrepreneurial spirit! Really, y'all, go home. Nothing to see here.
2) Who actually believes that Castro is gone from power?
Show of hands, please.
(bunch of hands up)
Right. Now, let's hear from the Cubans.
(cricket. cricket, cricket.)
That's what I figured.
Let's review, o astute students of Communist history. Does anyone remember what title Mikhail Gorbachev held as the leader of the Soviet Union? From 1920 on, true executive power was vested in the General Secretary of the Communist Party. It's pretty simple, really, and it doesn't even have much to do with a nation being Communist...in a one-party state, the guy in charge of said party is basically the boss. Works everywhere it's been tried.
What's the one title that Fidel Castro has graciously agreed to hold on to? You guessed it: head of the Cuban Communist Party. Can you say, "musical chairs?" I knew you could. It's REAL easy to write and battle the evil empire as a comrade when you're the comrade in charge.
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3) A change gon' come...
Well, maybe. But not from this group of assholes. When Castro says that power is passing to a group of younger folks, he means Carlos Lage and Ricardo Alarcon, who are about as young as you can be and still be old as hell.
Here's the sad truth. The only language of change that Cuba and Cubans know, historically, has been violent overthrow. Oh, we had elections once or twice, most prominently under the 1940 Constitution, but they were followed by that old standby of Latin American politics: military dictatorship. For those of you unschooled in this style of politics, it means there are soldiers stationed at every street corner, positioned in valuable places in government, heavily armed and not at all interested in your civil liberties. See: Cuba under Machado, Batista, Castro. Machado was cut down by a coup. Batista the same. Precisely what makes us think the same fate does not await the remnants of this regime, especially if people start making noise like the folks in the Varela Project, or the student who recently questioned Ricardo Alarcon in public, or...God forbid...the U.S. Marines?
Sorry folks. There's no justice in Cuba, and there will probably be no peace either. I do think this is the start of something, but I'm not optimistic in the least about what that something will be.
4) Funny this is all happening...
...the day after I discover a record collection full of the poetry of Chanito Isidron from Las Villas, the master of punto cubano?
All this to say: Yes, Rich, you're still Cuban!