On Fidel Castro


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Fidel Castro likes a good joke.
A friend sent me a 2010 Guardian article by Rory Carroll quoting Jeffrey Goldberg, a columnist for The Atlantic, in which Fidel reportedly said:
The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.
Here is Goldberg’s original article. The interpretation of what Castro meant by the crack was done by a third party present with Goldberg and Fidel. Others quoted in this and the Guardian article have added their own sauce to the mix.

Clearly Fidel’s necessarily autocratic, imperfect model has been seriously altered to deal with the decades-long US embargo. Castro’s creative genius in keeping Cuba afloat, with world-leading stats on literacy and infant survival, in the face of this assault, and others of a patently criminal nature, is close to miraculous.

All it proves is that no country in Uncle Sam’s back yard is permitted to chart its own course without crippling interference. You, kind reader, and I could both come up with a litany of less successful Pan-American attempts from Allende to Zapatista.

As I have said before, for me the telling comparison is to look at Haiti from the 1950’s to now vs Cuba during the same period. Haiti the US puppet vs Cuba the reckless maverick.

Corporation-dominated model vs state-dominated model?

In a perfect world I would prefer a cooperative, consensus-seeking road, but our current corporation-dominated, enforcement/bullying-dependent world is bound for catastrophe.  Monsanto… Nestlés… Bayer… Coca Cola… Halliburton… Shell… Lockheed……..

Waaaayyyy too much power, with no morality but the bottom line.

P.S. I love Cuba. On our second visit, in 2010, we visited several places outside the typical Havana/Varadero. We visited Havana, Trinidad, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, and Baracoa by public bus. We stayed in peoples’ homes – people who helped us in many ways. We went dancing six times. Here is my reflection after that visit.

P.P.S. A quick appraisal of anything Fidel has said recently must be taken with many grains of NaCl. Proof exists in this reflection in 2013 in the party newspaper, Granma, where he states that humans have been around for 230 million years. A tall tale if ever there was one. We’re closer to 2 million years, so the venerable Fidel is off by a factor of about 100 times. Nobody’s perfect.

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Author: mytiturk

Travelbug Minstrel: Strum for my supper, croon for my cuppa Search for a sign, write for my whine

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