Broken Promise

The Revolution Is Working Well. Fight, Work, Advance. Continue Onward! Fidel

I swore never again to speak of that gentleman with the well-trimmed beard and the olive-green uniform who castrated* filled every day of my childhood with his constant presence. I underpin my decision not to refer to Fidel Castro with more than one argument: he represents the past; we need to look forward, to that Cuba where he no longer exists; and in the midst of the challenges of the present, to allude to him seems an unpardonable distraction. But today he once more gatecrashed my life with one of his characteristic outbursts. I feel obliged to focus on him again after his declaration to the journalist Jeffry Goldberg that, “the Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”

If my memory doesn’t fail me, they expelled many Communist Party members for lesser or similar phrases, and purged innumerable Cubans who served long sentences. The Maximum Leader systematically pointed his finger at those who tried to explain that the country wasn’t working. And not only were the nonconformists punished, but we were all forced to don the mask of subterfuge to survive on an island he tried to remake in his own image. Pretense, whispers, deceit, all to hide the same opinion that the “resuscitated” commander now flippantly tosses out to a foreign journalist.

Perhaps it is a fit of honesty, as assaults the elderly when it comes time to assess their lives. It could even be another desperate try for attention, like his prediction of an imminent nuclear debacle or his late mea culpa for the repression of homosexuals which he came out with a few weeks ago. To see him acknowledge the failure of “his” political model, makes me feel like I’m watching a scene where an actor gesticulates and raises his voice so that the public won’t look away. But as long as Fidel Castro doesn’t take the microphone and announce to us that his obsolete creature will be dismantled, nothing has happened. If he doesn’t repeat the phrase here in Cuba, and, in addition, agree not to interfere in the necessary changes, we’re back to square one.

Note:
Yesterday, on hearing the news, I wrote a brief tweet: “Fidel Castro joins the opposition, telling the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that the Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” Shortly after a dissident friend to whom I’d sent the same message by text called me. His words were ironic, but true: “If He has joined the opposition, I’m moving over now to the official side.”

*Translator’s note: The original text was dictated over the phone and there was an error in the transcription, hence this correction.


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61 thoughts on “Broken Promise

  1. LA REVOLUCION MARCHA BIEN
    !SEGUIR ADELANTE!
    The more I look at the sign the more it makes me believe in the total disconnect w/reality & the little regard if any the rebolution has for the Cuban citizen.
    A sign w/a profile picture depicting “el caballo” in a pile of rocks w/trash …
    I guess “the rebolution is going well keep going ahead”

  2. ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE…… Yes, I also think Gorki would “BRING DOWN THE HOUSE”, if allowed to play ANYWHERE. Where are the students that were arrested on the steps of the UNIVERSITY in HABANA??? Are they the NEW POLITICAL PRISONERS of Cuba????? The repressive nature of Fidels Regime has NOT CHANGED one Bit. I also agree that enabling an individual to work hard and make more money, will empower a new generation to demand MORE and BETTER.

    Zapata Vive, Gracias a las damas De Blanco.

  3. CONCERT IN MIAMI CANCELLED. I also wish Gorki, and his “PIKETE” PPR, could sing their songs to the free world. HASTA CUANDO ?????? STATE OWNED MEDIA AND STATE OWNED PRESS,,, SUCK. CUBANS SHOULD SUPPORT THE LADY’S in WHITE and the NEW LADYS IN BLUE, and take their PROTEST TO THE STREETS. NINO QUE NO LLORA , NO MAMA. PA LA CALLE, mi GENTE. ZAPATA VIVE, Thank you YOANI, Oscar BISCET, and Coco Farinas.

  4. Concubino! You going? Lucky Miami, was hoping they get to L.A.! Maybe soon! I’m a big fan here, even tried to get their documentary on the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival this year! Looking forward to reviews etc online!

  5. Los Aldeanos en concierto en el Miami Dade Auditorioum Tickets ya estan a la venta.Sabado ,13 de Noviembre , 8:30 Pm.Presentacion Unica

  6. NPR: Foreign Policy: Castro’s Return Spells Doom For Cuba-by Jose R. Cardenas-September 13, 2010
    Jose R. Cardenas is an associate with the consulting firm VisionAmericas, He served in senior positions in the Bush administration including in the U.S. Department of State, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Well, he’s back. Four years after ceding power to younger brother Raul, Fidel Castro is re-commanding the spotlight inside Cuba and regaling witting foreign visitors with a series of provocative quotes that are causing headlines around the world. In other words, the regime’s plan is working like a charm.

    While Castro’s return may be furrowing the brow of many a “Cubanologist,” its meaning isn’t hard to figure out: It is an act of desperation by a ruling clique unable to control a fast-moving chain of events and looking to shore up a wobbling regime facing unprecedented threats.

    From the death of dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo on a hunger strike (which sparked other hunger strikes by incarcerated human rights activists), to the courageous and undaunted Ladies in White weekly demonstrations in Havana, to desperately using the Catholic Church to broker the release of other jailed dissidents (which failed as a public relations ploy when the released were shipped off to exile in Spain), the brief reign of Raul Castro has been a fiasco for those vested in the regime.

    Not only were events drawing heightened international scrutiny of human rights in Cuba, they were also emboldening Cuban dissidents to publicly challenge the very foundations of Cuba’s police state like never before.

    The hapless Raul also displayed a marked incapacity to institute any meaningful economic reforms to save the Cuban economy from its current tailspin. In addition, the hoped-for salvation — that the Obama administration would open the gates to U.S. tourist travel to Cuba — shows no sign of happening anytime soon.

    All this, coupled with Castro’s own return from death’s door, compelled the return of the Old Man to set things “right.” His return conveys a message to both domestic and foreign audiences. For the Cuban people, the sight of Castro alone bedecked again in his military fatigues is meant to cow them, embodying a simple message: give up any expectations that any changes are afoot in Cuba. Things are going right back to the way they were when he left power. There will be no freedoms, no hope, no future; time to go on home.

    To the international audience, the message is one of diversion, an attempt to change the subject from the very negative (and deserved) narrative of the past year. The regime knew that international media coverage of Castro’s return would step all over the activities of Cuba’s dissidents and human rights activists. Throw in a spot of Castro dolphin-watching with a pair of credulous foreign guests and the ruse is complete. All is well, indeed.

    It remains to be seen what impact the return of Fidel Castro will ultimately have in boosting the regime’s declining fortunes. What is certain is that there is no shortage of outside actors willing to aid and abet this last gasp of the regime to hold things together. Fortunately, to date, this does not include the Obama administration, which has declined to play the role countless policy critics are attempting to assign it. It is good that they remember that Cuba’s future lies with those Cubans advocating for something better for their countrymen; not with a fading wraith from a bygone era.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129825581

  7. How many Cubans in the past 51 years have suffered unspeakable misery for saying the same thing Fidel Castro just said? Cubans are willing to risk their lives sailing in makeshift rafts in order to escape from Dr. Castro island paradise. He has expended Cuba’s resources exporting revolution around the world. The only ones who believe this consummate liar are brainwashed sympathizers and die-hard progressives.

  8. I always suspected that the dynasty brothers were cowardly. It is said that while in the mountains, they never seriously engaged the Batista army. Preferring instead to stay at their headquarters in the mountain, and/or simply hit and run, and run quickly. Always extremely keen on taking care of their own personal safety, they appointed their buddy Che to be the hatchet man and execute anyone who represented a risk.

    Not wanting to level with all Cubans, it is now confirmed beyond doubt what they are made out of. Their slogans, one of which points out that “Men Make Mistakes” as if to cover up their own torrent of stupidity, points out what a pack of liars they are, and how they continue with the same meaningless garbage.

    Nevertheless, in order to achieve peace, as quoted by historians, “you talk to your enemies not your friends”. This becomes a necessity when some of your enemies might be your own brother or sister.

    The alternative is war, which I suspect, after fifty one years of conflict, no one has the energy or desire to do, except maybe armchair warriors. If there is blood in the streets, there is always the possibility that a victorious bull(y) will arise, as depicted in Picassos’s Guernica, and thereby start the cycle all over again. War is simply not practical.

  9. How is possible that still are some who are sympathetic to the Tyrannosaurus Rex? Don’t let this psychopath liar fool you, he has no conscience.

    Castro during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 12, 1962, the closest the world had ever come to nuclear war, wrote in his cable to Khrushchev in October 26, 1962, “that would be the moment to eliminate such danger forever through tan act of clear legitimate defense, however harsh and terrible the solution would be, for there is no other… the Soviet Union must never allow the circumstances in which the imperialists could launch the first nuclear strike against it.”

    Khrushchev response in October 30, 1962, “In your cable of October 27 you proposed that we be the first to launch a nuclear strike against the territory of the enemy. You, of course, realize where that would have led. Rather than a simple strike, it would have been the start of a thermonuclear world war.”

    Castro, in his deep hatred against the United States, did not hesitate in asking for the launch of a nuclear strike without given a damn that such action sealed the annihilation of the Cuban people and a large part of humanity. Castro deserves everything that’s coming to him.

  10. OUR “FLACA” WAS NOT GIVEN A VISA BY THE CUBAN GOVERMENT AGAIN! IN ORDER TO ACCEPT ONE OF HER MANY ACCOLADES BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY! THIS SHOWS HOW AFRAID “LA CHINA” & “THE MUMMY” ARE OF A SKINNY 30 SOMETHING WOMAN! QUE MACHOS!!

    INTERNATIONAL PRESS INSTITUTE (IPI) Welcomes Participants from across Globe to 60th Anniversary Congress-‘Work towards a world where press freedom is no longer an issue’ – IPI Interim Director-Saturday, 11 September 2010

    The Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI), the world’s oldest global press freedom organisation, opened its annual World Congress on Saturday with a reception at the Hotel Savoyen, Vienna.

    The Congress, which will mark 60 years since the founding of the organisation, will see over 360 participants from 62 countries join the four-day programme. Under the title “Thinking the Unthinkable: Are We Losing the News? – Media Freedom in the New Media Landscape” the global gathering will discuss the changing media landscape and press freedom issues across the world.

    Opening the Congress, IPI Interim Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said: “We are extremely pleased to see so many representatives from so many countries and from all across the media: newspapers, broadcast, online and academics.

    “I encourage you to continue the fight for a world where press freedom is no longer an issue.”

    Speaking also at the event were Alexandra Foederl-Schmid, editor of Austria’s Der Standard newspaper, IPI Executive Board Member and senior member of the IPI Austrian National Committee, as well as Pavol Mudry, IPI Executive Board Member and head of the IPI World Congress Slovakian Host Committee.

    Both Foederl-Schmid and Mudry highlighted the closeness of the “twin cities” Vienna and Bratislava both in proximity and historical ties.

    Held in both Vienna and Bratislava, the IPI World Congress will also host an Award Ceremony and Dinner on Monday 13 September at Vienna City Hall, in honour of the IPI’s 60 World Press Freedom Heroes. Over the past eight months IPI has announced eight new IPI World Press Freedom Heroes – Lasantha Wickremasinghe, Laurence Gandar, May Chidiac, Lydia Cacho, Yoani Sanchez, Akbar Ganji, Nedim Sener and Pap Saine. They join 52 existing IPI Heroes, to make up the full 60 marking IPI’s 60th year defending press freedom around the globe.

    http://www.freemedia.at/singleview/5143/

  11. Here is a longer version in spanish

    Funny the ending but very truthful!

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