Recipe For Forgetting Fidel Castro

Former president Fidel Castro with a “Queen” brand pressure cooker, made in Chinese. (EFE)

Former president Fidel Castro with a “Queen” brand pressure cooker, made in China. (EFE)

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 13 August 2016 – Turn on the radio and the announcer reads a brief headline: “Fidel Castro, The Great Builder.” The man goes on to explain that the most important works of the country have come from this head that for decades has been covered by an olive-green cap. Weary of so much personality cult, I decided to watch television, but on the main channel a lawyer was detailing the legal legacy of the Maximum Leader and at the end of the program they announced a documentary about “The Invincible Guerrilla.”

For weeks, we Cubans have lived under a veritable bombardment of references to Fidel Castro, which has increased in proportion to the closeness of the date of his 90th birthday, this 13 August. There is no shame nor nuance in this avalanche of images and epithets.

This whole excess of tributes and reminders is, undoubtedly, a desperate attempt to save the former Cuban president from oblivion, to pull him out of that zone of media abandonment in which he has fallen since announcing his departure from power a decade ago.

We have left the man born in the eastern town of Biran, in 1926, in the past, condemning him to the 20th century, burying him alive.

Children now in elementary school have never seen the once loquacious orator speak for hours at a public event. Farmers have breathed a sigh of relief on not having to receive constant recommendations from the “Farmer in Chief” and even housewives are thankful that he does not appear at a congress of the Federation of Cuban Women to teach them how to use a pressure cooker.

The official propaganda knows that people often appeal to short-term memory as a way of protecting themselves. For many young people, Fidel Castro is already as remote as, for my mother in her day, was the dictator Gerardo Machado, a man who so adversely marked the life of my grandmother’s generation.

Followers of the figure of Fidel Castro are taking advantage of the celebrations for his nine decades of life to try to erect a statue of immortality in the heart of the nation. They deify him, forgive him his systematic errors and convert him into the most visible head of a creed. The new religion takes as its premises stubbornness, intolerance for differences, and a visceral hatred – almost like a personal battle – against the United States.

The detractors of “Él,” as many Cubans simply call him, are preparing the arguments to dismantle his myth. They await the moment when the history books no longer equate him with José Martí, but offer a stark, cold and objective analysis of his career. They are the ones who dream of the post-Castro era, of the end of Fidelismo and of the diatribe that will fall on his controversial figure.

Most, however, simply turn the page and shrug their shoulders in a sign of disgust when they hear his name. They are the ones who, right now, turn off the TV and focus on a daily existence that negates every word Fidel Castro ever said in his incendiary speeches, in those times when he planned to build a Utopia and turn us into New Men.

Tired of his omnipresence, they are the ones who will deal the final blow to the myth. And they will do it without hullabaloo or heroic acts. They will simply stop talking to their children about him, there will be no photos in the rooms of their homes showing him with a rifle and epaulettes, they will not confer on their grandchildren the five letters of his name.

The celebration for the 90th birthday of Fidel Castro is, in reality, his farewell: as excessive and exhausting as was his political life.

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Editor’s note: This text was published Saturday August 13, 2016 in the newspaper O Globo of Brazil

18 thoughts on “Recipe For Forgetting Fidel Castro

  1. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY PLANTATION SLAVES ARE EAGER TO LEAVE EVEN WITH KING OBAMA’S NEW US/CUBA POLICY!

    INSTITUTE FOR WAR & PEACE REPORTING : Cuba: Last Chance to Leave for US Washington-Havana détente means many are worried time is running out to seek a new life – By Fernando Donate

    “I’m 31 years old and I’m a mechanical engineer,” he said. “I worked in the 26 de Julio agricultural tool factory in Holguín but I never saw the benefits of my work.” Castillo lives with his mother, stepfather and older brother in an unfinished two-room house. Construction materials are prohibitively expensive for the majority of the population. Castillo’s salary at factory was 650 pesos per month (26 US dollars); a sack of cement can cost up to 140 pesos (six dollars), amounting to a fifth of his monthly income. “There’s not enough money. Everything is really expensive: food, clothes, construction materials,” he continued.

    His wages were barely enough to cover the costs of the country’s staple foods when pork costs 35 pesos per pound, rice five pesos, and beans ten pesos.

    Clothing is also expensive; a pair of trousers costs 500 pesos (20 dollars) while shirts and shoes cost 300 pesos (12 dollars).

    Confronted by such difficulties, the family decided to obtain a so-called cuentapropista license, which allows small-scale private enterprise. For more than two years they have run a café at the entrance of their house, managed by Roberto’s stepfather, who made the initial investment.

    “I stopped working for the state because I get more money with a private business, on average 1,000 pesos per month (40 dollars); but it’s not enough to meet our economic needs,” Castillo said.

    He calculates that leaving Cuba will cost around 10,000 dollars. That includes a flight, which has to be a round trip to put immigration agents at his first destination off the scent. The rest of the money will cover accommodation and transport up to Mexico and the cost of a so-called coyote, or people smuggler.

    https://iwpr.net/global-voices/cuba-last-chance-leave-us

  2. The destroyers of CubaZuela are having their last fling like Nero fiddling or the 1st class Titanic passengers pretending not to notice when the ice berg scraped the hull. The good news is that the further the criminals get away from reality, the closer change comes.

  3. VENEZUELA IS BEING RUN INTO THE GROUND AND THIS IDIOT MADURO GIVES FIDEL A HALF A MILLION DOLLAR PARTY! WHAT THE FASCIST, MURDERER, DICTATOR FIDEL CASTRO NEEDS IS TO LEAVE THIS WORLD AND JOIN LUCIFER IN HELL!

    FOX NEWS LATINO: While country starves, Venezuela’s Maduro spent $400K to celebrate Fidel Castro’s birthday – By Franz von Bergen

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA – Despite Venezuela’s growing economic crisis, President Nicolás Maduro spared no expense to celebrate Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday last Saturday. According to opposition lawmaker Carlos Berrizbeitia, Maduro spent at least $400,000 traveling to Havana with a group of folk music artists to put on a concert in honor of Castro, the political mentor of late President Hugo Chávez and a close ally of Venezuela. The event was transmitted live on two Venezuelan public TV channels and hosted by Winston Vallenilla, a popular TV personality who entered politics in 2013 when he supported Maduro and was later appointed president of Venezuela’s largest public TV station.
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/08/19/while-his-country-starves-venezuelas-maduro-spent-400k-to-celebrate-fidel/

  4. THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY THINKS THAT THEY OWN EVERYTHING IN CUBA, INCLUDING THE PEOPLE! WHEN CUBAN CITIZENS MANAGE TO LEAVE THEY LABEL THEM AS “GUSANO/WORMS AND THOSE CUBANS WHO REPRESENT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE LABELED AS “EX-CUBANS”! A THOUGH THEY HAVE THE MORAL AUTHORITY TO DO THAT!

    Sour Grapes in Havana as Exiles Outshine Cuba’s Olympic Team – by Frances Martel — As the Olympics fortnight comes to a close, Cuban government propagandists are beginning to cope with the outstanding success of Cuban exile athletes competing under another flag, and often actively disassociating from the communist regime. Cuban-born athletes and members of the Cuban diaspora born abroad have begun to vex the communist Castro government, as primetime television smears the athletes as less worthy of their ethnic identity. Most notably is the derisive commentary of Randy Alonso Falcón, host of the primetime commentary show Mesa Redonda, who dismissed Cuban-Spanish runner Orlando Ortega Echeverría as an “ex-Cuban” for winning his silver media for Spain.

    “The case of ex-Cuban Orlando Ortega and other cases of athletes have added to the controversy [at the Olympics],” Alonso claims, adding that “the growing influence of money” has clearly “damaged” the sports world. He does not elaborate on what it means to be an “ex-Cuban,” or who with Cuban roots living abroad qualifies, but a lack of loyalty to the Cuban Communist Party may qualify someone to be stripped of their ethnic identity by the television host.

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/08/19/cuban-propaganda-rails-ex-cuban-olympians-outshining-communist-team/

  5. MAYBE KING OBAMA SHOULD PRAY MORE FOR HIS US/CUBA DEAL TO WORK, BECAUSE REALITY BITES!
    CHRISTIAN POST: 1,400 Assemblies of God Churches Demolished, Confiscated by Cuba, Report Says – By Anugrah Kumar — The U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide has recorded more than 1,600 religious freedom violations in Cuba in the first six months of this year, highlighting the communist government’s crackdown of churches, especially the beginning of a process which involves confiscation of 1,400 Assemblies of God churches. The violations include demolition and confiscation of church buildings, destruction of church property, arbitrary detention and other forms of harassment, particularly the confiscation and seizure of personal belongings of religious leaders, according to the report, which adds, “Over 1,000 Protestant churches are still under threat of confiscation and have not had their ‘illegal’ status overturned.”

    Since January 2016, the government has demolished four large churches linked to the Apostolic Movement, in three different parts of the country: in Camaguey and Santiago, and two in Las Tunas, the report says.

    CSW found that each church demolition has followed a similar pattern: “police and state security agents block main roads surrounding the church, in many cases dragging pastors and their families out of bed in the very early hours of the morning, detaining them in separate police stations for the duration of the demolition.”

    The report notes that Legal Decree 322 remains in effect. The legislation was announced on Sept. 5, 2014 and came into effect on Jan. 5, 2015, and was supposedly established to regulate private properties and enforce zoning laws. “However, it has been and is being used by government officials to seize church properties.”

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/1400-assemblies-of-god-churches-demolished-confiscated-by-cuba-report-says-168171/

  6. A RISCA widow whose late husband died after contracting gastroenteritis while on holiday in Cuba is demanding answers from Thomas Cook about the manner of his death. Edward Jackson died in hospital at the age of 63 on February 2 – just days after checking in at the Playa Pesquero resort in Cuba on an all-inclusive holiday with the travel agent. However, she said she knew “there was a problem when we got there” with food allegedly being served lukewarm; staff handling cold meats without gloves; birds being in the bar; and the buffet being left uncovered. It was actually Mrs Jackson who initially fell ill with symptoms of diarrhoea and stomach cramps during the first week of the two-week break, but it passed after four days. Shortly after, her late husband, a retired steelworker at Llanwern, began to suffer the same symptoms “when it came back with a vengeance” and was treated by the doctor at the hotel. The father-of-one’s symptoms worsened and he visited the resort doctor again, where he was placed on a drip and was given medication to reduce the pain he was suffering.
    http://www.campaignseries.co.uk/news/14685066.Risca_widow_demands_answers_after_husband_dies_on_holiday_in_Cuba/?ref=fbshr

  7. Humberto, please let me explain what I was trying to say: What people need is an economy and institutions that work and provide safety/security, justice, opportunities, etc etc etc. Then there are the dramatic and horrific events that have to be dealt with before a society can heal.
    In Colombia there’s the FARC Forgiveness Farce going on. That’s no way to do it!
    South Africa is by no means a perfect country, but the Statesman Nelson Mandela at least got truth and reconciliation right. Everybody knew that Apartheid had lost. That was the first, basic truth. Then the perps had to ‘fess up before they were forgiven. No such thing in Colombia, ¡no señor! There the Unsaintly Prez is selling the dangerous fallacy that all will be well if we all just forgive. Colombia is going to be sooo sorry!
    Economic realities are soon done destroying CubaZuela. It will be veeery interesting to see how L. Lopez and others will manage the transition to normalcy.

  8. Pingback: Recipe For Forgetting Fidel Castro « How to s..t on humans

  9. KING OBAMA WILL NO ANYTHING TO HAVE THE US/CUBA DEAL AS PART OF HIS “LEGACY”! HE HAS BENT OVER SO MANY TIMES FOR THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY THAT HE’S BECOME QUITE THE POLITICAL JINETERA FOR DICTATORS!

    WALL STREET JOURNAL : Obama Betrayed Cuba’s Dissidents – Civil liberties have deteriorated since the U.S. said that it would normalize ties – By MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY

    Fidel Castro turned 90 years old on Saturday, adding plausibility to the popular Cuban theory that even hell doesn’t want him. Meanwhile Cuba’s military dictatorship, now headed by his 83-year-old brother Raúl, is cracking down with renewed brutality on anyone who dares not conform to its totalitarian rule. Many dissident groups opposed any U.S. thaw without human-rights conditions attached and say they feel abandoned by the U.S., which they had long relied on for moral support.

    Guillermo Fariñas, a 54-year-old psychologist and winner of the European Parliament’sAndrei Sakharov Prize, is one such disappointed Cuban.

    In a July 20 letter to Gen. Castro, Mr. Fariñas announced “a hunger and thirst strike” until Castro “designate[s]” a vice president to meet with the opposition and declares an end to the state policy of torturing and arresting dissidents and confiscating their property. Mr. Fariñas has been taken to the local hospital in the city of Santa Clara twice for rehydration, but is now at home. He is gravely ill.

    Flirting with death is a sign of desperation and it is difficult not to see a connection between that and Mr. Obama’s decision to drop the longstanding U.S. commitment to the democracy movement on the island so that he can be on better terms with the despots. Mr. Fariñas also has personal reasons for feeling betrayed.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-betrayed-cubas-dissidents-1471211018

  10. HATE TO TELL YOU yngso, BUT WITHOUT JUSTICE THERE IS NO FUTURE IN CUBA! WHY SHOULD WE FORGET?

    HMM! GREAT MOVE BY KING OBAMA WITH THE US/CUBA & US/IRAN DEAL!
    TEHRAN TIMES : Iran, Cuba firm to strengthen ties: Rouhani – August 14, 2016

    “After the nuclear deal, the ground to expand cultural cooperation and strengthen economic ties between the two countries has been provided and the opportunity should be used,” Rouhani said during a meeting with Ricardo Cabrisas, the Cuban president’s representative.

    During the meeting Cabrisas presented a written message from Cuban President Raúl Castro to Rouhani in which it called for expansion of ties.

    Rouhani thanked Castro for the message and said Iran attaches great importance to expansion of relations with Cuba as a “friendly” Latin American country.

    Elsewhere, Rouhani said that the policy of imposing sanctions is “wrong” and “useless”.

    Cuba has been under the U.S. sanctions since 1961, when the communists took power in the country. However, with the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. it seems that Washington is loosening sanctions on the island country.

    Commenting on terrorism, Rouhani said the scourge of terrorism is threatening the entire world and called for cooperation and consultation between Tehran and Havana to counter terrorism.
    For his part, Cabrisas said Cuba is seeking expand ties with Iran.

    The Cuban official also described the nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) as a “victory” for Iran and other independent countries in the world.
    http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/405266/Iran-Cuba-firm-to-strengthen-ties-Rouhani

  11. The day of reckoning regarding the tugboart massacre and everything else will come when Castrismo is defeated, but the future is much more important than the past. That future has already started, and there’s no stopping it now!

  12. YOUTUBE: Víctimas del remolcador “13 de marzo”.- Victims of the Tugboat Massacre in their own word

    Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (OAS) REPORT Nº 47/96 CASE 11.436 VICTIMS OF THE TUGBOAT 13 DE MARZO vs. CUBA — CONCLUSIONS : 105. The Cuban State is responsible for violating the right to life (Article 1 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) of the 41 people who were shipwrecked and perished as a result of the sinking of the tug “13 de Marzo”, which events occurred seven miles off the Cuban coast on July 13, 1994. The persons who died that morning are: Leonardo Notario Góngora, Marta Tacoronte Vega, Caridad Leyva Tacoronte, Yausel Eugenio Pérez Tacoronte, Mayulis Méndez Tacoronte, Odalys Muñoz García, Pilar Almanza Romero, Yaser Perodín Almanza, Manuel Sánchez Callol, Juliana Enriquez Carrasana, Helen Martínez Enríquez, Reynaldo Marrero, Joel García Suárez, Juan Mario Gutiérrez García, Ernesto Alfonso Joureiro, Amado Gonzáles Raices, Lázaro Borges Priel, Liset Alvarez Guerra, Yisel Borges Alvarez , Guillermo Cruz Martínez, Fidelio Ramel Prieto-Hernández, Rosa María Alcalde Preig, Yaltamira Anaya Carrasco, José Carlos Nicole Anaya, María Carrasco Anaya, Julia Caridad Ruiz Blanco, Angel René Abreu Ruiz, Jorge Arquímides Lebrijio Flores, Eduardo Suárez Esquivel, Elicer Suárez Plascencia, Omar Rodríguez Suárez, Miralis Fernández Rodríguez, Cindy Rodríguez Fernández, José Gregorio Balmaceda Castillo, Rigoberto Feut Gonzáles, Midalis Sanabria Cabrera, and four other victims who could not be identified.
    http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/96eng/Cuba11436.htm

  13. VICTIMS OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION – Cases up to January 25, 2012 – Castro regime: January 1, 1959 – Present – Deaths & disappearances attributed to the Cuban state
    Non-Combat Victims of the Castro Regime: Work-in-progress-Documented Cases Total = 10,500 victims
    “Balseros” (rafters estimate to 2003) = 77,833 victims
    This work documents loss of life and disappearances of a political or military nature attributed to the Cuban Revolution. Each documented case is available for review at The Cuba Archive and substantiated by bibliographic/historic data and reports from direct sources. Due to the ongoing nature of the work and the difficulty of obtaining and verifying data from Cuba, the following totals change as research progresses and are considered far from exhaustive. Cuba Archive is currently examining additional cases -most are expected to be added to this table. Experience has shown that as additional outreach efforts are undertaken, many more cases are likely to be uncovered.
    http://cubaarchive.org/home/images/stories/1.25.2012_update.pdf

  14. THE DAILY MAIL (Photos) : Castro the commie hypocrite who lives like a billionaire: – He’s posed as a man of the people. – But a new book reveals Cuba’s leader has led a life of pampered hedonism and a fortune as big as the Queen’s By Guy Adams – 26 May 2014 – Propaganda is often far removed from reality, though. And as his yacht, private island and domestic staff demonstrate, this lifelong critic of the supposed excesses of capitalism does not always practise what he preaches. In fact, Castro’s lifestyle turns out to be jaw-droppingly decadent — a revelation set out in eye-popping detail by his former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez. In a new, 338-page memoir, titled The Hidden Life Of Fidel Castro (published in France by Michel Lafon and co-authored by Axel Gyldén), Sanchez, an employee of 20 years’ standing, lifts the lid on the luxurious excesses enjoyed by the autocrat and his inner circle. The book portrays a man obsessed with power and money, who styled himself as a hero of the working classes while living the opulent existence of a medieval potentate. Unlike a gilded royal, however, the Cuban leader — whose British apologists have, by the by, included Ken Livingstone, Arthur Scargill and the late Tony Benn — managed to keep his life of luxury a closely guarded secret. For that, like any good dictator, he can thank the agents of a security state every bit as oppressive as that forged by dictatorial chums in Zimbabwe, China and the old Soviet Union. Sanchez was one of Castro’s security guards from 1977 to 1994, accompanying him on overseas trips to meet everybody from popes to U.S. presidents, and witnessing first hand his boss’s ability to exploit Cuba as a personal fiefdom.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2637927/Castro-commie-hypocrite-lives-like-billionaire-Hes-posed-man-people-But-new-book-reveals-Cubas-leader-led-life-pampered-hedonism-fortune-big-Queens.html

  15. The good news is that the old ones are on their way out. Someone once said that he was glad that he was on the way out, seeing how bad the world was getting. He was old and knew that he wouldn’t be around much longer. For CubaZuela it’s the other way around. It can’t get much worse, but the upside is enormous!
    The Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain simply got too expensive when the East Bloc economy imploded. The last vestiges of that geopolitical reality have become beyond unsustainable.That goes for North Korea too. When China really starts to feel the consequences of its failing economy, it might just saw the Korean peninsula off.

  16. ***
    HI, Yoani! I thought you were in MININT’s jail!
    ***
    Hola, Yoani! Crei que estabas in La Carcel de MININT!
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  17. I will be in Cuba in November 2016 as a tourist and would like to buy internet cards, flash drives. Also have a laptop I would like to donate. How do I contact you?

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