Monday, October 22, 2012

¡Fidel Está Vivo!
George McGovern RIP

Joking that he had been "killed by the media," the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, demonstrated today, by releasing one of his Reflections columns and photographs that show him walking with a cane but quite alive, that he is not, as has been widely reported, in a vegetative coma.

Fidel holding the latest edition of Granma - Cuba Debate photo.

Interestingly, in Gawker's obituary article about George McGovern, the former South Dakota senator and 1972 Democratic Party presidential nominee, who died Sunday at 90, there are two photographs of McGovern with Fidel.

McGovern, one of the few Democrats who had the guts to keep on calling himself a Liberal even after that word became a slur that other Democrats ran from in horror, was, from the beginning, going back to the Kennedy Administration's reckless attempts to topple Fidel, in favor of a humane and sensible policy toward Cuba and always spoke out against the US blockade of Cuba.

George McGovern and Fidel Castro during McGovern's 1975 trip to Cuba - photo

Democrats as a whole have also been afraid to stand up to those who have demonized Cuba, with the result that the Cuban people have suffered under our blockade for 50 years, and with the result that Cuba is thought of by most Americans as some kind of ruthless dictatorship instead of the one place where people have struggled against all odds to create a just and humane alternative to Capitalism, the shortcomings of which those same Americans are now starting to become aware of.

In his new Reflections column, Fidel remarks on the fact that many are deceived by the mass media, which are "almost all in the hands of the privileged and wealthy," and compares the recent rumors of his demise with the erroneous reports that came out about the "Bay of Pigs" undercover operation 50 years ago when the Kennedy brothers tried unsuccessfully to overthrow him.

Fidel also remarks on the so-called "Cuban Missile Crisis," when he allowed the Soviet Union to install nuclear armed missiles in Cuba similar to the ones the US had installed in Turkey on the Soviet Union's border. Considering all the attempts by the US to overthrow the Cuban government, before and after the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban government "did not hesitate to ascede to such a risk," Fidel writes.

"Our conduct was ethically irreproachable," Fidel says, and he has never made excuses for what they did.

"The truth is that half a century has passed," Fidel writes, "and we are still here with our heads held high."


Notes: Gawker's George McGovern obituary has many other interesting photographs from McGovern's life, including one of him and a very young Bill Clinton who looks to be channeling Elvis.

Fidel's new Reflections column, and a number of other photographs of him taken yesterday, are in Cuba Debate. I have not seen the column translated into English anywhere yet, although it will be soon. The quotes I use here are from my Google translation of it.

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