Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fidel Turns 89

Bolivian Information Agency photo

The iconic Cuban revolutionary leader received visits this week from, among others, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Bolivian President Evo Morales (left and center in the photo), also men who have found themselves in the crosshairs of the most powerful nation on earth and survived.

All are polarizing figures, loved by people around the world and despised by people around the world for the same reason, trying to find other ways for their countries to take besides being vassals of the United States, ways that are not Capitalism.



  1. This came to mind; "Rejoice, O young man in your youth..."

    Not often do I quote the bible.

    1. I can't argue with that. OK I can: The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. (Proverbs 20:29)

      Thanks for the comment, Mike.

  2. Fidel Castro was a rare kind of hero, he, Che Guevarra and Camilo Cienfuegos etc., were the heroes of my youth. They fought for the common man in Cuba and it was not inconsequential that they won the war that was the Cuban Revolution. Rare for folks like myself to have heroes of this caliber to look up to. I even recall an odd occurrence that a patriotic youthful friend was all for joining the military during the "Cuban Missile Crisis" until the peer pressure of the times where I lived changed his mind. Our hero's were Cuban in those days and from my friends that are left that has not changed. Both Che and Cienfuegos are gone but Fidel lives on. One of my great hopes was, and is, to meet Fidel. That will probably never happen, but you never know. Fidel in his book wrote "History Will Absolve Me", and history has. The Cubanos who left now have descendants running for the highest office in this land..... Never would I consider voting for them or any other Cuban who is in exile because of the revolution.

    The cry was and is "Que Viva Cuba Libre'!

    1. Great comment NM! I hope you get your wish.

      I'm not sure if you're as enthusiastic about Dennis Chavez, who I mention in today's post, who as a youngster was moved by the father from their farm in Valencia County into Barelas where I still hope to meet a real New Mexican named Chuy.

  3. I was living in New Orleans at the time of the Bay of Pigs and, later, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Fidel was feared and hated by the majority of N.O. citizens. There were some, especially those of us living in the Ninth Ward housing projects, who wondered if he was all that much of a monster. After all, he appeared to be fighting for the rights of the poor and disenfranchised, and many of us couldn't argue with that. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    However, none of us were happy when the Soviets started shipping warheads, building missile bases and other such activities in Cuba. Cuba was a little too close for comfort then.

    1. Greet comment Miss C! Thank you.

      I imagine it would be unsettling to live that close to Cuba while our government and media were whipping up nonstop fear and loathing of it. I don't minimize that fear. But at least you know what it's been like living in Russia all these years and being surrounded by NATO nuclear warheads, which now with the big eastward expansion of NATO into former Soviet states are on Russia's very border, or to live in Iran which is threatened almost daily with nuclear annihilation by US and Israeli politicians.

      We also don't see things from the perspective of Cubans, to whom those missiles were seen as defensive not offensive, who after suffering under US plantation colonization for generations and only lately gaining their freedom had already been physically invaded once at the Bay of Pigs and were also being regularly threatened with nuclear annihilation, against which kinds of aggression a deterrent was perfectly justified. That's the Cuban people. Fidel has been the subject of not just threats, but many, many actual attempts on his life by the CIA and many others in its hire. There's a separate Wikipedia article just on that topic, and some credible sources put the number of assassination attempts on Fidel in the hundreds, making, again, some protection entirely justified if I may say so.

      By the way, have you been keeping up with the post Katrina gentrification of your old home? Including doing away with the public schools -- it's now all charters I guess -- and all that public housing? I just heard that the last of the public housing projects -- a big one on the river? -- just came down. It had survived after the rest were demolished because the tenants were well organized, but they had to move out with Katrina, and the city council on behalf of big developers who'd had their eyes on that valuable riverfront land for years made their move.

      It's been the kind of Disaster Capitalism popularized by Naomi Klein in New Orleans post Katrina. It sure would have been an experience to live there when you did.