We have to see Fidel Castro as a piece of living history. A stream of bright ideas. God in olive green with a beard. The only comandante. The man who never makes mistakes.
Democracy, that word so used and which has provoked so many wars, has many interpretations according to whomever is using it. Kim Il Jong plays his head in a Russian Roulette through the Juche ideology. For the satrap of Pyongyang his form of governing is the perfect definition of democracy.
Cuba isn’t far behind. The “government of the people” is practices on the island. True democracy, assert the island’s leaders. A happy people fucked after a night of reggaeton in a plaza where they buy in bulk a beverage with a taste similar to beer, early in the morning present themselves at the polls to choose the neighborhood’s delegates.
For Castro, Western democracy is a scam. Trying to sell us, from the White House, the president in office. Who seeks to impose on us by hook or crook. And if you don’t accept it, he launches intelligent missiles. It’s legitimate to think this way.
But it should set off a fundamental debate about the desirability and utility of an authoritarian government without elections. And demonstrate that ruling uninterrupted for 50 years resolves more and doesn’t cost any money on political campaigns, for administering a country for 4, 6 or 8 years.
He could do it. He’s got the time and the gift of the gab. What I see badly about the comandante, or better I should say about compañero Fidel, is that in order to express the viability of the system he represents he tells us without blushing that Cuba is the most democratic country on the planet.
I would like to believe the old leader. If Grampa Castro would allow comments on his blog of reflections on Cubadebate, then we might think he’s a novice democrat. But no. Zero arguments. I’ve tried to leave my opinions on some of his incendiary reflections and found it impossible.
With the perfect ruler, who defeated Yankee imperialism at the Bay of Pigs, and who if Khrushchev hadn’t been a fool, would have swept that infamous country with the medium range nuclear missiles, there’s no debate.
Especially if you’re Cuban. Perhaps it might be permitted of a subject of the British crown or an American congressional representative. Castro is like that. You’re under his harangues and then we all have to read them in school assemblies and committee meetings, applaud and shout fatherland or death we shall overcome.
The Internet and new times have pointed to the corrupt, cheaters and autocrats. We can’t talk about democracy outright any more. The Gazette exhausted everything they put in it. But on the wed there’s a feedback loop. Something healthy and enriching.
Apparently Fidel Castro does not like discrepancies. He considers himself above good and evil. Reading him ought to be a pleasure. After all, he’s a veteran guerrilla, a survivor of the Cold War. Thus, without comments. But always, to tell the truth, I have my doubts.
April 11 2011