Fidel is the second-worst man on Earth (Putin = worst)

Somehow I had gone through life without much pondering the subject of Fidel Castro. Then, eight or 10 years ago, camping at a little place we liked to go near Ojai, I found the time to read a long piece on the Cuban dictator in the New York Review of Books.

In it, I learned that el presidente was still in the habit of giving regular speeches that were between three and four hours long. In the summer. To large crowds in sweltering Havana, an audience whose members were pretty much compelled to stay until the bitter end.

Even Barack Obama, a much more interesting speaker if it comes to that, winds up after 44 minutes at the mike.

But Fidel until his recent illness loved to ramble on, spouting the worst kind of drivel, repeating himself endlessly, for hour after hour after hour. To read a long passage from one of these speeches is to understand that the man is literally insane.

And you can tell me all you want about how high the literacy rate is (though there is nothing to read) and how cheap the healthcare is (though there is, quite unhealthily, nothing to eat) and what percentage of Cubans graduates from high school (there is no work once you do beyond prostituting for German tourists). The country is a nightmare from stem to stern run by a madman, and come Sunday run by whomever the madman will accept in his 49-year-wake.

It’s as absurd as being ruled by the dictator Vargas from Woody Allen’s “Bananas,” who has the string quartet playing without instruments during dinner, or being ruled by one of his successors, before Allen’s Fielding Mellish gets the gig: “Hear me. I am your new president. From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check.”

Here’s The Message from the Commander in Chief, straight from the horse’s mouth, translation only slightly bad, in a link from the blog-ish posting known as “Reflections by comrade Fidel,” ravings that will apparently continue, like a scream from the grave, on the Granma site from the Commie Party Havana newspaper.

My God, it’s a wonder the Cuban people continue to do one thing so brilliantly — make a Romeo y Julieta as graceful and full of high notes as a bottle of the best Vieux Telegraphe — when they have been ruled by a megalomaniac such as this for 49 years.

I suppose it would be a good thing if the rumors are correct and that someone other than Fidel’s slightly younger brother Raul will lead the nation after Sunday.

It’s all our fault, of course. Before Castro’s revolution, there was an even worse government in place, propped up by our own: Cuba was an island run by Bautista and the Mob.

5 thoughts on “Fidel is the second-worst man on Earth (Putin = worst)

  1. I had no idea Fidel was so long winded.

    Whatever the case is in Cuba, it would be nice one day to go to Hemmingway’s house there–if it has been preserved. The one in Keye West is fabulously intriguing…full of six-toed cats and clown-faced spiders.

  2. Andy Garcia’s recent movie, Lost City, is a great study in the changeover in “regimes”. I hope your thought is the same is mine that there is no comparison between a kleptocracy and a 50 year “experiment” in totalitarian thought control.

  3. Here’s my long winded opinion on Star News editing — Im profoundly disappointed in your paean to the Black Panthers found in the Monday paper (Putting Black Panther Party in context 2/18/2008)
    The blame falls not on Imani Tate who though journalistic bias was obvious, quoted from the speakers and attendees at an academic presentation, though then outrageously expanded upon their opinions with statements that made it sound like all of it was undisputed history. No, the fault of course is that of the SGV News editors for proofing and approving such unbalanced tripe.

    Particulars? No acknowledgment that the leaders and philosophy of the Black Panthers were originally violent revolution and Marxist philosophy and their history is one not only of murder, extortion and confrontation with the white establishment but a sad, sordid and ironic tale of drug abuse, prison, exile, and recanting of the struggle by many, most famously Eldridge Cleaver. No analysis or balance was provided to any of David Hilliards seminar claims while even the casual reader might wonder: 1) how much of the Panthers Sickle Cell research foundation actually provided to treatment and cures compared to that expended by others in the black community, 2) were no other charitable, community or government programs provided breakfasts to the poor in the sixties? (That hardly seems right at all), 3) what authority said the Panthers Oakland educational center was a top California school, for what reasons, when and for how long??? But underneath it all is the greatest puzzle what could possibly be the source of funding for the good deeds, some sources on the internet say it was extortion, others say their criminal enterprises underwrote their services, not uncommon when a gang organization with political pretension morphs into community action (ask Hamas , Hezbollah and the Sadrists??!!)

    Headlines the following day in the Star News (March 19) indicate how WRONG it is to glorify such a criminal gang that evolves into a movement. (Front page: Marching for Peace by families in Monrovia against gangs, second section Gang injunctions can work wonders! and lastly Oakland Editor honored The last article involved a posthumous award, and ironically shows the shameful difference between an African American journalist who gave his life to root out truth against a violent splinter group of Black Muslims versus your gullible and agenda driven staff writer compounded by sloppy editors who seem to have no desire for excellence, balance and truthtelling in reporting.

  4. OK. S-N sucks when it comes to real journalism. I’m not hearing any argument there. We’ll get a “I’m a real journalist ’cause I teach at USC night school and ’cause I go camping with a former mayor, read snobby books and worship Bette Middler-esque fag hags” from LW. Par for the course, folks. How come all the stories are void of facts and filled with “he said, she said” quotes but no research or facts or HISTORY.

    AND who’s the nitwit who keeps giving Lusvardi column inches?

    Who knows the answer to the real important question of the day: What happened to Todd Ruiz? At least he had some wit on the blog.


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