Demagoguery – A Cardinal Sign of the Cuban “Revolution”
Demagoguery: A Cardinal Sign of the Cuban “Revolution” / Jeovany Vega
Posted on August 24, 2015
I want you POOR, fanatic, worshipful and grateful
Jeovany Jimenez Vega, 20 August 2015 — A few weeks ago we were amusing
ourselves with news reports about the vacation tour of Prince Tony
Castro. Apparently, tired of playing golf in a country where 99.99% of
the natives have never set foot on a golf course, the only Cuban
participant in the latest Ernest Hemingway Fishing Tournament (and,
coincidentally, its only winner) decided to hop over to the opulent
hotels of Turkey. None of this would be especially notable if Tony were
the heir to the throne of the Sultan of Brunei; but he is no more and no
less the son of the most vertically anti-capitalist personage of the
second half of the 20th century: the feudal lord Fidel Castro.
By now, however, nothing should surprise us, because demagoguery was
always the most cardinal sign of Fidelism from its first moments of
existence. This same dictator took it upon himself to practice it
whenever he could, raising it to the level of an Olympic sport. Fidel’s
ambivalent posture in those first days of the Revolution, making
assurances that he was not a communist–only to later shed his skin when
circumstances were propitious–is established historical fact. But
besides this facet inherent to his high politics, in the personal
sphere, also, Fidel always maintained a double life, until time and the
public confessions of various high-ranking officials, disenchanted with
the Bearded One’s lechery, revealed the truth.
Thus we learned that this gentleman always had multiple lovers. Then I
remembered how an uncle of mine, a principled militant communist, and
honest (whom I remember on more than one occasion asking my mother for
some change so that he could buy cigarettes at the Artemisa Coppelia
that he himself managed) was expelled from the Party for the
unpardonable sin of having a lover.
A little more recently, following the death of Antonio Gades, we would
find out that the Iberian artist was the baptismal godfather of the
children of Raúl Castro himself. Then we would recall then how for
decades, Party membership was denied to thousands of sympathizers of the
regime precisely because of their religious beliefs–and even much worse,
how thousands of workers were harassed, and how the future of tens of
thousands of young people was truncated as they were expelled from their
university studies for not having denied their faith.
Now we know that the feudal lord was a consummate connoisseur of wines
and expensive cheeses, and we also learn about all those mini-palaces,
yachts, foreign vacations, children sent to European boarding schools,
and private hunting preserves for the exclusive use of the olive-green
oligarchs–or rather, about a long saga of bourgeois privileges that for
decades the big shots enjoyed on the backs of my people.
We should in no way be surprised now that the dandy Tony Castro should
treat himself to a little getaway, renting a “humble” yacht worthy of
Bill Gates, and pay thousands of dollars in luxury hotel stays for
hismelf and his entourage. After all, the boy is only doing what he saw
his elders do.
Someone could argue that it is legitimate for any president or son of a
president to take these “small” liberties, but this is not the case, at
least not in the Cuban case. Fidel Castro spent too many hours giving
speeches for 50 years, requesting austerity from the Cuban people,
beating his breast and shouting to the four winds that not only were
they honorable and good, but also that they were absolutely the best and
the most honorable of the universe; Cubans always marked an
irreproachable dividing line between that paradigmatic paradise of
immaculate honesty bordering holiness, and the “perfidious capitalist
rot” that now does not seem to much scare the Antillean Dandy.
Of course, there are also the getaways to Cancún by the leaders during
those decades in which foreign travel was prohibited, the secret Swiss
bank accounts, the reserves of other generals (also replete with
millions which were never revealed), the nauseating corruption that
yields millions for the godless bureaucrats in Customs, the mile-long
list bribes given to high-level functionaries of the Foreign Trade
ministry in exchange for miserable contracts and purchases; among other
Kodak moments for the memories of the dictatorship, such as Cause #1
against General Ochoa, which yet stinks of cocaine in the Cuban memory.
Not to be omitted are the businesses and properties owned by other heirs
to the Castro/Communist thrones in other countries, where they kiss the
asses of the creme of world capitalism, among other familiar
“trivialities” that are (always) charged to Liborio’s* tab; all of which
would help us calculate, but only intuitively, 7/8 of the hidden parts
of this immense iceberg which is the Cuban Robolution.
“Translator’s Note: “Liborio” is a symbol of the Cuban people, or of the
essence of Cubanness. He is usually pictured as a mustachioed peasant
with long sideburns, wearing a guayabera, a straw hat on his head, and a
machete in his hand.
Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison
Source: Demagoguery: A Cardinal Sign of the Cuban “Revolution” / Jeovany
Vega | Translating Cuba –