Poor Fidel Castro – he is one of the rare cases of a dictator who managed to outlive his monstrous creation. Lenin and Stalin died long before the communist system collapsed, which I guess left them with the satisfaction that the millions of people they killed somehow contributed to their utopia.
At the age of nearly 90, Fidel is forced to watch the crumbling of La Revolucion. The great promises, for which thousands were killed or drowned in their attempts to reach the USA, ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the major benefactor of Castro’s gang.
Although Castro retired, the ancient revolutionaries around him are desperately trying to salvage what’s left of Territoria Libre de America. It is difficult, because the 1957 Cadillacs are the most reliable way of transportation, followed by the donkey buggies and whichever Soviet cars that survived the tropical climate. The individual small business is still limited to street stalls and prostitution.
I was reminded of that sad reality when recently I came across a set of propaganda pictures released to show the resilience of the revolutionary leadership. In a way, watching those people, who still cling to power, could take you back to the times of Leonid Brezhnev and the old members of Politburo around him. People were betting on who of them was going to die first. But at least the Soviet Union of the time managed to maintain its façade of a powerful country, although it was already hollow on the inside.
The Cuban propaganda pictures can’t create even that illusion, because the Cuban revolution has been dead for years and you can feel the stench of its corpse from those photographs.
Here are Fidel and Raul with other members of the Central Committee, trying to look upbeat and optimistic, although it is not clear if anyone of them would live to see the next Party Congress:
They even want to revive their revolutionary spirit with the appropriate songs and gestures:
It is sad to observe Castro being moved around like a live relic of the revolution, forcing people to listen to his “wisdom”. Here he meets Cuba’s intellectuals:
He even finds the strength to lecture other leaders. In this picture he is with the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. I don’t know if you can get any useful guidance from a communist rag like Granma, but with or without guidance Chavez is going to ruin his country in exactly the same way:
Castro even gives interviews to “progressive” journalists. Here he is with Mario Silva, right after the end of their interview. Look at his cool L.L. Bean look. But what’s the deal with that Puma jacket? Why should he wear a product of a German capitalist firm, which has its clothes made by underpaid workers in China and Vietnam? Doesn’t Fidel know that he is contributing to the exploitation of those poor chaps? Never mind, hypocrite and communist are synonyms.
And at last, look at his pictures with Carter. Rarely does one see two failures of such an epic calibre in the same picture. They are like two annoying ghosts from a past that almost everybody is trying to forget.
Actually, Rosalynn is the only one with some dignity, for the simple reason that she never had the chance to discredit herself to such an extent. To make sure that they are two of a kind, Carter is even wearing the trademark shirt worn by most Cuban communists (maybe Castro should try it instead of wearing a Puma).
Long live the decomposing Cuban revolution…
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