9 de abril de 2008

Reflections on Fidel Castro

Tania Diaz Castro

HAVANA, Cuba, April, (www.cubanet.org) - In 1959, after traveling triumphantly through the island dressed like a guerrilla, bearded, with a rosary around his neck, Fidel Castro was seen by many as the new Messiah.  It was clear that the great majority of Cuban people began to love it – the image of it.  Merchants, political, journalists, middle-class, priests, lawyers, prostitutes and even the aristocratic elites applauded him and hoped that he was the best man for the country. 
But as the months passed, the number of inhabitants that loved Fidel Castro began to be less and less.  The middle-class merchants, politicians, journalists, priests, lawyers, prostitutes, as well as the aristocrats took flight and Fidel Castro, without that class of average, well prepared professional Cubans was pictured alone, accompanied by the poorest workers, vagabonds, new prostitutes, drunks, and layabouts that knew nothing about a pope of politics, and could be easily deceived. 

He, who had been loved by almost everyone, began to be loved by few.  Who were these people?  We are getting to that part. 

Fidel Castro chose the worst possible paths, that of dictatorship.  He preferred to add his name to the long list of modern tyrants. For certain over the course of our two thousand years of civilization, like the egotistical Greeks of the epoch of Plato, submitted to a flood of publicity and images, we became the victims of that devouring viper of human souls - the ambition of glory. 
How different would everything be for him today, if the road he had chosen was democracy!  Imagine for a moment, a Fidel Castro with a four-year administration of a good government that sowed a path with social equality, economic prosperity, and respect for human rights.  Today everyone would be able to say that he was an excellent ruler.  He did not grasp the power of the conch.  He did, in four years, the best that he could. 

But sadly this was not the case.  Fidel Castro established a totalitarian state with an iron fist advised by the Stasi, where the legislative, executive powers and court are concentrated on a reduced number of leaders.  It multiplied the number of jails, crushed liberty as it was an insect and governed the life of the Cubans with a hard hand until they were like indigent captives, thanks to the number of prohibitions established by him. 

In his first years of government without elections or a constitution, he executed anyone that was opposed to his revolution.  As his spokesman, Ché Guevara, said in the United Nations, he stripped anyone of their properties that he wanted to and impoverished the country, to the point where it nearly collapsed. 

Today, after almost half century of dictatorship in Cuba, if someone asked me, I would be unable to say who sincerely loved Fidel Castro, because of the fear and a double set of morals that persist in being somewhat shamefully in our population.  I do not smell, see, feel, or perceive sincerity in those who say they love him, even as he remains in a sickbed.  I refer to a true love, free of pretenses, without political or intellectual commitments, not based on convenience, and without the fear of imprisonment or the loss of the State employment because of the boss.  Instead I am referring to a respectful love, disinterested and worthy, like the one that I felt for him many, many years ago.

Translated by Scott Hudson


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