Fidel Castro is resigning from another “term” as President. The media report this as if he had been elected and actually had a democratic mandate. Now they’ll need a replacement, which is kind of like when the Liberals held a convention after Paul Martin stepped down, right?
Unbelievable, the way people discuss Cuba. This morning the CBC asked their “woman on the ground” (she was in Mexico, but I digress) what his legacy was, and she responded with talk of free public health care. They then pondered poverty in Cuba–whether it had been caused by Fidel or whether the American boycott was to blame.
I’m going to conclude now with a short lesson, Communism 101, if you will. And I’ll Keep It Simple, so the CBC can understand:
Now I have to go see whether some savvy stylist can replace the hair I just lit on fire.
Update: I had not noticed this in the Post today, an article about a Montreal exhibit of Cuban art, which avoids and evades the “politics” of Cuba–namely the notion that Castro is and was a tyrannical dictator. Thank you, Robert Fulford.
¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today lacks both critical intelligence and historical honesty…
Still, its romantic, half-blind approach calls for a strong antidote. Fortunately, there’s one available. A visit to the MMFA show should be followed by a viewing of Before Night Falls, the superb film that Julian Schnabel made in 2000 from the memoirs of Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990). As a teenager Arenas welcomed the revolution but later found himself classed as its enemy because he was gay and because he sent his poetry outside
for publication. Schnabel shows Arenas (brilliantly played by Javier Bardem) brutalized by the goons of homophobic communism, which established prison camps for the punishment of gays. Exiled in the 1980 Mariel boatlift, Arenas arrived in Cuba . He killed himself in 1990, leaving a suicide note that blamed Castro for ruining his life. New York
Neither Arenas nor anyone who shared his fate gets mentioned in the
show. The governing principle of the exhibition is neither artistic nor historical. What the MMFA has delivered on this occasion is a distorted and pathetic expression of cultural diplomacy. Montreal
Rebecca adds: Orwell famously described his dystopia as a jackboot stamping on a human face, forever. The always-interesting John Derbyshire added a codicil: “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.”