Friday, August 4

Castrogasms it just me, or is there a distinct odor of crashing Saddam statues, Van Halen-blaring-at-the-Panamanian-Presidential-Palace, and prewar victory celebrations circa March 2003 about this? And a soup├žon of chickenhawk? Third-generation dispossessed petit-nobility, none of whom has any intention of returning to Cuba, none of whom knows any more about Cuba today than about Cuba in the 50s.

Okay, you're 20 years old. Fidel is 80. Unless the state of Florida begins executing people for bad taste (and what a slaughter that would entail) you're almost certain to outlive him. Celebrating a polyp seems a teensy bit overdone.

And look, the US of A didn't give a shit about how Castro treated dissidents, anymore than we cared how Batista did, right up until Fidel started appropriating the property of United Fruit and offering compensation based on the absurd valuations it had placed on its holdings for tax purposes. Get it? The source of our disagreement with Fidel was actuarial tables. Frankly, that the expat Cuban community in south Florida has cried for Castro's head for fifty years while saying nothing whatever about the exploitation of Cubans by foreign companies before he came along was a good enough reason to ignore it.

And yes, that's an oversimplification, just as there aren't really all that many camera-hogging Mambo Revolutionaries out there, and even some strident anti-Castro Miamians have condemned the parading. But it's also the sort of thing the US government plays to in announcing it will "aid the transition to democracy in Cuba" with $80 M above the table. And the Cuban patriots among us should bear in mind how many soccer balls that money'll buy, and how many schools it'll paint, assuming everything goes well.


Thomas said...

I don't think the word 'actuarial' means what you think it means.

D. Sidhe said...

Can I note that the tax purposes valuation thing had a certain style without being called a com-symp?

What I'm finding mildly amusing is that after a relatively stable political climate for decades, the CBC's The Nature of Things is right now in the middle of a two part story about Cuba's agricultural revolution, how the breakup of the Soviet Union forced them into less-petrochemical-heavy production methods, and the increasing force this is becoming for capitalism. Now, in the same week, Fidel's down for the count, if only temporarily, and they've suddenly got oil prospects.

Talk about screwing up a good story...

Personally, I hope Fidel holds out till we have an adult in the White House. It may be incredibly selfish of me, but this can only accelerate the crazed pro-apocalypse crowd.

eRobin said...

And the Cuban patriots among us should bear in mind how many soccer balls that money'll buy, and how many schools it'll paint, assuming everything goes well.

Once again, perfect.

d. sidhe: The oil thing is new though. Cuba went all Jed Clampett on us very recently. And I'm with you, Viva Fidel! (the bastard) but he'd have to live to be a million for us to have a grown up capable of dealing with Cuba justly in the White House.

My turn to oversimplify: The person I'm really interested in here is Chavez, who must be going crazy waiting to see how his crown will fit. I would be more afraid that Cuba would go the way of Haiti if it weren't for Chavez. He may even have the support of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay if we starting ordering soccer balls and some lovely latex all-weather.

I don't know. I'm such a dope, I'm still holding out for Cuba to actually become a workers' paradise - a flourishing democracy with socialist economic ideals. Get someone in charge who can make that happen and I'll be out in the street dancing drunk in an innertube as well.

Doug said...

Gotta agree that Castro at least gets style points for offering compensation based on the company's asserted tax valuation. Petard hoisting is always fun.

R.Porrofatto said...

Exactly. Remember when Reagan presided over The Wall Coming Down, at least in the wingnut mythos? Good times. Here's hoping that Cubans don't have to endure what many East Germans did: being thrown out of their homes by expatriates returning after 50 years in South America with a lust to re-confiscate.

punkinsmom said...

If only bad taste were a capital crime....

doghouse riley said...


It does, it's just that "fighting over actuarial tables" is funnier than "fighting over assessed valuation". Because actuarial tables are always funny.

If, on the other hand, that was a Princess Bride reference just forget I said anything.

Texas Jaye said...

I am wondering what effect any of this will have on Miami property if these tasteless and joyful actually make good on their dream to go back to the old country.

Cheering for the death of an old man isn't my cup of tea. He was a bastard and what made him one was he wasn't our bastard.

harry near indy said...

batista, castro ... a motherfucking plague on both their motherfucking houses and their motherfucking supporters!

i'm with erobin. i hope it ends up that way. wish for the best but prepare for the worst.

Houston said...

We wait for Fidel's death because (1) we know every day that passes is one day closer to it, and (2) nothing new will happen until then. I agree with d.sidthe in that it would be better for all involved if there was an adult in the White House when it comes to pass. Although frankly, I do not notice a lot of nuanced differences between the two political parties on Cuba policy, so when you said "adult" I'm assuming that you were being bi-partisan in your hopes and expectations.


D. Sidhe said...

I dunno. I would expect us to make a mess of things regardless of who's in power here. But I'm still convinced that Bush has been absolutely the worst guy in the world to handle things. He does not deal well with, well, anything really.

Put it this way. I would expect a democratic president to make them hate us. I would expect an ordinary republican president to make a couple of their allies hate us, too.

I would expect Bush to sign orders to bomb the shit out of the place, while pushing the model planes around on the war room map and making "vroom vroom, bang bang kpow!" noises with his lips.

At this point, by "adult" I mean anybody who doesn't actually think Armageddon is a pretty cool idea.

So, yeah.

Ron Sullivan said...

All politics aside, I can't look at that guy in the innertube without hearing the "Gilligan's Island" theme in my head.

Wait; maybe that is a political comment.