Sunday, 27 November 2016

Close, But No Cigar

As a comment on a previous post puts it, the Soviet Union was "quite the fair weather friend" of the liberation struggle in Southern Africa, whereas Cuba was "the real deal".

Fidel Castro did not start out as a Communist. Che Guevara was initially quite dismissive of him as a classic leftish bourgeois poseur.

It was the underestimated Raúl who was almost certainly a KGB agent from the middle of the 1950s onwards, and who even threatened to split the revolutionary movement in order to prove to his brother the need to keep the Communist Party inside it.

But Fidel Castro was always a Third World liberationist, an anti-imperialist. His initial cause, and always his overriding one, was Cuban independence, overflowing into comparable aspirations elsewhere.

Tragically, that forced him into the embrace of the USSR, a relationship that was never without strain.

Those gleefully sharing that picture of him with Khrushchev need to look up which main British political party the latter outspokenly preferred after having met them both during his visit to this country in 1956.

The present regime in Cuba probably will die with Raúl. But what came after it really will need to be watched very carefully indeed.

I hope, for their own sakes, that those dancing in the streets of Miami do truly long to go home to Cuba. After all, they voted for Donald Trump.

Cuba led the global response to the Ebola outbreak, sending in doctors to treat the sick when the Americans sent in troops to contain them. 

But there would be none of that from the Batista restorationists. They are all still there, waiting in the wings. And they are frighteningly well-connected.

It is outrageous that the Cuban doctors have never received the Nobel Peace Prize, considering many of the people who have had it, and considering that even the White Helmets are now in the running for it.

A rectification of that oversight would be a fitting monument to the best that Castro ever did. There ought of course to be monuments, in the more conventional sense of the word, to the worst.

As there ought to be to the victims to the principal death and torture camp on his island. That is not maintained by the Republic of Cuba.

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