Thursday, June 7, 2007

And He Will Go Gently Into that Dark Night


It had never ocurred to anyone that Fidel Castro's mind would die before his body did. And yet, in retrospect, nothing seems more obvious. Castro's body has never been exercised in the ways that other men's bodies have by the time they reach his age. He lived and will die a man who never did an honest day's work in his life, the national bitongo, because it took the unceasing labor and sacrifices of an entire nation to support his lifestyle, the nearest to that of a sultan which any man lived in the latter 20th century.

His mind, or, more precisely, his tongue did not live such a life of leisure. It was once calculated — and there is no reason to doubt it — that Fidel Castro has pronounced more words than any contemporary. The value of the words is negligible; their quantity prodigious. Fidel holds the record as the longest-playing record in the history of mankind. His parents wound it up 80 years ago and it is still humming the same monotonous tune, now more "mono" than ever before. Naturally that propitious organ was not a perpetual motion machine. The gears that kept his mouth moving were in his brain. It was an exceptional brain in its capacity to absorb information without the ability to process it. He had some knowledge of everything, or claimed to; but no practical knowledge of anything. He gathered numbers but could not add them; he drew conclusions in the absence of facts and made up facts to support his groundless conclusions. He thought he knew everything when in fact he knew nothing. Therein is the cause of every calamity that has befallen the Cuban people in the last 48 years. For it is better to be ruled by an incompetent who relies on others than by an incompetent who relies only on himself.

His latest interview (and probably his last), which was more carefully edited than The Battleship Potemkin, could not erase, but, rather, confirmed as never before the fact that Fidel's brain has at least kept up with the deterioration of his body, though I believe that by now it has actually gone leagues more on the route to extinction. In his declining years (will it be years?) he is destined to become a waxwork, more or less animated depending on his medication and other unpredictable factors, who will be rolled out periodically for important guests who don't want to miss out on the opportunity to say that they too communed with the great sham. In that twilight area between existence and non-existence he will quietly pass to the other life, or, for him, the perpetual void, unnoticed and mostly unlamented. We might almost regard this slow decline as poetic justice of a kind except that for every additional moment that Fidel languishes on earth, there are thousands of innocent men in his jails who suffer that many more minutes of unremitting suffering. If it necessary to end their suffering by wishing an end to his, then there is nothing that we can do but to wish him a quick release.

We will not know the satisfaction that the Romanians experienced when Ceausescu was terminated; nor shall Christmas bring the pleasant memory of our deliverance. Castro has eluded justice as he eluded responsibility for his acts all his life. We may hope that divine providence will settle accounts, but having been so indulgent with him thus far at our expense, I must really wonder what punishment could even come close to fitting his crimes.

On top of all his other shields — material or diabolitical — Fidel now has the additional one of an addled brain. No excuse or concession is to be denied him. His charmed life, with the common mishaps of an ordinary man and the compensations of those born to the purple in antique times, will end placidly; for he has no conscience and now probably does not even have the full recollection of his crimes.

There is a great unspoken secret among the survivors of the Holocaust; it seems almost indecorous to say and so it is seldom said. But the truth is that the Jews who did not lose their lives lost their faith in the Holocaust and it seems likely that such is and will be the reaction of many of our countrymen to his 54 years of inflicting pain and misery on our people without even a minute of retribution.

19 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, yes, it's very sad that justice is not going to be served. I wish I am grossly mistaken, and that one hospital ordinance or a humble nurse can reach to his bed and smother the babbling carcass of the undead dictator.
On the other hand, for people like me, who had to endure his speeches on live tv (with the sound off and a psychiatrist on hand to describe the malady (maladies) of the mind of such sociopathological monster) it's kind of rewarding to see his diabolical brain reduced to a foggy miasm from hell.
It's poetic to see that the arrogant gesture has been substituted by a tremor, than the cultivated voice has regained his natural unmanly tone, and that he's no more than an incomplete cartoon of himself that gets airtime as some sort of prelude of his own end.
Let's not be mistaken, they are using the Russian book of endings very properly. There are contradictions to what he says in the paper, there have been demonizations, veiled one, but some, this late canned interview, with all the marks of a product approved by a safety commission tells us that this is the end of the Release 1.o of the tyranny. The bad news is that Princess Rengent Raul will pass the baton to his nephew, Fidel Castro Diaz Balart as agreed with his mother. So the Release 2.0 gives way to the Release 3.0. As I say, it will be a "controlled, orderly, and gradual process" as is convenient for the political and economic interestests in this country, forbidding Cubans from coming to the USA and from going to Cuba: xenophobia the first part, and pure dollar driven doctrine the second part.
Uncle Sam knows that a flood gate of Cubans going to Cuba from the USA in boats and other private vessels, would deplete the treasury of South Florida and that the whole State would implode. It would cause a chaos, it would destroy the economies of the region and having wiped Mexico away, it would launch an avalanche of illegal immigrants in a veritable tidal wave.
That's what Matt Lauder has as a mission in Cuba: to show the world that kasstro is not relevant anymore, and that the USA need to get ready to deal with the successors, in order to maintain the "novo ordum seculorum" of this day.
Now, to honor the truth, kasstro has been going in an out of a dark passage for a long time. He's been loosing his mind for the last twelve years, and he has become more incoherent with time.... His selection of anesthetics did him in, and I am afraid that the doctors turned a blind eye on him and let things go, thinking that he would never recover of this episode. Which is fitting finale for his live, he is ending in a maelstrom of madness, tantrums, excrements, and blood.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Too little and too late. Castro should have died as Mussolini did or at least as did Ceausescu; instead, unless the scenario you describe comes to past — which is no more than grasping at last straws — Castro will die in his bed having never paid for even one of his manifold crimes. Old, incoherent and beshitted, yes, but so will millions of good men die. We must recognize that there will never be justice as far as he is concerned. History will not absolve him; but life did give him a free pass, and in his passing he has left a greater toll of human misery than any man who ever enslaved a nation in proportion to Cuba's population. Other tyrants have done greater mayhem on greater stages; but within the scope of his stage, small and contained, he has affected for the worse more people than did Hitler or Stalin.

Steve ("Klotz" As In "Blood") said...

I enjoyed this one, Manny, but not without tasting sadness as you accurately note how madness, let alone death, is a poor substitute for justice. The deaths of Ceausescu, Mussolini, and even Hussein brought some small measure of satisfaction to the despots' victims and families, as well as answered a general sense of dessert around the world. But this one just slips away.

Yeah, we'll party, but there's a turd in the punch bowl.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Steve:

That is an excellent metaphor and describes better our situation than the bland "bittersweet." In fact, Fidel has escaped human justice, just as Stalin did, just as Mao did. Those who believe in a higher justice than human may perhaps hope that divine justice will finally overtake him, and if there is a reason to believe in heaven, surely that is it. But anything that lies in the realm of the unknown must forever be unsatisfying, and, in any case, we who remain on earth will not witness it.

But that is not even the worse of it, which is that the system he engengered, the inhuman shadow of the man, will almost certainly survive his mortal remains. Alive or dead, Fidel will continue to cast his ominous shadow on our country, obliterating every joy and intensifying every sorrow. His victims moreover have even been denied the human sympathy that such an ordeal should command of every sensible human being.

Really, Castro's imminent death will simply add to our misery, but even so, let it come. It will be a better world simply by not having to inhale the same air as he does.

Steve ("Klotz" As In "Blood") said...

Amen.

Vana said...

Yes I would have loved to have seen him, hanging upside down in the Plaza de la Robolucion like Mussolini, people taking jabs at him, but that kind of justice for us is not to be, he gets to languish and die slowly, and I do hope painfully, great posting Manuel, and quite incisive.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
Is possible he may escape human justice, but he will never be able to escape God's justice. You or I may not see it, but it will happen. As a Christian I believe in the afterworld and I firmly believe his day of judgement will come. As an atheist (if he is really one) he may think he has no one to render an account of his crimes, but he is sadly mistaken. He will have to face a more stern and righteous court than man's justice when he dies. He may not die like Mussolini or Ceausescu but he will rot in hell just like them because no one can escape God's justice. The Bible says so and I believe it. Is just a matter of time.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

From your lips to God's ears.

Jewbana said...

Manuel:

You are a very educated man. Please continue to enlighten yourself and visit www.motl.org
There you will find some of these Holocaust survivors that "lost" their faith and what they're doing about it.

Vana said...

Jewbana:
I went to motl.com as you suggested, because I'm very interested in the Holocaust, I was unable to find as you said, how some survivors are regaining their faith, I did read some testimonies of survivors which I read and cried along with, maybe I was in the wrong spot, but thank you for the website, I like how they have marches back to the death camps, to teach the young.
Have you yourself gone on one of these marches? I will one day go to Aushwitz, having read so much about it, I feel the need to go, again thanks.

Jewbana said...

Manuel:

My point was that not all the survivors (or even a majority of them) lost their faith. In fact, the Jewish faith is stronger and more vibrant today despite assimilation and inter-marriage. I speak from my own personal experience. I am the product of Jewish education and it's outreach programs. Judaism is more than a faith to me, it is a way of life.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Jewbana:

I should have been more specific about my remarks. In the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust most Jewish survivors did deny God because they believed (and who wouldn't after their experience?) that God had turned His back on them, or to risk sounding flippant, that God had "unchosen" the Chosen People. For most, however, this rejection of God was not permanent. With the passage of time and the healing of their souls, most Jewish survivors of the Holocaust regained their faith and passed it on to their children.

But the question remains and will always remain "Why us?"

I believe the answer is that God endowed man with autonomy, His greatest gift to us and proof of his love for us. This autonomy would not be real if it were not susceptible to both good and evil. Until God's kingdom is established on earth, man is the caretaker of this world and responsible for everything that happens in it: responsible for the evil of Hitlerism, responsible, too, for the destruction of Hitlerism. God did not "let" the Holocaust happen to the Jews anymore than He "let" another Jew be crucified 2000 years ago. What happens on earth is the concern of man; what happens in the afterlife is the concern of God. There and then, if one is a believer, the evil done on earth will be punished and the good rewarded: the scales will be set right, as only God could, but not in this world.

Albert Quiroga said...

I believe that, in whatever remains of his subconscious mind, he is deeply dreading the coming descent into the abyss...and unlike W. C. Fields, in his arrogance, self-righteous hypocrisy, and megalomania, will not allow himself to go looking for loopholes.

His Imperial Delusional-ness should be allowed an ending worthy of an Emperor; Claudius comes to mind. His end was an excruciating one. A plate of "amanitas" for the coma-andante, pronto!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alberto:

Ah, but Alberto, Claudius was a good man (when compared to the other Roman emperors).

Death is undoubtedly fearsome to everyone who is Fidel's age. That torment is not peculiar to him. For him to suffer in the degree in which he deserves to suffer Fidel would have to have a conscience, and we know he does not.

At least he will die in his own bed, however beshitted. We don't even have that assurance.

Vana said...

Well I'm guessing Jewbana is a very rude person, she refused to answer my questions to her, how self righteous can one person be, she could at least have said, Fuck Off Vana, I will classify her under a Cubana Come Mierda.

Jewbana said...

Vana:

I'm sorry that I didn't read your post asking me those questions until now (6/13 at 10:50 PM). I'll be glad to answer them.

1.No I have not been to the marches yet. I hope to go one day, but I want to go to a Free Cuba first. My mother is a descendant of "Conversos". I have a Jewish soul and am a Jew by choice for the last 27 years.

2. My point to Manuel and you is this, although some may have lost their faith due to the horrors they experienced (who could blame them). Most did not, and it's evident from the strenght of our comminity today. It is because of them and what happened during those dark days that we are able to bask in light of our faith. We will never forget and we will always celebrate life.

And please refrain from personal attacks, it's unbecoming of a lady.

Vana said...

Jewbana:
I'm sorry but I was offended by your neglect to answer my questions, you had to pass by my post to write to Manuel, I felt you were slighting me, I felt hurt.
I apologize to you for my comments, I hope you are magnanimous enough to forgive me.

Jewbana said...

Vana:

Vana, of course I forgive you. We all make mistakes. Since I was looking for Manuel's response to my post, I inadvertently skipped over yours.

Vana said...

Jewbana:
Thank you, also thanks for answering my questions, as I said before, I'm very interested in the Holocaust, I have read numerous books of survivors, also anything I can get my hands on about WWII,It's getting to the point when I go looking for books, there is hardly nothing on the shelves I haven't already read, I'm hungry for more.
I commend you on taking a stand and regaining your Jewish roots, you should be very proud to belong to a people, who have fought so hard to regain their rightous place in this world, a people that has suffered so much, and have through the centuries been the scapegoat of the world, mostly thanks to the bigoted influence of the Catholic Churh.
And hopefully I will one day meet you in a Cuba Libre, again thank you.