"[Y]ou can contribute roughly $112.55 to the retirement fund of Fidel and Raúl Castro simply by purchasing this lovely and aesthetic 52" ceiling fan for $171.55 as a gift for one of your friends or relatives on the island. Although the fan is of dubious origins and quality, keep in mind that the Castro clan's retirement fund is a worthy cause, after all." — Alberto Cruz, "Now you, too, can make it a Castro, Inc. Christmas!," Babalú, December 24, 2008
Fidel and Raúl's "retirement fund" is already calculated in the billions. That might not be good enough for a Mexican president but it will certainly suffice the Brothers Castro in their declining years, which they are already well into. The profit from the sale of that ceiling fan or 10 thousand ceiling fans will not add substantially to their wealth and it certainly won't improve their standard of living. It is the hapless Cuban family, for whom global warming is already a reality because they have no way to escape the unrelenting sun, which will benefit by at least rotating the putrid air that surrounds them, supposing, of course, that they don't bring down the ceiling in attempting to install the fan, or that there is enough ceiling left on which to affix it.
I remember Val dedicated several gloomy posts to the week that he spent without air-conditioning in the aftermath of last year's hurricane season, which he described as the most miserable of his rather delicate life. Besides remaining cool himself, Val's chief worry was that the food in his refrigerator would spoil (massive quantities, no doubt). Such a concern would be the cherished hope of every man, woman and child on the island. If there is one thing that Cubans don't have to worry about is whether food will last long enough to go bad: living hand to mouth, and day to day, makes the thought of food going bad because there is too much of it and too few people to consume it sound rather fantastical.
Val's ordeal lasted a week or so, but if it had lasted 50 years he could not have been more despondent. Well, the Cuban people's ordeal has lasted 50 years and counting, but the quality of their lives is of no concern to Val & Co. Well, that is not exactly right. They do have a very keen interest in their lives, the same interest in fact that Castro Inc. does: they want Cubans as miserable and dependent on Castro as they can possibly be. This the Babalunians believe will foment an uprising: the same thing the Castroites are sure will prevent one. Castro has 50 years in power with which to back his position. Val has the boundless faith that if he can out-Castro Castro Cubans can be made to do his bidding rather than Castro's. And what does Val want Cubans to do? Well, what else? Shed "pools of blood" (have I not quoted him enough times?) Bleeding them is the cure for what ails him. Sort of like Washington having his slaves' teeth knocked out so that they could be used to fashion his dentures (yes, the true story).
It takes a heart of stone, especially at this season of the year, to begrudge Cubans on the island even the least surcease from their continual suffering. Though it costs them not a dime, they still resent that miserable ceiling fan as if it restrained their liberty or impinged on their comfort. Except they know that Cubans are suffering with every breath (or gasp for air) they are not content that they are doing everything in their power to advance the cause of Cuban freedom. Their concern for Cubans and Castro's are both sides of the same false coin. Cubans are for them an instrumentality and both have no qualms about driving their screwdrivers into their heads so that they can twist them one way or the other. The only difference is that Castro knows which direction benefits him. The Babalunians, of course, also twist in that direction whether from ignorance or the conceit that they can obtain a different result through the same method. This will never be the case.
At some point increasing the suffering of the Cuban people will become the end as it is now the means. They already believe that their only recourse now is to punish the Cuban people for enduring Castro's rule: punish them into their graves if necessary to rid the island of the monster that feeds on them. It need hardly be said that they are playing into Castro's hands. In fact, if Castro himself had written the script they could not have acted it more convincingly. The only question is whether they are too stupid to see this or see it and don't care.
I should not be surprised if one of the wits at Babalú rewrote "The Twelve Days of Christmas" citing what Cubans should not receive for each day. For the first day of Christmas we already know that they should not get ceiling fans. We wait to see what they should next be deprived of.