blue moon (2)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fidel ©

I was sitting here the other night watching the news when a special bulletin came on saying that Fidel Castro had resigned as president of Cuba and his brother was stepping into his shoes.
First of all I don’t think anyone can fit into that man’s shoes.

Like him or hate him you have to admit at least two things.
One, the man had some big stones to achieve what he has and still hold onto it by standing up for what he believed in against anyone who came to take it away.
Secondly, he did what he did for the people of Cuba, be it the right way or not from our point of view I have never seen him display some of the barbarism other dictators have displayed in the past.

We don’t see him flaunting any wealth or live in palaces as others have done, but in the same breath I have to say that the people of that country are not living anywhere near the standards that we live and could live in.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
I have spoken to a few Cubans and in Cuba a light bulb is a luxury, something we take for granted.

The Cuba we know today is a relic from a time gone by; a time that was bathed in blood and corruption from the top to the bottom with it’s roots, the people suffering the most.
Beaten and abused by Batista, their leader, a dictator corrupted by Mafia money; the people rose with Castro at the head of the crowd racing to Havana and freedom from this tyrant.

Freedom, they never got it but they did get a different kind of oppression, with benefits as opposed to what they had before, nothing.
I am not a fan of communism because I think it’s impossible to achieve it totally as long as the people can see how life is elsewhere in the world and crave it.
Having leaders that live high on the hog doesn't help while the people are starving.

Also, we as a species need to grow mentally, spiritually and so forth but communism stifles such growth in order to keep the playing field even for everyone.
I have always viewed communism as the poor robbing the wealthy because they couldn’t achieve it any other way.
For revolutionary purposes, there is no better system for rallying the people to you side because communism is about the whole not the individual and when you're hungry you go where there is food.

I believe if Castro had used his communist beliefs to gain control of the country and then brought Cuba into democracy immediately, Cuba would be a wealthy paradise today for its people and the rest of the world to visit but that didn’t happen, instead two bulls butted heads instead and its been a stalemate ever since.

Have I ever told you I love boxing?
I don’t know how many boxing matches I have watched, thousands maybe dating back to the 20s.
Most people think that it’s about two brain dead men in the center of the ring pounding each others heads in until one can’t fight any more.
If you believe that then you have been watching your boxing in the parking lot of the local pub.

A boxer doesn’t want to get his ears batted in no more than you do so he studies his opponent by watching his other fights.
Throwing jabs at him to find the range and the speed of which his opponent can move.
He even allows himself to be hit, to feel the sting of the blow so it won’t be foreign to him when he does step into the fire.
They walk around the ring poking at each other and ever now and again charge in with a flurry to see if a little damage could be cause to weaken the opponent.

The 60’s and 70’s were huge for boxing with TVs becoming popular in everyone’s home.
There were some flamboyant fighters and some major battles.
Ali, Listen, Patterson brought the 60s to a close and boxers such as Forman, Frazer, Norton, Chuvalo… brought in the new age of boxing.

Some of the most anticipated bouts have generated millions of viewers

Mohammed Ali vs George Foreman in Rumble in the Jungle.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier in The Thrilla in Manila

Then there was Cuba Vs USA First with missels then boxers

This was the ultimate boxing match of all times.
This wasn’t a battle fuelled by hate.
This was a WAR of defiance.
The Flea verses the Big Dog on the block.

In this corner we have the United States of America.
Lean, mean, fighting machine.
Years of training and determination went into building this fine physique of a country, Sculpted by centuries oppression, betrayal, revolution and even a painful cleansing but today they stand as a symbol for freedom.

In the other corner, Cuba, an older opponent with a new strong heart pumping fresh life into a dieing country and people.
Defiant to survive in a ring where he is outweighed and out classed.
The only advantage for them are the rules all boxers must follow.

It’s a bout that has lasted decades and is still being fought.
No bullets; well except for that Bay of Pigs thing.
It’s been a battle of wits and defiance by both.

During the Olympics we all used to gather to watch the Cubans box the Americans.
The rivalry they had was electrifying.
The boxing was always the best because the boxers were fighting for more than just an Olympic medal.
More than personal gain.
It was about honor.
Honor, a word that get tarnished with the passing of every day until one day we won’t be able to find it.

Personally and politically I can understand America’s defiance towards Cuba and Castro but I am also confused.
The powers that be in the Untied States over the decades have made friends with some real scum they have had to deal with down the road that were a million times worse than the Cubans but yet these two neighbours who if they like it or not are so much alike can’t put aside their pride and make nice.

In my mind of thoughts I see Cuba at the early stages of becoming what the United States is today democratically.
They came from the fires of revolution as did the United States and did it with the people as did their neighbours.
The only difference was the backers of the revolutionaries.
The United States had France and Cuba had the Soviet Union.

Pride, stubborn pride is what this is all about.
It’s not even about politics I think, just stubborn pride.

Canada and Cuba have always been on great terms and one of our most loved Prime Ministers, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a personal friend of Castro’s.
I still remember watching Castro at his funeral.

I for one will miss Fidel Castro when he is gone.
Not for his politics or his methods, they just suck but for his tenacity and his conviction to make a better place to live for his people, he failed but he did what many others didn’t and that’s try to make a difference for the people and not personal gain, other than leader for life.
The Future of his people will judge Fidel Castro as time moves on after his passing not us.

In my opinion, for what it’s worth, there have never been two better foes than The United States and Cuba.
This is a fued not a war.
The untilmate rivalry, neighbours squabbling.
I'm going to miss it in a way when it ends and it will end one day but I think it would be a greater victory for the United States to extent a hand of friendship to a dieing enemy, a worthy opponent; one that looks you in the eye before he spits in your face and not a back stabber, than to wait to kick dirt on him when he is dead.
We live in turbulent times and we should be making peace whenever we can, then work towards trying to encourage change instead of butting heads all the time.

You’re only as great as your enemy allows you to be.

Have a nice day



kathryn said...

And here I was coming to your blog with silly things like how I said penis on my blog this morning and tee-hee, and called my bladder a bitch...and now I am confronted with my own frivolity and I spelled that wrong to boot didn't I?

Intelligent post....

I notice you have all kinds of flags...and that you can tell where someone has visited from - I see Clyde NC - I wonder if that's me? I'm not in Clyde, but maybe my server is or something technical or whatever...Clyde is quite close to me...

anyway--coming by to say " are you..."

Gypsy said...

Peace and harmony with our neighbours and throughout the world!!! Now wouldn't that be something....?

Great post Walker.

she said...

you might not feel as warmly towards castro had your private property - home, business, land, and assets in banks, etc -had been seized and claimed for the "state". funny thing is "the people" the property was claimed for never saw the spoils.imagine dr. zhivago with palm trees.

you dont see castro's lifestyle because he owns the media. expatriate cubans in the USA have a full time lobby in play with a huge sway on US policy. these people fully intend to go back to cuba and claim their property. and they will have support in the form of precedent in international law.

i agree that it seems odd that the US would embrace other despots while embargoing cuba. again i would note the influence of expats.

are you saying that intention is greater than action? castro failed to make a better life for his people but he meant to and so therefore he is a good man?

finally, i think you are correct that a future Cuba will be vibrant and democratic once they are out from under...much like some of the eastern european nations are now and the free nations of the former USSR.

enjoyed your post especially the boxing metaphors.

Walker said...

kathryn: Yup that was you coming in and i guess thats where the server came from

Walker said...

Gypsy: Yes it would be something if we all got along. It would be easier to find the bad guys for one.
One day it will happen

Walker said...

she: Much of that property belonged to relatives and friends of the president at the time and lands taken from Cubans were given to developers who bribed corrupt officials but thats beside the point.
After any revolution and this was a popular revolution at the time the state decides where the spoils of war go.

As a leader he succeeded in freeing his people but as I said in the post he failed as a leader to move his country ahead.

Yes he hides things and so does every other country.

Yes he has abused people and so has every other country.

Yes he lies and so does every other leader.

Yes Cuba will be a better place when Fidel is gone and democracy sets in but he is the one that set them free when everyone else was taking advantage of them.

Yes his intentions were right he wanted to free the people from Batista's grip and he did that. His approach after was terribly wrong.
He did what his predessesor did but for different reasons.

What would we be saying if he had succeeded and made Cuba the paradise it should be.

But that's not what my post was about.
My post is about shaking hands and putting the past where it belongs, in the past.
I am saying that by accepting people for who they are ia alot better than fighting and trying to reform people who are happy as they are.
Time and integration usually does a better job, less blood to clean up.

I am saying it's better to make peace with the origional participants of a conflict while they are still alive so it would hold more creedence and sincerity.

Two old bulls fighting until one is dead is not a victory, it's a loss because it only reinforces are our desire for conflict.

Peace brought down communism in Russia, not war.
Peace could do the same in Cuba.
Peace brings change, socially and economically.

If there was no embargo against Cuba and everyone got along I bet Castro wouldn't have been able to hold onto power.
Capitalism would have been to powerful for him to hold back but the embargo gave them a cause to fight for.
To prove they could survive.
The Cuban people were the only ones that suffered and still are.

The Troll said...

This is the second time we've posted on the same topic on the same day. Strange, that.

Mine is more straightforward, practical-minded and solution-oriented. But yours had cool metaphors or whatever you call em and was imaginative.

You've got your facts wrong on Batista and the coalition that risked their lives to oust him. Coalition partners who did MORE and risked MORE than Fidel but were promptly shot in the back when Batista fell.

Shot in the back isn't a metaphor. Castro had the real heroes in the Anti-Batista coalition executed. And those executions were PLANNED months in advance.

You give him to much credit for the revolution's success. Batista would have fallen had Castro never been born.

Walker said...

The Troll: I know Castro killed many of those who helped him as any true dictator does.
It's the only way to make sure you don't get over thrown.

I know mostly about Batista through my research into the mafia and of his ties to Meyer Lansky.
He as well murdered anyone who stood against him but his indescresions were overlooked because of his anti socialist views compaired to the alternative.

I know he took power througha coup and was as corrupt as an official can get.

Actually I have heard, not sure if its true but Castro had all prisoners drained of some of their blood before they were shot so he could supply the hospital with some.
As for some of my facts being wrong, its purely possible since alot of what I have learned dates back a couple of decades and is bias to which side the author was cheering for.

Peter said...

The shame is that instead of allowing a democratic election for a new leader, instead they have just swapped one Castro for another one.

Anonymous said...

walker, cuba trades openly with almost every other country in the world including western industrialized democracies....canada, the uk, france, and spain. the bulk of Cuba’s economic problems are due to castros failed marxist policies.

but i do, and did, understand what your post is about so i wont comment further. have a nice weekend


Anonymous said...

i liked your analogies...and personally, i think that the us decides its friends / enemies based on what that country can offer...which is why the us is not off nuking north korea...cuz there's nothing there! unless you want kim's cognac collection or caviar collection and/or porno collection! LOL

Walker said...

Peter: If Castro wasn't so egotistical he would have had elections but like most dictators they think they know the direction to go and before you knowo it they are no better than who they replaced.

Walker said...

she: yes i know Cuba trades with the rest of the world and his failure was in trying to model Cuba like another European country and I am not going to debate his failure because we both agree on that.

Walker said...

JYankee; I think the Cuba USA conflict is more like two children who are just to stubborn to make up.

Patti said...

VERY eye-opening and thought provoking post Walker. I very much enjoyed it.

Stacy used to box, he was a golden gloves champ in the state of SC and his hands were registered deadly weapons. He could get into NO physical altercations and use his hands. True story! So I know boxing is much more than two knucklheads beating the piss out of each other.

nachtwache said...

You do have a way with words and I agree with a lot you wrote, but I won't miss Castro, many Cubans are in jail, eating maggots with their rice, only for disagreeing with Castro philosophically or being Christians.
Trudeau gave us human rights, so now parents have no control over their own kids, kids have a right to make bad choices, parents don't have the right to prevent them from doing so. Criminals seem to have more rights than the victims. You don't have the right of free speech, if someone feels offended. Trudeau wasn't loved by everyone, he set us on a bad course.

Walker said...

Patti : I know a nuumber of boxers and professional matial arts experts and know they is more upstairs than most people believe.

Walker said...

nachtwache: I don;t think many people will miss Castro when he is gone. The question is what will they do with the country when he is gone. It will be interesting to see.