Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Fidel Castro Sent to Siberia"

According to the Siberian Times, it's a typical news day in Siberia. Former Ukraine president's son Viktor Yanukovych's "mysteriously" drowned when his vehicle fell through the ice on Lake Baikal which "he should have known was too dangerous to drive on." There's a story about a father who threw his infant son out the window of his apartment while under the influence of a new synthetic drug which caused the man to hallucinate that his home was filled with gas (a passerby broke the child's fall and he survived). And Shilka, the first polar bear born in Siberia in 40 years, is headed for a zoo in Osaka, Japan because the local zoo in Navosibirsk didn't have the 110 million rubles ($1.6 million dollars) to construct a suitable habitat for her (would't Lake Baikal have been suitable enough or is it too filled with humans?).

None of these stories, however, was the leader in today's Siberian Times. The top story was: "Fidel Castro Sent to Siberia." Oh, consummation devoutly to be wished! In permafrost, I thought for a moment, waiting to be resurrected with other mastodons? No, alas, it is his son, namesake and spitting image, Cuba's premier niño bitongo, now 66 years old. (Coincidentally, that is also Prince Charles' age. Well, at least Charles is still the heir apparent; Fidelito is not even the heir presumptive).

Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, scientific adviser to the Council of State and former head of Cuba's (failed) nuclear program, was supposedly sent to Siberia to strengthen "economic and academic" ties between Cuba and Siberia. The story noted Fidel père's special interest in this project.

The story did not, however, mention Cuba's historical ties to Siberia, which actually do exist thanks to that amazing artificer of ties between unrelated countries which nonetheless share totalitarian affinities, the real basis of all "solidarity" and "internationalism" in the Communist underworld. During the 1980s, Cuba sent 30,000 Cuban lumberjacks to Siberia to replace the aging denizens of the Gulag and complete the great work of deforestation begun by Stalin and replicated by Castro in Cuba. That, at least, was the official version of the story. How apt Cubans were for such work in subzero temperatures has yet to be explained, or whether Cuba's prevailing interest in this fraternal enterprise was disposing of yews or disposing of "Jews" (i.e. Cubans).

"Fidel Castro Sent to Siberia" from Siberian Times


Christian C. said...

Here's the most extensive poll conducted inside Cuba since 1959. You might find the results instructive. It turns out Cubans are divided in their regard for the Castros, dissatisfied with the political system and state-run economy, and widely supportive of the health and education systems. Younger Cubans tend to be more discontent than older Cubans who lived through the revolution's earliest stages.

Public opinion is remarkably unanimous in support of lifting the embargo and re-establishing diplomatic relations with the U.S. among the island-based Cubans these changes directly affect (as opposed to embittered Cuban exiles living comfortably in Miami). 97% said restoring relations was good for Cuba and 73% are optimistic about their future.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Christian C.:

I thought I had made some small progress with you, but apparently you are highly susceptible to backsliding.

No legitimate poll can ever be taken in Cuba while the Castros are still in power, just as no legitimate poll was possible either in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. There is no way to quantify the "fear factor" that necessarily skews every poll taken in a totalitarian society.

One would really have to despise Cubans and think them the most perverse and irredeemable people on earth to even consider the possibility that 50% of them have a favorable opinion of either Fidel or Raúl Castro.

Christian C. said...

Those Granma editorials don't write themselves. When I'm in Cuba talking to a benighted, dyed-in-the-wool revolutionary who's arguing, with a straight face, that Cuba is more democractic than Spain because Spain is a monarchy (among other distortions), I wonder if maybe all of humanity is irredeemable. But then I read some Martí, talk to smarter Cuban people, and feel a little bit better.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Christian C.:

Actually, those Granma editorials do write themselves. Devoid of truth or sense, couched in prefabricated phrases and assembled like a crazy quilt, these editorials are in fact an example of mechanical writing. That humans can be so dehumanized as to compose or read them shows that journalism or any other public expression is meaningless in Cuba, devalued as all else of real or permanent value to society.

Believe nothing that you are ever told in Cuba except that which you would not expect to be told.

Vana said...


The first victim of communism is the truth.

Vaclav Havel.