The Aphrodysiacal Turns of Cuban Leaders

Martin Guevara

Raul Castro with Pope Francis on Sunday May 10 in Rome. Photo: Vatican Pool

HAVANA TIMES — People can make us fall in love with them in different ways. There are those who seduce with words, those who use clothing and perfumes, those who spend lavishly, those who are funny, those who are beautiful, those who have personality, those who walk and look at others a certain way, those who use their faces and even those who captivate the incredulous with the dexterity of their lips, tongues, fingers and passion.

There are also those who can make others fall at their feet, after succumbing to the hurricane of their unbridled passion and authentic love, to the excessive shamelessness, the total and absolute disinhibition, the overdose of boldness they exhibit, leaving those smitten so confused that, spellbound, they willingly allow themselves to be devoured by the unflinching Don Juan or audacious Aphrodite.

I have a question for you Fidelistas, followers of Raul Castro, cardboard revolutionaries, fragile de-evolutionists, communists of the Cuban-Soviet type (never true communists) and opportunists who espouse the ideology that allows you to sit in the throne of power without doing any actual work:

Have you been able to forget the constant, fiery speeches, the betrayal of your brothers, the attacks, the executions, the imprisonments, the ostracism, the banishment of those who did not share in the desire to exterminate the United States and its brand of imperialism, those who wanted a system that allowed its citizens to travel, own a small sugarcane juice kiosk or a large clothing warehouse?

Have you managed to forget the humiliation you inflicted on fellow citizens who made their religious sensitivities public, who expressed they had embraced the spiritual world as a set of norms for co-existence, have you forgotten the ostracism and exile imposed on them, forced to join the twenty percent of the population made to leave the country, the harassment you subjected them to for over forty years for the crime of not being dialectical materialists or Marxist-Leninists?

Have you forgotten how you persecuted, banished, imprisoned, banned and alienated all artists who stepped outside the official discourse and did not praise the high leader, the ones who decided to express their own opinions, with their own voice, as individuals and citizens?

Are you having trouble remembering how you trampled and uprooted all individuality from society, how you silenced points of view, not that different from or opposed to the commandments set down by that devouring god that was Fidel Castro, but which simply did not shamefully acquiesce to the whims of the leader?

Have you forgotten how you persecuted, banished, imprisoned, banned and alienated all artists who stepped outside the official discourse and did not praise the high leader, the ones who decided to express their own opinions, with their own voice, as individuals and citizens?

The reason I ask this is simple: there are many people who won’t be able to forget these things so easily.

Some will jump out of their seats, leap back in amazement with a surprised, disgusted, angry or even incredulous look on their faces, when they realize that, without the slightest show of reservation, without asking the victims for forgiveness, the architects of the one-party capitalism Cuba has been drifting towards for years are the same who executed and imprisoned several individuals who merely suggested a rapprochement with the United States.

They will have the same reaction when they note and see that the person who claims he wishes to start praying once again, the person who now feels close to the Vatican and sings praises to the Pope of Rome, is the same person who agreed to ostracize all religious people and allowed serious abuses of the population and authorities who expressed religious sentiments, uprooting all symbols of adoration that were not Marxist-Leninist.

Many will of course be happy with these supposed steps forward, but they will look each other in the eye, speechless, their faces gripped by spontaneous surprise, asking themselves why these policies are being impelled by those who once repressed such proposals with all of their strength, those who destroyed all ties with the United States and the Vatican.

After the surprise has passed and they have sighed with a sudden bout of amorous attraction, the kind shamelessness others provoke in them, with the telling gleam in the eyes typical of spellbound lovers, they will loudly exclaim: “what’s this all about, buddy?”



20 thoughts on “The Aphrodysiacal Turns of Cuban Leaders

  • I will not bore myself by arguing with you about the United States and its various deficiencies. My concern is for Cuba and the people of Cuba. If the Cuban revolution was as you say intended to improve the lives of ordinary Cubans it has after fifty five years under the control of the Castro family regime made little progress.
    It is correct to say that for a percentage of the black population life did indeed initially improve – but the regime itself says that less than 10% of Cubans are black (2012 official census figures). However those gains did not last and the state police in Havana treat respectable black women as if they are jinteras and until two years ago Cubans entering hotels were ejected by security.
    Cubans dare not go on strike or demonstrate as doing either is a quick way of fulfilling the old Monopoly instruction:
    ‘Go to Jail, go directly to jail, do not pass GO, do not collect 200 pesos”
    In Cuba that is the reality!

  • Are you referring to the Castros father immigrating to Cuba from Galicia? No one is immigrating to Cuba now.

  • The Cuban Revolution which was intended to improve the lives of the ordinary Cubans who were voiceless in their own land, had to be protected. What do you call individual rights and freedoms when the American working class has no voice in the say of their country. If they go on strike they are harassed by the police. If they congregate to protest against the financial robbers, they are beaten by the police Is the American brand of democracy the real type of Democracy? Should individual freedom be allowed to over ride the combined freedoms of the majority? We should never forget that the Cuban Revolution, after it was discovered by America that it would not follow in the pathway of the Batista regime was under constant attack. When it was discovered that this was a peoples Revolution, a vicious attack was instituted against it. Like the Haitian Revolution, the first ever Black revolution, it had to be brutally attacked and destroyed. CanThe Castros be more dictators than George Bush who defied the United Nations and launched an attack on the Sovereign Country of Iraq. This propaganda about the Castros being dictators must cease, for, if they were really dictators, America would have supported them fully for this is the modus operandi of America. It is because they are serving the interests of the working class why they are listed for assassination.

  • ?? What are you even talking about?? We’re talking about Cuba, your comments may be more appropriate in ancestry. Com ….and by the way I’m Cuban-Irish.

    And yes, unfortunately, as a child, I remember the horrors of the revolution.

  • It is typical of Galicians to deny their Moorish heritage. We are talking about the Pope so why not the Koran? IC I have to ask you were you even born at the time of the Revolution? Why are you projecting the demands of your ego back in time?

  • My point is that it is incorrect to infer that there have been improvements in land reform, that racism in Cuba is not virulent, and in response to your absolving the Castro family regime for locking up people who did not want to serve in the military. The comparison you made with the UK – which during times of conscription – necessitated by the Second World War and subsequently by the threat of attack by the USSR allowed conscientious objectors an alternative form of service – it didn’t imprison and abuse them as the Castro family regime did. But in your “context and proper perspective” all is forgiven.
    Just in case you jump to defending the USSR, do remember that the threat of invasion of Western Europe was real and that the USSR already held some thirteen countries in thrall. If they tried to break the grip they were punished – remember Hungary and Czechoslovakia? Yes, you can try to excuse actions by saying it was a long time ago, but not in the minds of those who suffered the consequences. But your claim to be putting matters into a proper perspective doesn’t gel with the reality of Cuba. It is the same regime still in power that holds responsibility – no change! Raul Castro Ruz remains a dedicated communist with a bucketful of street smarts.
    As my wife holds a significant position in education in Cuba, I will refrain from responding to your comment except to say that Cubans are indoctrinated from the age of two (yes, 2) and that classrooms and schools are plastered with cult of the personality pictures and quotations.
    I respect Martin Guevara’s views because of his background in Cuba and his obvious family relationship. My views are based as one married to a Cuban and I spend considerably more than half my time at home in Cuba where I am related to 67 people, and am Godfather to a girl now aged four. As I do the daily shopping, I know about the incompetence of the Cuban economy. I have friends there most of whom are university graduates. Their problem is that they cannot earn sufficient to maintain their families as $1 per day doesn’t buy enough food. So, they either have to leave their professions and sell bread or air or get involved in the black market.
    Regarding being interned in the UK, This was predominantly in the Isle of Man. In 1942 I formed a friendship with a Jewish boy in the UK. he and his family had been interned in the Isle of Man for a year prior to release. Peter was born in Berlin and his parents and maternal grandmother got out in 1938. His mother was pregnant, so his younger brother was born in the UK. Our friendship was permanent and as a child and student I received much hospitality from his parents. His father once explained to me the necessity for internment! Peter is dead and the younger brother died last month, but the son of the younger brother now a member of the Methodist faith remains in contact with me.
    Finally, the Castro family regime is not history, it is the reality of today! The people of Cuba deserve their freedom! Would you oppose that?

  • A sultanate….sanctioned by the Koran? Well George, I think we know all we need to know bout you then, eh?

    Your lack of knowledge about Cuban history is profound. We wanted democracy George, individual freedoms, it’s why the revolution ostensibly took place. Democracy George, a concept obviously alien to your experience and beliefs

  • I said very clearly that the UMAPS were an abuse, but I was putting it into context and proper perspective. I agree with the waste of the land – that was a very stupid thing that went on for far too long. But it doesn’t refute the fact that a lot of tenant farmers got ownership of their land whereas previously they had been in danger of being dispossessed at any moment at the whim of landlords. Previously a huge amount of workers were only employed on seasonal contracts and were unemployed most of the year.

    Desegregation doesn’t mean that all racial issues have disappeared. Same is true in the US and South Africa but that again doesn’t refute my point that huge advances were made in the field of education for example.

    Recognition of mistakes has happened with and without the influence of Mariela Castro. People such as Pablo Milanes, Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino and Adela Hernandez suffered at the time but all have positions of influence today. But what is your point?

    Conscientious objectors in the UK were often imprisoned. During WW2 around 6000. Many people who were suspected of German sympathy were interned without trial. In the US conscientious objectors were imprisoned during the Vietnam War, many thousands fled to other countries and many went underground. To be honest I don’t know what I would do – there isn’t an easy solution.

    My beef with Martin Guevara is that he doesn’t allow people to change their view or adapt to changed circumstances. The Vietnam war was a huge mistake but no one in the US has apologized for the deaths of so many Vietnamese and Americans. Everyone just accepts it as history and moves on.

  • “It’s called a dictatorship.” actually it’s called a Sultanate, and is the only form of government sanctioned by the Koran. But I digress, my question was not rhetorical. There are numerous things that could have been done differently, the question is would they have succeeded. In my opinion your suggestion would not have resulted in the gains of the Revolution given the circumstances of the time. But times are different now, and it is true that the Bolivarian Revolution is succeeding across “Latin” America through the means of elections similar to those in the U.S. This is why the Cuban government is considering updating the electoral model of Cuba. What you seem to forget is that Fidel had near total support during the early years of the Revolution from those who stayed who made up the majority of the population, something the U.S. acknowledged. You also seem to speak from the perspective of the last 25 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, dismissing the real and substantial gains that were made under Fidel’s leadership. The question that was asked at the time was not did you support the Cuban Revolution but would your children and their children’s children support it. The Bolivarian Revolution, from Bolivia to Nicaragua, is proof that Cuba is continuing to make propitious moves, so I ask again, what would you have done differently?

  • An excellent article, written with honesty and dignity. Only
    if you are Cuban you can feel how indignant the comments from the Cuban president
    are.

  • As usual, you Marxists paint the revolution as a zero sum game. The choice you paint is US domination or the Castro Tirany and its resulting lack of individual freedom. You seem to prefer the Cmunist jack boot. But this was not a zero sum game. The revolution could have fulfilled it’s original promise to the Cuban people by restoring the 1940 constitution and holding open and free elections, after all that was what Castro promised in numerous TV interviews. Instead he desolved, and forced into exile or prison, the first interm Cuban Cabinet (which he originally installed) and concentrated all power in himself. It’s called a dictatorship.

    What a simple thing to have done differently, eh George? Instead Cubans have no voice, as power is handed down through the Castro family line.

  • Mr. Goodrich, as I am not an American I am unable to argue with you about the US democratic system, but viewed from both Canada and Cuba, it does appear to have major weaknesses. However in the rest of the free world there are other systems and parliamentary democracy is certainly better that the US system – however described.
    So, if Cuba was to gain freedom from the communist one party state imposed by the Castro family regime, there are other better political systems to pursue than that of the US.
    You are right to refer to the totalitarian steps taken by the Castro family regime – Cuba is a Totalitarian state.
    I have to agree with you that the US was and is dead set against communism and I can only applaud them for that. There are those of us who favour freedom of the individual and the rights which we have in being able to participate in these pages because we can access the Internet.
    I share the concerns expressed by Informed Consent, the Cuban people and Cuba are not synonymous with the Castro family regime and communism. Cuba was a beautiful country prior to the blight of the regime, and it will remain so when Raul and Fidel Castro Ruz have descended to join Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, two generations of the Kim family (I assume that the dumpling Kim Jong Un will survive the brothers Castro) Robert Mugabe, two generations of the Asad family Hugo Chavez and the Libyan lunatic in the Socialist paradise.

  • So, UMAPS were only in existence for three years – well that must make them OK.
    In your opinion there has been land reform and I suppose that there is some truth in that. The “reform” has resulted in hundreds of thousands of acres of good agricultural land revering to bush – well done the Castros!
    The “desegregation” of Cuba has meant that my wife and I when in Havana only get stopped on average by the by the State Police once every three days. That couldn’t be a consequence of racism because we are black and white- could it?
    It is good that you recognise that unless subsidized by others, the Castro family regime has been a failure – as demonstrated by the ‘Special Period’.
    Cuba with a population of 11.2 million has 87,000 under arms in the military a similar figure to Canada with a population of 35 million.
    The “huge strides” made in recognition of gay rights are a direct consequence of the chickens coming home to roost in the form of Raul’s daughter Mariela.
    Conscientious objectors in the UK during the period when there was conscription – 1939 – 1963 were obliged to serve in selected essential industries for a period similar to that which other conscripts served in the military forces. What would you have done with them?
    Unless laws are changed, they remain binding – even if they were introduced many years ago. In the free world it is possible to demonstrate and pursue change. If demonstrating in Cuba you are either locked up as a dissident or attacked by the State Police – eg: the Ladies in White.
    Marttin Guevara is particularly well qualified to express views upon the Castro family regime and that is undeniable!

  • What, Martin, would you have done differently? My guess is lost and succumbed to the tyranny of U.S. Imperialism. But it’s just a game and you choose not to play. The struggles of life or death are far removed from your reality. What, Martin, would you have done differently?

  • Another post where you pose an argument that goes nowhere.

    A balanced approach would recognize the huge changes made in land reform, education and health as well as the desegregation of Cuban society along racial lines. Also up until the end of the Soviet era, Cuba had one of the better standards of living in the region. Along with this of course mistakes and abuses happened.

    You talk of the excesses of the UMAPS but forget that they were created as an alternative for people who refused or weren’t trusted to join the militias. People were generally sent home after six months and were paid the same amount as in the militias. The system was abusive and discriminating to gays but the camps were only in existence for three years. Homosexuality was illegal in most countries at the time and gays didn’t have an easy time anywhere.

    Every country faced with an imminent invasion has brought in some kind of national service and has had to deal with people who don’t conform to that system. Look at the way conscientious objectors were treated in the UK or the Japanese in the US. Also you are completely wrong in that the Cuban government has apologized and is making huge strides to rectify the status of gays and reconciliation with Catholics.

    You always seem to think that because something was said or done a long time ago that it is binding for ever more. People and governments change and should change and adapt with the times. The US is a very different country from the one of Edgar J Hoover and Nixon and the Catholic church has also changed. What is wrong with recognizing that there is a progressive Afro-American in the Whitehouse and a progressive Pope in the Vatican.

  • ….and its “anti-Castro” not anti Cuban for Christ sakes! After all I AM Cuban

  • Yes John you are 100% correct. Nothing would please me / us more than seeing the removal of the failed Cuban “revolution” which has imprisoned the Cuban people for over half a century. It’s hardly a secret. A revolution that Castro said was one thing but which in reality was another. Poder popular? ….a sham.

  • And then there are those like you who seem to have forgotten that the United States is and was dead set on destroying the Cuban revolution from the outset just as it did in the 1918 Soviet revolution and in more than 70 other interventions since then.
    The revolutionary government took the totalitarian steps necessary to ensure survival . Now that the Empire is easing up and making the deliberately impoverished Cubans’ lives easier ,PERHAPS the Cuban Leninists will fulfill the democratic promises of Poder Popular.
    It simply was not possible to have a prosperous and normal society because the United States would not allow it.
    That you placed the entire blame for the conditions in Cuba on the victims; the Cubans displays a bias and is, in fact, an incredible lie of omission that is typical of the anti-Cuban crazies in south Florida and the U.S. State Department propaganda which bears little resemblance to reality.
    If you’re shilling for the quite undemocratic U.S. systems to be reinstalled in Cuba after normalization, you are no friend of democracy.

  • Without a doubt, for me, one of best posts I have read on HavanaTimes and I have read very nearly all of them for several years.

  • You Martin have posed excellent questions based on the reality of the actions and history of the Castro family regime. I particularly appreciated the expression “commandments set down by that devouring god that was Fidel Castro”.
    It is time for the adherents of the regime to step forward and answer the questions you have asked. But they will cower down in their rat holes.
    The outside world, much of which is ignorant of the executions, the imprisonments, the banishing of dissidents, the persecution of homosexuals and the religious is now yapping about “rapprochement” between the US and Cuba. Resumption of diplomatic relations is fortunately a long way from rapprochement. I have been opposed to the US embargo because it has been helpful to the Castros, any failure to meet normal requirements having been attributed by the regime to the embargo. It fills me with disgust to see Raul Castro a despot being received by the Pope. Maybe Kim Jong Un another despot will be next.

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