When I was 16, my mom presented me with the complete works of Che Guevera, copies of all his transcripted speeches, and a bright red Che T-shirt, bearing that familiar, empathetic silhouette. When I was your age, she said, Che was my hero. As an adult, my parents’ incessant advice to me, somewhat of a road-worn cat in my own right, is always, Boy, you gotta go to Cuba before Fidel Castro dies and the friggin’ Americans flood the place with new cars and consumer junk. They’re from a generation that adored Trudeau and maintained reasonable hopes of a system recalibrated to suit the needs of the many. They’re not communists. Au contraire, my mom spent over a decade as a politician here in Canada and my dad votes conservative. But they, like their progeny, are politicized socialists in the extreme.
So now Fidel’s on the way out, as far as anyone cares to extrapolate, and his brother’s not the man of the people that this unflappable stalwart of populism was, in an age of elitism. You can almost see the froth at the corner of the mouths of all the Yankee businessmen at the prospect of filling one more little niche economy with monocultural garbage in hopes of causing a miniscule spike in the growth of a market that is in the process of eating itself. Just one more little hit of dirty skag at the ass end of a junkie’s bell curve. Soon they’ll be in there proclaiming the victory of ‘democracy’, bulldozing villages to create opulent beach resorts, broadcasting any kind of advertisement that an analyst decided was a hit, and just generally sucking out the place’s soul through a vacuum called development.
Fidel, I’m not a communist; I don’t agree with half of the things you say; regardless, our sincerest thanks for being one of the only people on this goddamned planet to keep the wolves at bay until now. We love you. Get well soon.
Gracias. Que te vayas con Dios.