Weekend At Fidel’s
THE FIRST BIT OF NEWS I HEARD THIS MORNING was that Fidel Castro had died. At this point there has been no confirmation on that. What with all of the “Fake News” that is floating about on the Internet Castro could actually still be alive and dating Miley Cyrus.
When I think of Fidel Castro my memory takes me back to the late 1950s when he first showed up on the world’s radar screen. At first he played the role of Rebel Hero and only when he got the reins of power did he drop the mask and show himself to be your garden variety Despot with a taste for blood.
And anybody who tells you different is either still in school or just envious.
One little known and rarely mentioned biographical note in Fidel’s back story is that he once had a tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club. He was a young fastball pitcher and the Pirates were a team in desperate need of young pitchers. The Pirates gave the young Cuban a look-see and…turned him down. The opinion was that, while he had power, he lacked control. That sounds somewhat prophetic to me. Just think – the world might be a different place today if young Fidel had gotten to the Big Leagues and met Roberto Clemente rather than Che Guevara.
“Now pitching for the Pirates – Fidel Castro.”
Over the years there have been several erroneous announcements of Castro’s demise. He has been reported dead more often than Paul McCartney. Who knows – he may have died years ago and it’s been a case of “Weekend at Fidel’s” until today. Looking at him he certainly did fit the role.
Officially, he retired several years ago and turned things over to his brother, Raul. Fidel always did think of Cuba as his own personal property. Raul has been running the show while Fidel has been sitting back and smoking a cigar. Raul has stated that he plans to retire in a couple of years. I have a feeling that it may happen sooner if some of the younger Dictator Wannabes decide to give Raul a 9mm send-off. Cuba has had a Castro calling the shots since 1959 and that has left little room for advancement for the Junior Despots. Retirement for leaders is rare inside the Communist world. Most of them simply disappear from view and start pushing up the daises.
I can just imagine the response to this news in Miami. There must be dancing in the streets. This has got to be news that the people in Little Havana have been waiting to hear for decades. Generations of Cubans have voted with their feet, risking their lives to flee the “Worker’s Paradise” of the island prison called Cuba.
Back in the early 1960s Fidel came to New York to make an appearance at the United Nations. He and his entourage stayed in a hotel in Harlem. They quickly made themselves as unwelcome a runny nose in a spacesuit. He and his roadies upset the hotel management by building fires in their rooms to cook chickens. I guess they didn’t trust “The Colonel.”
So, Fidel is dead.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.