Aug 4, 2006

Castroless Cuba and Fidel's Infidels

An old man is sick. The following highlights a few of the incredibly varied reactions to this news as well as some insight into life in Cuba and for Cuban exiles in the US. While the notion that Castro has been bad for Cubans is fairly universal, there's much speculation about what comes next for the little island with a powerful political punch.

Joy Muted for Cuban Expatriate
But here's what they need to understand: As much I would like to join the crowd of 60-year-old viejitos jumping out of happiness while they wait in line to buy a guava pastelito, I can't.

Castro Hatred Shapes South Florida Life
Miami's Cubans loathe Fidel Castro with such passion that the mere suggestion he was near death this week had them dancing in the streets. But for all their hatred of the Cuban dictator, perhaps no other figure has shaped their lives — and South Florida's culture and politics — more than he has.

Denver Cuban Exile Celebrates Castro's Troubles
Gorgas has harsh feelings for a man she calls a harsh dictator. "I hope the surgeon who is operating on him slips and cuts a little more than he needs," she said. "I hope this is the beginning of the end of Castro and a new beginning for Cuba."

Those Smoking Cubans
How else to explain two days of dancing in the streets to celebrate … intestinal bleeding in a 79-year-old man. If he’s conscious of any of this, I’m pretty sure the dictator would be flattered and strangely gratified... A lot of Miami Cubans are just as crazed with hate as Israelis and Palestinians, as the IRA, as Sunni insurgents, as ETA members. Hence they are dancing like banshees in the street because an old man they hate is sick. Those who are trapped in a bitter past can’t be expected to act or think rationally. Make no mistake, they want to see a revolution now, regardless of the destruction and bloodshed that it might cause. Ana Mendendez struck the right chord: “First, the rhetoric of hate and bitterness has to die with Fidel,” she writes. “Time is passing all the old demagogues by.”

My Cuban Heart
When my auntie and uncle got here in 1980, they had not had an apple, chocolate, or peach in over 15 years. There was none to be had. You get 3 underwear’s per year! THREE! I have a drawer full! AND matching bras! The rice they got from the stores (tiendas) had bugs in it. My mom would tell me that she would boil the rice and let the bugs float to the top and scoop them off. She would do all this without anyone watching her so it would not gross out my dad, brother and sisters. Then she would just not eat rice, because she knew.

Babalu Blog - An island on the net without a bearded dictator
Critical Miami - What happens now?
Stuck on the Palmetto - without Fidel, we might as well be Puerto Ricans.
Infomaniac - That Castro Story
Miami Herald - Total coverage
Washington Post - Cuba's Transition

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