Farewell, Fidel

Wow. This morning feels like history!

I just woke up and it’s all over CNN and NPR
already that Fidel Castro has resigned. A half century of communist rule, over. Just like that. Reporters are already congregating at Versailles on Calle Ocho here in Miami, and I am sure when I leave the safe quiet of my home, drivers will be honking their horns in jubilance, and there’ll be an inflated police presence on the street to make sure celebrations don’t get out of control. Or will the response in Miami be more muted and cautious? I’ll let you know later. One thing’s for certain — we are living in interesting times.

I’d love to hear from any Miamians on this — how does the news on Castro make you feel?

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Comments

  1. yes I heard this on NPR this morning…I think Fidel really cared about his country and it would be interesting to see what happens. America is waiting in the cut to put their grubby fingers into cuba.

  2. Isn’t his brother taking over? I don’t think anything will change.

  3. I dont see what is the big deal. He pretty much stepped down two years ago. When I first saw this on the news I thought maybe he had died. Leave it to the news to blow things WAY out of proportion.

  4. MissBruno do you mean our government ,because I live in America ,and I could care less about Cuba or Fidel.

  5. I don’t see how Fidel stepping down will change much in Cuba. Brother Raul Castro is waiting in the wings, and he’s basically been running things for the past couple of years anyway.

  6. The government can’t wait to get their hands on Asata Shakur now!

  7. SoFrolushes says:

    oooh this interesting, as a person with jamaican parentage i always read up on cuba. with all the sanctions america has imposed cuba has far better literacy than america and world class apparently free healthcare. their alternative medicines are top class too

    my only concern is if they move towards european style democracy will it suit the nation and will the education and healthcare go down the pan

    afterall the cuban revoution was about stopping the american and european governments using cuba as a brothel, casino and rich mans toy

    i wonder if any of the miami cubans care about cuba for cubans or cuba for americanised views etc?

  8. This is a sign that Cuban John will get the job!

  9. Esteban Agosto Reid says:

    It is full time that the United States start to employ a new foreign policy paradigm vis-a-vis Cuba in terms of the utilization of carrots as opposed to the antiquated and non-functional stick.Hopefully,the transition from Fidel Castro to Raul Castro will create some window or opening that/which will promote greater dialogue,understanding,and trust on the part of both societies, and hence a greater sense of liberalization and democratization as defined by the Cuban people.

  10. BlackHoney says:

    Can we go to Cuba and spend money now without receiving ugly letters from the government?

    Another thing, will the Bush administration take credit for this?

  11. Wow, BlackHoney I was thinking the exact same thing especially since it could improve his approval rating before he exits the Oval Office as well as assisting Senator John McCain to gain more votes from the Hispanic community. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that any sanctions will be lifted for Cuba until Fidel and Raul are both dead. It would be nice if the United States would have sympathy for the Cubans especailly the Afro-Cubans in spite of their current form of government. Hasn’t the United States helped other countries who don’t embrace democracy? It baffles me that our government is so content to push democracy down the throats of other countries when it barely works for us.

  12. It will be very interesting to see the direction that Cuba takes with Fidel stepping down. I agree about sanctions being lifted. They do nothing but harm the Cubans left on the island. It’s ineffective policy and has done nothing to turn Cuba into a democracy.

  13. maybe its becuz im not american ..that i see no issue with castro or cuba.
    here in our capitalistic societies are quick to convert others to what we think is “best” and always lace all actions as those of democracy and freedom..when in fact most of us live in the same “hell” we assume the cubans are experiencing in cuba.
    its amazing that most ppl are taught here that communism is bad, castro is bad; but never question it. do ppl ever read up on marxism or the basis/ foundations of communism and its not too far away relative socialism…maybe a more socialistic approach is what this country needs for maintaining healthcare and education for all.
    or how about this…why is this country more forgiving to cuban immigrants vs. haitian immigrants leaving their country in far worse conditions. i assume the presumed “dictatorship” is incomparable.
    ill probably be scolded for my views here.but keep in mind im not giving castro a pat on the back, neither a punch. but being on the other side of the fence when it comes to the issue has left me to assume that most of us are not informed of all the issues at hand..and are just fed through the brilliant US education system and the ever trusting media.
    heres are a few fun facts: the cuban government offers over a thousand of scholarships to caribbean students to study for FREE in cuba. and yes, the schools are pretty good. and if im not mistaken..cuba maintains a much higher literacy rank compared to america.
    just something to think about.

  14. I listened today to coverage in the media about the news of Fidel’s resignation.I am a Barbadian and I like Che am aware of the scholarships and other types of assistance e.g eye care, Fidel has offered to CARICOM (Caribbean community). One of my sisters-in-law spent a year in Cuba, so from her stories I do have some insight into the challenges in the Cuban system.
    I have mixed feeling about his leadership but congratulate our Caribbean leaders for their support (at times ambiguous)of him and the people of Cuba. Viva Fidel!!!

  15. Cuba is like David versus Goliath. This is going to be interesting, however, I think free health care, a relatively stable economy, and a 99.999% literacy rate, this is indicative of a government that cares about the people.

  16. BlackHoney says:

    Another question I forgot to ask.

    Do you think Fidel stepped down because Obama is doing so well in the presidential election. I know this is out there but bear with me. Fidel is (was) the longest ruling dictator in the world. He saw the assassination of Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement, the fall of the Soviet Union, etc. Through all that, I would bet he never thought he would live to see a man of African descent actually have a chance of becoming POTUS.

    I suppose it made him realize that the world has changed so much that he should probably step aside and left someone rule. Odds are there won’t be a US lead invasion of the island now. The Cuban-American probably won’t be able to go back and immediately seize their pre-revolution possessions. It was now or never.

    He’s probably on his last leg and taking his last breaths but he can savor his victory.

  17. communism is over because fidel stepped down ? I think not . I expect some play from chavez in the future . Raul was an alcoholic . Fidel is complicated so don’t expect democracy yet .

  18. What I find interesting is the class & color differences between the people that love Castro and those that hate him. The majority of the time, the people that are anti-Castro are the lighter-skinned, Anglo-looking, people of Cubas former upper class, who lost the most when Castro came into power. And, for the most part, those that like Castro and what he has done for Cuba, are the darker-skinned Afro-Cubans.

    Modern-day Cuba has many amenities: Free health care, free education (even medical school!), etc. But it is still a poor country, and Id like to see that change, but hopefully, not become a capitalist country (like the US).

    L

  19. A butterfly says:

    I was in Cuba over the summer….Havanna is filled with black people who LOVE what Fidel (excuse me–the REVOLUTION) has done for the people.

    The white cubans hate Fidel because he shook them (or their grandmama’s mamas and fathers) out of their comfort zones. It’s like how wealthy, white Americans will feel when OBAMA IS THE NEW PRESIDENT. Ashai Ase Ashe!

  20. Whatever happens, I hope that the Cubans decide what is best for them. Be it Communism, Capitalism, Democracy, a Republic, Constitutional monarchy, or some totally new form of government that they have created for themselves. Whatever it is I hope that they make the choice.

    Peace & Blessigs

  21. SoFrolushes says:

    just wanted to add

    the only people who can decide cubas future are cubans living in cuba. if cuba was to follow any world bank or imf initiatives the island would gi downhill. just look to jamaica that used to offer free education but now primary and secondary schools have fees. you have charities to pay for school fees

    i do not wish that on cuba.

  22. I agree with so many posts. I am also happy that (and I assume) so many of us having been educated in the states and taught so much of the anti- castro, and anti-socialist propoganda are awake and understand how a society like cuba has their priorities straight. I hope that jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and the entire caribbean look to Cuba’s social structure, pool their resources, unite, and finally say no to the IMF Holiday inn and the US McGovernment.

  23. Well first off… I hope that E-Fresh is right.

    As far as Cuba goes…. didn’t we already go through this in July of ’06? Of course we did. What has changed since then? The answer is zilch. We can expect the same in the wake of this supposed “big news.” The Revolutionary Armed Forces (RAF) have the island pretty much locked down. They’ve got subsidized oil from Chavez pouring in and plenty of support from Beijing. Oh yeah… and all those tourist dollars- er… I mean euros. It won’t be until ‘Act III’ roles around when Fidel dies (in about 4 years) that any real change in Cuba takes place. That’s when Raul will go into voluntary exile, and the RAF will institute democratic reform at a pace that is painfully slow (from an outsider’s perspective, at least).

    One think is for sure…. Cubans’ opinions of Fidel Castro and the Revolution cannot be reduced to ‘black vs. white’ as several posts suggest. I’ve spent months and months in Cuba over the last several years, and I would never say that “Havana is filled with black people who LOVE what Fidel has done for the people.” Most of my black friends (although Afro-Cuban would probably be a better way of putting it, since exporting U.S. notions of race is problematic for a variety of reasons) do not appreciate being stopped and asked for ID over and over and over again just for walking in tourist areas. Crackdowns on hip-hop festivals also throw into question Cuban leaders commitment to Afro-Cuban empowerment and equality. The fact that Revolutionary leaders have almost unilaterally been white males for the last 49 years is yet another thing that many Cubans of African descent (not to mention women) look to as one of the ways that the Revolution has failed them.

  24. Butteryfly says: “The white cubans hate Fidel because he shook them (or their grandmama’s mamas and fathers) out of their comfort zones. It’s like how wealthy, white Americans will feel when OBAMA IS THE NEW PRESIDENT.”

    Wow, what a stereotype! I know SO many wealthy white Americans who are wild about Obama and are supporting his campaign with money, phone calls, door to door canvassing, etc. If you look at the stats, it’s the blue collar white Americans who are more likely to vote for Hillary or McCain.

  25. I’m disappointed I’m not back home in Miami to get a feel of the reactions to his resignation. I, for one, am both excited and worried about what the future brings for Cubans in Cuba as well as Cuban immigrants all around the world. But I don’t think any major changes will be seen in the near future, as his brother will maintain most of Fidel’s regulations. I’m bothered about this idea that America can’t wait to get their hands on Cuba. Maybe our government can’t, but I feel many Americans have a skewed idea of our government’s potential power in Cuba. It ain’t that strong. And I ain’t worried about Assata. She’ll be fine.

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