Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cuban Pete

It's all over the place this morning: Fidel Castro has resigned. Fark Thread, CNN article, BBC article, a copy of his resignation letter at The Guardian, a brief timeline of key historical dates during Castro's run, more reactions than you can shake a stick at, and a big fat "it's about damn time, Pancho" from yours truly. Damn near 50 years of Fidel, suddenly over. In the end, I have only one question.

Can I PLEASE get a GOOD cigar now?!? Pretty please?!?

I mean really, the embargo has gone on long enough. There's no more Soviet Union to keep them anus-high in WMDs, they're isolated from any real modern Communist power (China, North Korea), and it's the embargo that's causing the steady trickle of refugees to build nearly-always-doomed rafts out of old VWs and inner tubes. Can we please give that up already? Cuba is no longer a threat. Cuba hasn't been a threat for a very long time.

Really, it's just the US Government with yet another example of how it likes to cling to some outdated policies.

But you kids today, you don't have any idea. Cuba, some time ago, was a major player in world events, and some of the stories that go along with it are quite interesting.

After the Revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro actually wanted to cozy up to the United States. The US had actually partially backed his popular movement, and thus helped put him in power. But after an unannounced flight to Washington, Castro was pretty much snubbed by the US Government, turned around and sent home without so much as a cup of coffee.

Not long after, Castro announced that his government would be Leninist/Marxist, allying with the Soviet Union and giving them a launch pad within relative spitting distance of the US.

This escalated to what came to be known as the October Crisis, the Caribbean Crisis, or to us, the Cuban Missile Crisis. During those 13 days, we came the closest we've ever come to full-on nuclear war. You kids today think 9/11 was scary? Try being told that everyone, not just the people in one city, would have to put their heads between their legs and kiss their asses goodbye. Seriously, we were that fucking close.

Granted, I was born after it, but unlike the generation after mine, I have an interest in such historical things. Message!

There's some fun history to be had in there, too, so don't think I'm going to be totally preachy. Did you know that the US Government once considered 'attacking' Castro with a chemical that would make his trademark beard fall off? Yeah! Your tax dollars at work.

Well, when the world finally hears news of the rise of Zombie Castro (which shouldn't be too long now, actually), at least it won't cause a power struggle that could end in a bigger mess. I guess Raul Castro isn't as wacky as his brother, but hey. At least there's a decent transition of power, and kudos to Fidel for knowing when to call it quits.

Now if we could just get a good cigar around here, I'd be much obliged to ya. Obviously, Cuba isn't a threat anymore. Let's finally make good on that Cup of Coffee, at the very least, and while we're at it, a fat corona or blunt of Cuban seed tobacco wouldn't hurt, either. If you think about it, the US's snub of Castro early on pretty much created the problem in the first place, didn't it...

Update: That didn't take long, did it. Of course, Georgie Porgie Fuckwad Pie is all over calling for Democracy in Cuba now that Fidel's bid farewell. Shut up, George, and let the Cuban People determine their own fate. Yes, a Democratic Cuba would be nice, but most certainly NOT with YOUR help...

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