Nov 29 2006
In 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew the US-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
So, what’s he done for Cuba lately?
Cubans traded one dictatorship for another. The island nation still lacks the political and economic freedoms shared by hundreds of millions of people throughout this hemisphere.
Nonetheless, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) has organized a celebration of the dictator’s 80th birthday – Viva Fidel! 80 More Years! – for Saturday, Dec. 2, to take place at a local church. I didn’t know Canadian churches were in the habit of hosting birthday celebrations for repressive foreign dictators.
This is pretty much par for the course in a city where Che Guevara T-shirts are about as common as Lululemon yoga attire. Hopefully, few of the people sporting his image are aware of Che’s legacy as the greatest failed mass-murderer in human history (if he’d had the launch codes instead of the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Miami, New York and Washington would be dusty radioactive ruins).
I suspect, though, that just as the local antiwar coalition cannot find a single immigrant Afghan in support of their protest against Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, there are no Cuban refugees living in Vancouver who will attend this birthday party for a dictator. One can hope, anyway.