‘Those dancing on Fidel’s grave may soon be disappointed’
“Cuba was nothing more than a casino, a bordello before the Cuban Revolution led by the man who died yesterday,”former British MP and host of RT's 'Sputnik', George Galloway, said. “And the people who fled Cuba for Miami, the Scarface generation, were the people disinherited by the Cuban revolution, when casinos were turned into schools and colleges, when bordellos were no more. And they are celebrating for the same reason [that] hundreds of millions of people around the world are mourning. The passing of someone, who … was the star, who made Cuba the coolest place on the planet.”
“There’s no country on the Earth, where more people have been to, or would like to go to than Cuba. And the iconography of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos and the Cuban revolution is really something that’s pretty hard to beat.”
“So I’m afraid that the dancers in Miami, who might imagine that they are going back to casinos and bordellos are going to be disappointed,” Galloway added.
Cuba is like a “bad sheep that got away from the herd,” but become the “hope of the world,” Galloway said.
“It ploughed its own path, it decided [that] though the United States was a mighty super power, and only 70 miles away, that it would be a free country, it would not accept the dictate of the United States. That it would make its own friends in the world, and it would forge its own path in the world.”
“And the reality is Cuba is an amazing success story, not just, as I said earlier, the coolest place on the planet, where everybody, particularly young people, want to go, but the leader in the biomedical field, the children that are born in Cuba have more chance of living beyond their first year than they do in Washington DC. Life expectancy in Cuba is longer than in Washington DC. They have a health service and education service entirely free, and from the cradle to the grave ... on a par with Scandinavian countries. In fact ... [Cuba's] biggest export is not tobacco or rum, but doctors. And every time there’s an emergency, or a disaster, or a tragedy it’s the Cubans who are first bringing aid and sustenance to the people.”
The director of Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Rob Miller, told RT it is “sad” but “understandable” why people were celebrating in the streets of Miami, and that the sentiment will soon change.
“In Miami we have one million Cubans who exiled themselves from eleven million Cubans who remained on the island. And primarily their motivation is one of reclaiming their wealth, their privilege, their plantations, their factories, their very large houses, they all enjoyed before the Revolution [in] 1959.
“I think you’ll see a period of this … celebration, but I think there will be a realization that life has to move in [the] direction of a normal, sensible relationship with the 11 million Cubans who inhabit the island just 70 miles away across the Florida straits,” he added.
“This has been a vicious, nasty period of aggression of the world’s biggest superpower against this small Caribbean nation. And they have thrown everything at the Cubans, everything to try [to] enforce regime change. That includes the world’s media. And even today you’re seeing the world’s media still follow the same anachronistic Cold War line towards Cuba.”
“But yet on the streets of Havana, streets of San Paulo, Quito, across Africa, across Latin America, and even here in London you see people mourning the death of Fidel Castro, mourning that passing of that man, who represented so much, a beacon, if you like, of difference, of different world, of a different way of doing things. And I think at this time of austerity here, in Europe and across the globe people are looking for different ways forward … to participate in politics, to make changes for the benefits of everybody, not just the elite, not just that growing minority who’re eating up the world’s resources for their own self-gain.”
It is understandable that refugees from Cuba have no love for the government, but Cuba is “no longer a threat to the US,” British historian Martin McCauley told RT.
“I think that many of them are refugees from Cuba. They would say they suffered discrimination and perhaps even imprisonment in Cuba before they escaped. So, there is no love lost between them and the Cuban communist regime ... so, there are those in Florida among the Cubans there who strongly opposed the closer relationship with Cuba. They don’t want the Communist party legitimized,” he told RT.
“But Cuba is no longer a threat to the US. Communism is no longer a threat to the US. So, therefore, perhaps Trump will take a more relaxed and pragmatic attitude to Cuba and send his condolences to the people of Cuba on the death of Fidel Castro, because he changed fundamentally the relations between Cuba and the US from 1959 onward,” he added.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.