Will the year 2007
    be a great year?


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Boxing Day:

Hope everyone had a great Boxing Day (for those in America, simply put - a great day).

Today my aunt and uncle from my mother's side came to visit from Toronto. They are Deaf-impaired as well so I was surrounded by Deaf-impaired people all day long and ended up asking what was being said most of the day. When I was not in the mood to be involved with their discussions, I decided to dive into my father's book that he left lying on the coffee table.

I believe my father has been fascinated with socialist countries and leaders such China and Cuba so the book I happened to pick up was about Fidel Castro. I have read about eighty percent of the book so far and have reached the point of Elián Gonzalez and the year John Pope II visited Cuba.

Basically it covers the whole story of Fidel's life and the interesting thing that the book mentioned was when Fidel came to power, the majority of people who fled into exile were the wealthy white people and some with African / Latin ancestry. The second and third wave of emigrants from Cuba to Florida were mainly poor Cubans, doing exactly the same thing Mexicans are doing. At both waves the United States and Cuba agreed on those and the United States realized that too many Cubans were planing on coming so they decided to block them, sending most of them to Peru.

The majority of these poor Cubans did not have anything against Fidel or the Cuban government, they simply wanted to do the work Americans do not want to do and are willing to be exploited by the American corporations for lower than average wage. Their intended plan was to earn money and send the money back. Is all this caused by the embargo the United States has imposed on Cuba for the last four decades? Would the economic and living standards of the average Cubans have been better if there was never an embargo? The economic and living standards of the average Cuban citizen improved after the Batista dictatorship was removed from power.

Another interesting thing was Fidel's primary goal for Cuba was to free Cuba from American imperialism, he was aware that tension would develop between the United States. When he decided to nationalize industries that were mainly controlled by Americans he offered substantial compensation for the land and property seized by the government. The majority of his offers were rejected by the Americans and wealthy people. The image America has portrayed Fidel as a leader who just grabbed land away from their owners and redistributed them to the poor peasants, is completely different than what is said in the book. So technically Fidel tried his best to be fair.

Fidel never considered himself a Marxist-Leninst, but a socialist and wanted to improve the social standards of Cuba. When he came to power, he expected to resume business with the United States and not pose an immediate threat to the United States. With the United States' hostile attitude and refusal to work with an independent Cuba and Fidel's new government, Fidel was "forced" to look for other states to conduct business with and that was the Union Soviet, which was considered a communist state. With Cuba's relationship with the Union Soviet, the United States became even more hostile, forcing Fidel to become more involved with the politics of the Union Soviet. This is where he became more involved with the Marx-Lenin theory and "applied" some, but not all of them to the Cuban government. Fidel made attempts to show that Cuba did not share the same ideology as the Union Soviet and other communist states.

His very first visit to the United States for the United Nations assembly as the leader of Cuba was very interesting. He had the opportunity to meet Malcom X, slept and dined in Harlem with the poor citizens of the United States. All those opportunities occurred because the hotel refused to accept Fidel's money and the United States government refused to invite Fidel when the United States invited all the other nations' representatives for dinners.

I guess I have said too much, there are so many facts that I would love to comment on, but since everyone is busy, I will leave the rest for you to read if you ever get a hold of the book. It is not a complicated book to read, it is very easy to read and have plenty of pictures.

1 comment:

FrecklesFly said...

First time for me to see you read that much in one day :) look like an interesting book, always have loved the variety of histories...however, look like no need for me to read that one..you covered it! :)