The One Thousand and 959 Deaths of Fidel Castro
Attending Castro’s funeral
The last days of Castro? Well, after decades of surviving countless real assassination attempts and others constructed to blame political enemies; after boasting of titanic good health that lasted him almost 80 years; after fainting during a speech, being bitten by an “enemy” mosquito, falling over in public, suffering an intestinal hemorrhage, and undergoing multiple surgeries; after many social media rumors of his demise were proved inaccurate by his digital appearances, it seems that Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz will finally take on the last of his deaths. After being the man who held absolute power over a country for the longest period in world history, this death seems the most far-fetched precisely because it is the only one that is real.
- Is it worth-while to focus on the last images and letters coming from the inside of the last living utopia on Earth? Is Cuba by now a contemporary country or just another old-fashioned delusion in the middle of Nowhere-America? A Cold-War Northtalgia maybe? Can we expect a young Rewwwolution.cu within that Ancien Régime still known as The Revolution? I would like to provoke more questions than answers.
- Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.
Since last March, when he was pictured with his family alongside Pope Benedict XVI during his pastoral visit to Havana, there have been no new photos of the Commander in Chief. Fidel is now a ghost traveling through the remains of his Revolution. Since June, the ex-President hasn’t published anything, and his most recent texts have been surreal miniatures that will perhaps be an ironic testament to his public grandiloquence.
The Cuban government’s official website assures us that “Fidel Castro is working together with Hugo Chávez on a book that will be out soon” and that he “keeps up to date” with current events, especially the drama involving Julian Assange and the countries in ALBA (The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America).
Furthermore, there’s no speculation about Fidel on the streets. Focused on adapting to Raúl Castro’s reforms, which tend toward state capitalism– Cubans have forgotten the Big Brother, which is the worst kind of death for a human being.
It looks like we won’t have to wait for the shock of his death to attend his public funeral.
Rev in Peace.
Translation: Alex Higson