As legend has it, the first occupants that jump off a sinking ship are usually the rats. As Shakespeare inferred in The Tempest, it is a rat’s instinct that leads him to abandon an unseaworthy vessel long before its human occupants realize its eventual demise. So it should not come as a surprise to anyone that one of the fattest rats that has lived in the bowels of the Castro ship of hate, scavenging off the human remains of tens of thousands of Cuban martyrs for the past half-century, has grabbed his guitar and his cash and jumped off the sinking ship, Tyranny of the Seas.
Pablito Milanés–one of Fidel Castro’s most faithful and obedient rats–has decided that the recent events taking place in Cuba foretell the ultimate end of the 50+ year cruise he and his fellow rats have enjoyed. And with the great Castro ship of death taking on more water than it can expel, he has experienced a sudden conversion and decided that he is really not all that crazy about his ship’s captain or his propensity for murdering his passengers. From the safety of his abode in Spain, the Mexican online news service Milenio reports that Pablito the Rat has second thoughts about Castro’s Revolución(my translation, so please forgive any errors):
This past weekend, asked by Spain’s El Mundo (where Milanés has resided the last few years), the founder, along with Silvio Rodriguez, of the Cuban Nueva Trova during the late 1960’s, called for a “condemnation from the human point of view,” the hunger strike of dissident Guillermo Fariñas because “ideas are to be debated and battled, not jailed.”
He was asked what have the revolutionaries done with the Revolution? “They have stayed frozen in time,” he answered. “And history should advance with new ideas and new men. They have turned into reactionaries of their own ideas. That is why I have said there is a need for another revolution.”
When will there finally be elections in Cuba? “I am not a fortune teller” he replied, “but I wish it would be as soon as possible. But more than elections, I want there to be change in Cuba because I don’t believe in elections.”
What type of freedom is Miami? “It is a liberty that Cubans search for with all honesty. Sometimes, many of them do not find it because there is nothing like living in one’s own country.”
For the uninformed, Pablito’s apparent conversion may come across as a sudden spiritual awakening when one considers his decades of obeisance to a murderous dictator. But this conversion was not so much a Road-to-Damascus-type conversion but it was instead brought on by a rat’s strong instinct to survive. Seeing the hull of his master’s ship sinking deeper into its watery grave, Pablito’s rat-sense has started to tingle and he must do whatever it takes to ensure his survival.
His words may convince those who are oblivious to the vile and despicable role rats like Milanés and others like him have played as accomplices to a tyrannical dictator, but the unenlightened will not be able to help him avoid the eventual reckoning he will face when Cuba is finally free. In the end, it does not matter what he says today, or tomorrow–Pablito Milanés is a rat, and no free man wants vermin in his house.