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realclearworld

Have a little champagne…

In light of the latest reports on the demise of fidel castro, whom the Miami Herald is reporting is on his deathbed, Im reposting the following, back from 2006, when fidel castro was reported to be on his deathbed. We all know that we won't get any official confirmation of his death - or his aliveness - until the regime deems it is good and ready, and they can optimize the propaganda value of either, so, I suggest we all take the news of his death with a grain of salt.

Sure, the latest news may add a little spring in our step, and by all means spring away, but let's not get carried away just yet. Let's wait until the bearded bastard gets carried away before getting carried away.

Just in case tho, it may be a good idea to stock up on the champagne. If the news turns out to be true, it may be hard to find in Miami.

La Botellita

There are probably thousands of them. In Miami, New Jersey, Michigan, Texas. Scattered about the country and world just like their owners. Waiting. Silently. Tucked in the back somewhere behind the milk and OJ.

La botellita.

At one point every refrigerator in every Cuban exile home had one. Chilling. Waiting for the day.

Other botellitas have come and gone. One was opened when they took the oath and became Americans. One was opened when a son graduated from college. One was opened when a daughter had their first grandchild. One was opened, perhaps, when reunited with a long lost relative.

But that one botellita, that one bottle that each time they open the refrigerator door serves as a painful reminder, it is still there. Corked. Unopened. Full. Stoic. Still waiting.

Oh, but how glorious it will be! That day. That day when they pop that cork. That beautiful, glorious day. The new dawn! The day that botellita has been waiting for all its peaceful life.

They will rush to that refrigerator with the news still sinking in, still blaring loudly all around. Cheers from outside their windows. Car horns blaring up and down the streets. They'll reach past the milk and OJ, delicately grab that botellita that has had such patience. Such determination. Such anguish. Such patience!

And they will pull that botellita out, stare at the label. Remember the day they bought it. How young they were then. How optimistic. How hopeful. How naive. My God, but how young they were!

"Bring me the glasses!" they'll yell. The special glasses. The expensive ones. The ones in the china cabinet that have never been used. Yes, those. They will set them down on the table. Stare each other in the eyes with indecision, remorse, elation.

Slowly they'll unwrap la botellita's foil. Undo the little wire. Squeeze ever so gently that cork. Slowly. Make the moment last. It has been a long time coming.

POP!

Like a cañonaso. Cannon fire signifying the culmination. Marking the beginning of time.

They will pour its contents carefully. Dont want to spill a single drop. They have been waiting too long to waste it. They want to savor it. Take it in. Absorb it.

They will take the full glass in hand. It doesnt matter if it isnt bubbling all that much. It's from their botellita. The one stored in the refrigerator all these years. Back behind the milk and OJ. Waiting for today. This day. The day of days.

They will raise their glass, look up at the heavens, thank God and then, right before the glass's rim touches their waiting lips, from the most profound and hidden corner of their souls, they'll make their long awaited toast.

Viva Cuba Libre!

Champagne and tears.

15 comments to Have a little champagne…

  • Honey

    I remember reading this. Ugh so many years have passed. I hope Romney is president when Castro is dead.

  • All I know is that it WILL happen, and when it does, I am driving my happy ass down to La Carreta on Bird and 87th Ave, and I am gonna party like it's 1959.

  • asombra

    Party on, but what needs to die is Castro’s work, not the decrepit old bastard. He’s lasted long enough for the junior bastard to consolidate his position, and as long as the totalitarian apparatus survives, it makes no practical difference whether Fidel is above or below ground. To most Cubans on the island, he’s been effectively dead for some time now, and his literal death will have little effect.

  • asombra

    Fidel doesn't deserve to die now; that's too easy and too simple. At this point death is too good for him. He deserves to suffer as much as possible for as long as possible. Let him progressively deteriorate and decay, in every conceivable way. Think of the countless Cubans who died slow, lingering deaths in exile. It’s the very least he can do for them, but of course, he cannot pay, no matter what happens—not even if an enraged mob were to storm his residence, tear him to pieces, grind them up and use them as dog food. There is no humanly possible way to make him pay. But then again, he was never really the problem. He was merely the catalyst, the detonator of Cuba’s destruction. He didn’t sink Cuba; Cubans did that themselves.

  • asombra

    In a way, his death now, at his age, no matter how miserable, is one last mockery, one last insult and slap in our faces. The worst Cuban in history, by far the most noxious and destructive, gets to have a natural death at a ripe old age under the best possible material circumstances, still surrounded by his venomous "legacy," which is very much in place. You do the math.

  • raddoc

    Mockery or not all I can say is finally! My dad died last year and it's a shame he did not see Castro die first. He had a bottle of Havana Club that was mucho years old, and never did get to open it.
    Even though Raul is in charge , Fidel has been an important unifying force and symbol. I think with his death his decrepit system will topple. I can't wait to see a free Cuba-and to actually visit!
    By the way, they used to call us the "Jews of the Carribaen"-because we are smart, hard working, and industrious. I think provided he hasn't smashed or (bred!) this out of us our remaining relatives, Cuba will come roaring back!

  • asombra

    Neither Lenin's nor Stalin's deaths ended the Soviet horror. Same for Mao. Of course the world is better off with such monsters dead, but it's not enough.

  • jorgec

    Looking forward to the day.

  • raddoc

    I'd like to think we are different but perhaps our island compatriots have become sheeple, and since the government is so oppressive and ever present perhaps it will be no different. But let's hope, and relish the possibility. My dad left as a man in his late 30's in 1960-he was in a contra cell and had to immediately leave-our family coming a year later!--I'm no longer a spring chicken myself; seeing it topple would be a dream come true for so many of us. And being able to see with our own eyes the amazing country many of us were born to but never really saw, except through our parents eyes/reminiscing would be enchanting. Of course, what there is now, is not what they saw and lived; but with real "change" maybe it can be a semblance of what was.

  • Gallardo

    I agree, no matter how good it is to see this fraudulent, slavish, destructive, bloody, and egotistical piece of scum finally banish, the death of this national cancer in his personal bed half a century later, while still in power, and while his subordinates work to continue with ease and comfort, is truly an embarrassment.

    We all know there have been many outside elements at play that led to this; but still, Cuba's own miserable scum and complicit dimwits are what kept this trash in place and the question always remains - Is Cuba also going to "play the game" while they wait for their natural deaths or are they going to finally drop their hands and force it all into hell along its Coma-ndante just to pick them back up for cleaning?

  • asombra..."enough" could only be defined as "the last fifty-three years having never happened", so no, there will never be "enough", but for right now, Castro in Hell is a "good enough" start.

  • FreedomForCuba

    Indeed Luis, it is a good start and I take it.

    I highly doubt Cuba will go back to its former glory in our lifetime but, at least we'll witness and enjoy the beginning of the healing process once Fidel Castro leaves the scene (and later Raul). The issue at play will be for how long Raul will be able to hang on to power after the death of Fidel Castro.

    Is going to take generations of Cubans to undo the damage Fidel did to them for the last fifty plus years.

  • "Marking the beginning of time." Yes, the beginning of time after fidel. How long will the little brother hold onto power? I'd settle for him getting some of the pay back they deserve. I'm hoping to see the beginning of time after castro; all of them, and their evil ideology stomped into the dust bin of history.

  • BTW Mr. Prieto... nice piece of writing.

  • Gallardo

    It will never recuperate the last 53 years but Cuba still has huge potential and I feel there could be significant reconstruction in just 15/20 years but only if Cuba falls in the hands of an astute government that truly sets it a goal and creates all the incentives to do so.

    South Korea, Spain, Japan, England, etc, have all been nations that have emerged successfully after wars, economic holes, and huge destruction. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, all elements that created such cataclysm were eliminated soon after their demise.

    Franco of Spain, Pinochet of Chile, and Park Chung-hee of South Korea were all military strongmen that went straight to business creating a solid economic growth and leaving no communist standing before entering a democratic state. In Germany and Italy no fascist was also left standing after WWII.

    The problem I see with Cuba is that, more likely than not, even if the regime falls, all that scum that constitutes the communist party will linger around as they have in Russia, either transforming into a mafia, or as a new corrupt government class (and not the business savvy Batista type). If this happens you can indeed forget it and for a couple of generations.

    The truth is that if Castro had to clean at his convenience to implement his aberrational sect-camp there will also have to be some cleaning to re-implement a republic that will start with right foot. Truth be told, no nation has emerged out of the blue without first being a colony of some kind and no democracy has succeeded without the proper socioeconomic foundations.

    There is also no sense of work ethic in the new generation that has grown under a slavish system with no market economy, were nothing is payed, no one respected, where all must be robbed with connections, and were what is not illegal is mandatory. This too has be taken into account and reformed from a political level for things to take their course.