A guest post by Asombra:
The sleep of reason produces monsters
I come from a country that self-destructed. It was not a suicide out of desperation or despair–which, however unwise, would have deserved a certain respect. It was certainly not a predictable outcome, let alone inevitable. It was, in fact, so outrageously irrational that it required a mixture of massive deception, infantile credulity, atrocious judgment and shameful shallowness. That dangerously toxic brew opened up an extremely nasty Pandora’s box, and once the demons came out of it, they called forth even worse failings: envy, resentment, covetousness, unfounded ambition, and a perverse opportunism ready to stoop very low indeed.
My country, in short, put itself entirely (and as it turned out, inescapably) in the worst possible hands–lying, evil, destructive hands that would lay waste to its remarkable prior achievements, falsify its history, destroy its traditions and poison its society. It was as if the country had been stripped of reason, insight, prudence and, ultimately, decency.
At the head of it all, even if only the tip of a putrid pyramid, was the Maximum Leader, more absolute than Louis XIV ever presumed to be, but with far less to offer in return. The Sun King made France the first country in Europe, and by extension the Western world, while the Caribbean tyrant made Cuba a miserable Soviet dependency and sank it to a level approaching that of Haiti.
I am increasingly struck by Fidel Castro’s all-around and overriding vulgarity; the manic vehemence; the “guapo-de-barrio” truculence; the self-indulgent verborrhea; the ridiculous posturing in military costume and the beard bit (another theatrical prop); the over-the-top and incessant bullshit act proper of a farsante de feria or a carnival barker; the utterly baseless conviction of his own greatness (aka delusions of grandeur); the complete lack of genuine charm (which is not that of a con artist); the pathological obsession with absolute control and the sense of potency that comes with it; the lack of concern for or interest in anybody except as a tool to be used or a threat to be removed; the complete willingness to sacrifice or destroy anything to suit his purposes, and the total disconnect from the true Cuban ethos and essence as embodied by Cuba’s best offspring.
So how could such a monstrous creature, at best a glorified hustler, EVER have gotten Cubans to buy him at the price he set for himself? And make no mistake, it was all about HIM and what he wanted, never about “the people,” who were merely means to his ends. So MANY lies, repeated ad nauseam in true Goebbels fashion, not only within his fiefdom but outside it–SO many willing accomplices, fellow travelers and useful idiots, even now, after more than half a century of constant, systematic, all-encompassing and spirit-crushing oppression. So what was his price, or rather, his cost? It was Cuba’s life and Cuba’s soul.
Sooner or later, the great majority of Cuba’s best people (including those chiefly responsible for turning the ruined, war-ravaged ex-colony of 1898 into one of the top 3 or 4 countries in Latin America by 1958) left the island and took their talents and their genes with them. It was bound to happen: Why would they stay in a totalitarian nightmare when they could do much better elsewhere? Why would they waste their gifts in a dead-end shithole? Why would they sacrifice their children’s future? What remained, for the most part, was lesser stock–and, naturally, so was their progeny. Hence, progressive deterioration, not to say degeneration, obviously promoted and exacerbated by an aberrant, inhuman and malignant system that pervades and controls everything. What now exists on that island is Cuba in name only–a grotesque adulteration, an imposture, a reanimated corpse that has very little to do with the deceased: Cuba as Frankenstein’s monster.
So why bother, then, over something dead and gone? Very simple: JUSTICE, honor, and remembrance. We, the dispersed remnant of what was, must never forget. NEVER. If we “get over it and move on,” as so many without a fucking clue would have us do, then evil wins, indefinitely, and we betray the sacrifice of our parents, as well as dishonor the memory of all our forebears who wanted the best for Cuba and did what they could toward that end. It’s not about embracing victimhood, but about overthrowing it. It’s about dignity, about overcoming the awful shame of such a fall and its disgrace, even though we ought to be ashamed of it and remain so, as vaccination against a re-infection or relapse. It’s also about rejecting and rising above the Latrine mentality and its tendencies, and not letting all those perfidious bastards, our Cain-like “brothers,” have the last laugh at our expense. Same goes for all the usual suspects in the media, academia, politics, and the entertainment industries. If nothing else, it’s about self-respect, and if we don’t have that, nobody else will respect us–nor should they.
“En el mundo ha de haber cierta cantidad de decoro, como ha de haber cierta cantidad de luz. Cuando hay muchos hombres sin decoro, hay siempre otros que tienen en sí el decoro de muchos hombres. Esos son los que se rebelan con fuerza terrible contra los que les roban a los pueblos su libertad, que es robarles a los hombres su decoro. En esos hombres van miles de hombres, va un pueblo entero, va la dignidad humana.” — José Martí.