A couple of “fechas” to remember this weekend

We recall a couple of dates from Cuban history this weekend.

First, the Maine blew up in Cuba on February 15, 1898.   This is from the front page of The NY Times the next day:

“At 9:45 o’clock this evening a terrible explosion took place on board the United States battleship Maine in Havana Harbor.

Many persons were killed or wounded. All the boats of the Spanish cruiser Alfonso XII. are assisting.

As yet the cause of the explosion is not apparent. The wounded sailors of the Maine are unable to explain it. It is believed that the battleship is totally destroyed.

The explosion shook the whole city. The windows were broken in nearly all the houses.

The correspondent of the Associated Press says he has conversed with several of the wounded sailors and understands from them that the explosion took place while they were asleep, so that they can give no particulars as to the cause.”

Second, Fidel Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister on this day in 1959:

“The United States initially recognized the new Cuban dictator but withdrew its support after Castro launched a program of agrarian reform, nationalized U.S. assets on the island, and declared a Marxist government.”

He also closed newspapers, threw people in prison and executed many.   He started the destruction of Cuba that day!

These two events ignited changes in Cuba.

The Maine explosion led to the US-Spanish War and the eventual independence of Cuba in 1902.   Castro’s promotion to prime minister legitimized a man who never wanted democracy in Cuba.

A couple of “fechas” to tell your kids about.

 

The day that Fidel Castro said: “Yo soy un Marxista Leninista”!

We will celebrate tomorrow that day in 1961 that Fidel Castro made it official:

“”I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.”

He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.”

He also noted that communism would be the dominant force in Cuban politics:

“There cannot be three or four movements.””

And that was it!

It happened about 7 months after The Bay of Pigs and confirmed that Castro would rule Cuba as a dictator.  It ended any hopes of a multiparty election or restoration of the freedoms that the regime had eliminated by executive decree.

I should add that people were thrown in jail or executed in 1959-61 for calling Castro “un comunista”.

None of those people were ever released after Castro confirmed that he was “un communista”.

 

Excuse the naughty language, but you’ve got to see these shirts…

Friend and artist Emilio Carnero (a.k.a. Mr. Toxico) is always coming up with great t-shirt designs. These are his latest gems.

Nothing in it for me or Babalú. Just saw this and thought some of you might want to snatch a few up before they’re gone. Apparently, by “limited” edition, he means there are 100 of them.

You can buy yours at ShopToxico.com, where you’ll also find plenty of other Cuba-themed stuff.

Toxico Fuck Fidel shirt