King of the Banana Left

Hi everyone – Val sent me a note that he was feeling a little out of sorts and asked me to fill in while he recovers. I told him I’d get something out before work but Amanda’s got some super topics already posted.

So, I’ll add just a little item – since this is Tuesday, it’s Carlos Alberto Montaner day, and he didn’t disappoint. The terrific Cuban writer who lives in Spain has a new nickname for the emulators of fidel out there in the region – the Banana Left. And fidel, naturally, is their baboon king.

It’s a very good essay. Montaner discusses how countries like Eastern Europe that have shaken communism and renounced it forever in all its forms are now economically well ahead of the countries like Latin America that still admire and worship the banana king. Even though the former got a much later start.

That means castro doesn’t even have to take over a country to spread his calling card: grinding poverty, absent institutions and hopeless misery. All he needs to do is find stupid countries, stupid voters, and stupid politicians to admire him in some way. Just doing that will turn any country into a banana republic almost as poor as fidel’s. When is Latin America going to wise up?

Read Montaner’s wonderful essay here.

That reminds me: this new pope we have seems to see it the same way. Take a look at what he has to say to some banana-left schmuck who tries to litter his banana peels at him:

During dinner, (the banana-leftist) recalled, there was a freewheeling
conversation. “As we talked,” he said, “(Ratzinger) expressed doubts about
whether everything had gone right with the return to traditional

But his qualms did not mean his views about the 1960’s had mellowed.
The cardinal fixed his old nemesis with a wry gaze and said, “Your
Marxist revolution has come to nothing.”

No kidding, banana king.

The rest is here.