Thursday, August 10, 2006

Love Me Do

The Cuban Government is now targeting those “subversive” satellite dishes that broadcast "imperialistic" news and views from the North, polluting the minds of Cubans, who are among the best-educated people in the world - but obviously untrustworthy.

Forty years ago it was The Beatles, as I mentioned in an earlier post.

Back in the late 1960s, when I was growing up in the town of Banes, the Castro regime decided that young Cubans were being corrupted by imperialist pop groups such as The Beatles. Their decadent music was turning Cuban teenagers into lazy, long-haired capitalists, when they should be turning into true followers of Che Guevarra.

So, while the rest of the world went crazy over the Fab Four, in Cuba we said goodbye to such ideologically suspect tunes as All My Loving and All You Need is Love. No more Beatles for you!

It would be years before their music was heard again on radio – a whole generation protected from … well, from something no one ever quite understood. But then, like now, no one argued with Fidel.

Still, you’ve got to admire the man’s ability to rewrite history – and to get away with things that no other public figure anywhere in the world would.

Six years ago, on the 20th anniversary of the shooting of John Lennon, Castro himself attended the official unveiling of a life-size statue of the most famous of all the Beatles in a central Havana park that has since become a popular spot with Western tourists.

When a foreign journalist in the crowd asked El Comandante en Jefe at the unveiling about the apparent irony of the situation, the reply was classic Castro. The Beatles banned in Cuba? he asked, sounding incredulous. Really? I didn’t know about that! Are you sure you've got your facts right? Must have been someone else who gave that order, you know.

In fact, Castro said, he had always wanted to meet Lennon, adding: “I share his dreams completely.”

A real Nowhere Man ...


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