Crossed off my Christmas list
So, let me share with you the names of just some of the people I have crossed off my Christmas card list for 2006. I am sure there are many, many more. Feel free to share yours.
Top of the list is Gore Vidal.
The publicity-seeking US writer topped off the year with a bells-and-whistles five day visit to Havana where he attacked George W Bush – and heaped praise on the Castro regime, describing the island as “full of life and hope”.
Poor old Gore. Blind, deaf …
Speaking of blind and deaf, let’s hear it for Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
How can such an accomplished writer be so blind to the obvious? Our old pal Gabo turned up on cue in Cuba (again) to mark the belated 80th birthday celebrations for Fidel Castro.
The eternal optimist, the Noble Prize winner told the Cuban media: "What makes me happier is that while I have come to Fidel’s 80th birthday, I will come to his 100th party later.”
Yes, the man has no shame.
Then there is Hebe de Bonafini.
The former head of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who seems to spend much of her time nowadays travelling between Buenos Aires, Havana and Caracas, was a "guest of honour" at Fidel Castro’s birthday celebrations.
You see, for Hebe, some dictators are OK. Better than OK, in fact.
During her visit, she took the opportunity to attack the US while describing the near-death dictator thus: “He is the greatest, wisest, most integral and sincere man whom I have ever met.”
Which goes to show that just because you are old and wear a white hankie on your head doesn’t make you wise.
Gerard Depardieu is off my Christmas list, too.
A Castro apologist from way back, the French actor made the trek to Havana to say Feliz Cumpleanos to the dictator.
"How could I miss this opportunity?” he told the tightly controlled Cuban media. “Fidel, much more than a man, is a great idea. I've been to the island 15 times and always discover new things."
And they are all good, I am sure.
Last but not least, Ken Livingstone.
The Mayor of London visited Cuba this year as a “show of solidarity” with the seriously ill Fidel Castro.
As expected, Red Ken used the visit to attack the US (must be something in the Havana air, I tell you), while describing the Communist revolution as “an inspiration to the world” and "one of the high points of the 20th century".
His trip to Havana cost London ratepayers about 36,000 British pounds.
They should demand their money back. With interest.