Thursday, April 03, 2008

The old man and his DVD

While his brother Raul is moving to allow ordinary Cubans to at least window shop for computers, DVDs and rice cookers (but no toasters until 2010!), Fidel Castro continues to decry the spread of consumerism.

From his comfortable hiding place in Havana, Castro I has sent a rambling, barely coherent missive to a conference of State-approved Cuban artists and writers in which he attacks the spread of what he describes as “imperialist inventions”.
You know, like the compact disc, mobile phones, DVDs and even the online social network Facebook.

“Is there any sense to this consumerist lifestyle promoted by the imperialists?” asks the semi-retired dictator, adding for good measure: “Can we even guarantee the mental and physical health of users of these devices from the so-far unknown side effects of so many electronic waves?”

There is more, of course, about the need to get those greedy, lazy Cubans (presumably such as the ones pictured above by Associated Press in Havana), back on the right revolutionary path.
If not, Castro I thunders, they will become even more rapacious, less productive and gadget-hungry. Yep, it's 1968 all over again. At least in his head.
Of course, it’s always dangerous to read too much (or too little) in what gets published by the official Cuban media, especially in that laugh-a-minute propaganda sheet Granma.

But I think this latest message from Castro I is further proof that the old man really has lost touch with his own people – and that he may not be entirely happy with some of the rather modest “reforms” introduced in recent weeks by his supposed successors.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luis - If it wasn't for all the suffering caused by el loco castro y su hermanita this would read like a far side comic. Love your style of writing - Gracias, Tati

2:57 am  

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