Saluting…

first_img…el CommandanteIt’s a supreme irony that Fidel Castro, the man who for over fifty years rejected bourgeois values, died on US “Black Friday” – a day epitomising the capitalist drive to squeeze the last penny from the workers through fetishizing bourgeois consumerism. But then the irony was probably lost when American designers from the sixties onwards made Castro’s “anti-bourgeois” military fatigues into a chic fashion statement. Banana Republic, anyone?Castro was one of the last real “revolutionaries”. Not just a revolutionary to overthrow a repressive government – even though that’s nothing to scoff at. Not just a revolutionary to bring poor Cubans of African descent into the cities and install them into the posh homes of the departed ruling strata who’d departed to Florida…and helped to break the racial segregation that’d prevailed up to then.Not just a revolutionary who insisted education must be available all the way to university and medical schools – absolutely free. And ditto on free medical care to one and all. Not just a revolutionary to remove the exclusivism and elitism from medical schools to train and export doctors to all Latin America and Africa. Not just a revolutionary who insisted all jobs are of equal dignity and workers must be paid so as not to create class differences.No. Castro was a revolutionary who believed that there could be a total transformation of the human psyche so that folks would be able to accept the egalitarianism he insisted was necessary for a just society. From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs. And we know in this he failed – because so many Cubans are just raring to enjoy the spoils of the consumer society and the inequalities that go with it – even though by all the measures mentioned above, Cuba’s done better than any other society in the Caribbean.But Castro really “failed” because of two factors. First there was the economic embargo imposed since 1960 and is still in place. Who can predict where Cuba would’ve been today if it could import spare parts for its industrial base during those fifty+ years? Then there’s the TV programmes from the US that’s beamed into Cuba which flaunts the “good life” in that society. Who supports Castro to mention the US and the “developed world” are able to enjoy that sybaritic lifestyle because of their historic exploitation of the Third World?Most commentators predict that with the passing of Fidel and then of his brother Raul, the new generation of Cuban leaders will go the way of China and graft a capitalist economy onto a socialist society.But Castro must be saluted for fighting the good fight.…a principled stanceYou gotta hand it to Juan Edgehill for sticking to his guns in the obvious attempt to bully him into submission in Parliament. Here it is… over a year ago he calculated the Guyanese tax payers would be set back a Billion dollars over the government’s 5-year term to deal with the 50% salary increase the Cabinet awarded itself.And for the third time he refused to bow and scrape when he was convinced he was right. Now in the latest meeting of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee – which is being used like the Spanish Inquisition on him, Edgehill produced the figures to back-up his assertion. And the Committee, headed by Speaker Bartland Scotland, were struck dumb! They now say they have to “consider” Edgehill’s submission.But one has to ask why the persecution of Edgehill? Was he correct when he asserted that African-Guyanese who join the PPP get singled out more for “condign” treatment?The PNC-led coalition Government couldn’t possibly be that racist, could they?…the printer’s devil?The Chronic reported that Prezzie called for a return of the glory days when Linden produced Aluminium. Surely Prezzie didn’t say that, did he? Linden produced ALUMINA and not aluminum.Must be that pesky printer’s devil again!!last_img read more