The Confessions of a young Fidel Castro supporter

This week as many on the left mourn the passing of Fidel Castro, the memories of the Revolution flood my mind.  I was a young man in 1957, a recent high school graduate and by the standards of that period a true progressive.  Even in those days, just as now, I was a news junkie and watched one of the only three networks each evening.  They were 15 minutes in length in those days.  Of course, the airways were filled with the news of the Cuban Revolution and Castro's effort to overthrown the hated Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista.  Castro was viewed by the media and millions of Americans, including myself as a great revolutionary leader who would free that island nation from the oppressive corruption of an evil tyrant.  But now, history has shown us the cure was worse than the disease.
Yes, as a dedicated believer in that liberal promised Utopian world I wanted to be a part of the Revolution and join Castro on his protracted march to Havana.  But unfortunately, the young ladies of Amite County, Mississippi had other plans for this dashing young fellow with a 1950 Nash Statesman, which had seats that folded back to make a great bed.  So the Revolution  and Castro had to wait.  As the years passed my youthful idealism passed and slowed vanished into reality.  Sometime I wonder what it would have been like to march into Havana with that rag-tag band of conquering heroes (that "Band of Angels" as most saw them) to the cheers of the people.  I suppose for Castro and the young fighters with him their dream had been realized and they did indeed embrace, for the moment, that mythical Utopia!  But a Utopia that would vanish as quickly as a fart in the wind once reality had set in.  When I think of what might have been it is quite sickening...but then I suppose this is the ultimate fate of all revolutions which are begun with the best of intentions. Intentions that are doomed to fail because men are men and not gods. 
However, it must be noted that just as there was Fidel and Che there was Washington and Jefferson.  So perhaps the evil is not in the man but in the ideology---but then it was man that spawned the ideology.  Hell, it's above my pay grade!  I give up!  Which came first the chicken or the egg?
Perhaps the best known song of revolutionary Cuba, Guantanamera.  I must say, I still get nostalgic when I hear this haunting song.

1 comment:

Sandee said...

He was a dictator and a murderer. Plain and simple.

Have a fabulous day. ☺