Sunday, September 12, 2010

2 + 2 = 5, Fidel insists that he was not misquoted but misunderstood?

Can someone out there in cyberspace please explain to me (as if I were a little child) the logic behind Fidel's most recent statement on Friday that though he did in fact say, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” when asked of the "Cuban model" should be exported, that what he REALLY meant was the the capitalist model doesn't work.

I've heard a few theories that attempt to explain his first statement - some quite plausible (see here for a few options) - but no one has yet explained to my satisfaction how saying that Cuban socialism doesn't work was meant to convey that capitalism is bankrupt.

In other words, how does 2 + 2 = 5.

My favorite explanation of Fidel's first "cara dura, tomandonos el pelo" statement was simply that he is helping Raul prepare Cubans for a world of more work, same pay, state capitalism / socialist privatization, and same paternalistic political system.

I think he is also desperately trying to burnish his global image (note that all his interviews are given to the FOREIGN press) as he nears his inevitable demise. Remember, of his thousands of speeches, the most famous boldly declared, "History Will Absolve Me." It looks like he is trying to make sure that it does.

Gays are OK, Jews are great, the US ain't so bad, and, yes, I know that this socialist economics mumbo jumbo was never gonna work.

But, will Cubans absolve Fidel?

To me, his catering to foreign journalists is all quite insulting to Cubans themselves. Who cares what WE think of him and his legacy. His apologies, explanations, and justifications should be directed to his own people. As Ricky Ricardo used to say, as far as the Cuban people are concerned, he's got lots of "splainin'" to do.

Cuba: Castro [tries to] Explain His Words
By REUTERS, September 10, 2010

Fidel Castro said Friday that his recent comment that Cuba’s economic model did not work was badly understood and that what he really meant was that capitalism did not work. Mr. Castro, speaking at the University of Havana, said his words had been misinterpreted by his interviewer, Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic magazine. Mr. Goldberg wrote in a blog on Wednesday that he had asked Mr. Castro, 84, if Cuba’s model was still worth exporting to other countries. “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” Mr. Castro told him. Mr. Castro confirmed that he said those words “without bitterness or concern.” But, he said, “the reality is that my response means exactly the opposite.” He continued, “My idea, as the whole world knows, is that the capitalist system now doesn’t work either for the United States or the world, driving it from crisis to crisis, which are each time more serious.”

Here is Goldberg responding:

First, thank you very much, Fidel, for the kind words. Second, I’m sorry to say it, but I think the expression, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore” means, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” Fidel says that his answer meant “exactly the opposite” of what Julia Sweig and I heard him say. Just as a language experiment, here is what the opposite of his statement would sound like: “The Cuban model works so well for us that we want to export it.” But he didn’t say this. What he said was — well, you’ve read what he said. I’m not sure how this statement –accurately quoted, according to Fidel — could mean anything other than what it means.

To this, I say - Amen. You can rule a country, even invent your own rules of economix, but not invent your system of logic.

(Thanx to Penultimos Dias for the citation).

1 comment:

  1. En qué universidad enseñas?
    Cuál es tu especialidad? cuba y la salsa cubana!!