Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fidel Castro: "Goldberg, ask your questions about dolphins!"

Now on the spot, I turned to Garcia and asked, "How much do the dolphins weigh?" They weigh between 100 and 150 kilograms, he said. "How do you train the dolphins to do what they do?" I asked. "That's a good question," Fidel said.

Thats' from a hilarious exchange in an intriguing encounter between the Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg and Cuba's Fidel Castro at the Havana Aquarium, where the dolphin show is run by a nuclear physicist ("We put him here to keep him from building nuclear bombs!" Fidel said, and then cracked up laughing), and where we also learn that Fidel doesn't think the Cuban model even works for Cuba anymore. Plus Che Guevara's daughter Celia works at the aquarium as some sort of biologist or veterinarian.

Castro also had this very interesting message he wanted Golberg to relay to Iranian crackpot Mahmoud Ahmedinejad: Quit slagging off the Jews. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything."

Fidel might continue in this train of thought the next time Venezuelan Jefe Hugo "Mossad Is Trying To Kill Me" Chavez stops by for lunch.

It's all brilliant stuff, and it reminds me of the last time we heard about Che's kids, which was also in the context of Iran: As part of the Iranian regime's "global progressive front," co-sponsored by Venezuela's Chavez, there was a conference in Tehran attended by two of Che's kids, Aleida and son Camilo. Things got quickly embarassing when the Guevaras objected to the claims of Hajj Saeed Qassemi, Ahmadinejad's coordinator of the Association of Volunteers for Suicide-Martyrdom. Qassemi said both Che and Fidel were really closeted God-worshippers who wore atheists' masks only to secure Soviet support for their revolution. Fidel tells Golberg: "Sorry, I'm still a dialectical materialist."

This brings to mind an edict handed down by my comrade and fellow central committee member Snoopy, the Goon of the Jews: Che Guevara Is Jewish. It Is Final. To me this always seemed clearly antithetical to the more correctly dialectical argument: Che Guevara Is Irish. it Is Final (See Che Guevara: Father of Revolution, Son Of Galway).

But these disputes are now frivolous. We must prepare ourselves for the coming denunciations of Fidel as a splittist and a wrecker, an idler and a lickspittle of the Yanqui-Zionist hegemony, a degenerated admirer of dolphins and a parasite upon the great backsides of the proletariat.

It is not going to be pleasant.

UPDATE from Yoani, in Havana, on Fidel's admission that “the Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore”: "If my memory doesn’t fail me, they expelled many Communist Party members for lesser or similar phrases, and purged innumerable Cubans who served long sentences. The Maximum Leader systematically pointed his finger at those who tried to explain that the country wasn’t working. And not only were the nonconformists punished, but we were all forced to don the mask of subterfuge to survive on an island he tried to remake in his own image. Pretense, whispers, deceit, all to hide the same opinion that the “resuscitated” commander now flippantly tosses out to foreign journalist."

UPDATE: Fidel retracts, saying he actually meant the opposite of what actually said. I believe this may be an example of what we might call doubleplusungoodthink.


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