24 November 2006


In Cuba they are preparing for “The Parade”. Everyday there’s some kind of story about the blessed parade. Rehersals. The Castro watch. Raul’s “coronation”. Soviet Style Spin as the oppression grows.

Across the puddle in Florida, they are preparing to protect Florida from Cuban Exile's reaction to Castro's death. From today’s Sun-Sentinel:

When Fidel Castro ceded power to his brother Raul last summer and crowds in Miami-Dade hit the streets in celebration, one group of people hit the phones.

The Cuban leader was ill, and because he disappeared from public view, some people thought he was dead. Members of a humanitarian task force coordinating a local response kept in touch by phone and waited for a "trigger point," such as the activation of Miami-Dade's
Emergency Operations Center, to launch their efforts.

That never happened, and things returned to normal after photos and video footage showed Castro was still alive.

But the response in
South Florida pointed to progress.

"If this had happened five years ago, there was no mechanism for all these entities to be in the loop with each other," said Eric Driggs, executive director of the South Florida Humanitarian Network for
Cuba, a group of community organizations, universities and government agencies.

Led by the American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys and the
University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, the network is preparing for a major event in Cuba that could set off a mass migration to South Florida or affect the region in some other way.

Although organizers say they do not know what those events will be, Fidel Castro's recent illness and speculation by
U.S. officials that his condition is terminal mean the network could soon be put into action.

"What happens [in
Cuba] is so important to people here in South Florida. We just need to be prepared for whatever may happen," said Sam Tidwell, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys.

Local, state and federal government agencies have long had plans in case turmoil in
Cuba spills over to the United States. The South Florida Humanitarian Network is prepared to provide services to refugees, organize the collection of donations, provide family reunification services and disseminate information to the community.

In its "Recommendations for Community Preparedness," released in May, the network outlined possible scenarios and its role in calming any chaos.

Rest of the Article Here. Light Holiday reading free from freaking parade updates.

Missing from all the scenarios in the article, was any organization to guide us Exiles to properly celebrate when the day comes. I’ve done some research on Cuban celebratory practices and have not found the guidelines for banging on pots. I believe that back in July when people started celebrating Fidel’s ceding of power, some Cubans in
Miami, “jumped the spoon” and prematurely started banging on pots. The ensuing spectacle embarrassed and upset some in the non-Cuban community. Maybe they can set up another organization with a plan to guide celebrations in Miami in a more civilized and politically correct way.

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