11 December 2006

Deciphering Dictatorcizes

Remember the "proof of life" Castro videos where the tyrant was doing odd excersice like movements that Alfredo over at the Cafe Cubano coined dictatorcizes?

Well, since no new videos have been released since then, people have taken to analyzing the old videos.

In today's Miami Herald there's an article detailing some of the different views of why the ridiculous videos were released.

As the head of a Cuban revolutionary radio station and newspaper, there was a time that Carlos Franqui worked a great deal on Fidel Castro's image.

Now he looks at the unflattering photographs and videos the Cuban government has released of the 80-year-old Castro since he got sick four months ago and wonders: What are they thinking? Or rather, what was Castro thinking, for Franqui believes that it is the Cuban leader himself who has been directing the release of the images from his sickbed.

''Evidently, it shows he has lost mental control,'' Franqui said by phone from his home in Puerto Rico. ``If he was in his right mind, he would never have published those pictures.''

And this:

But other Cuba watchers say the images show Castro is willing to pay the cost of
looking frail in public in order to ensure higher goals: letting folks know that he's alive; making them understand his brother Raúl is in charge; and preparing them for the inevitable.

Manuel Vásquez Portal, a former dissident journalist who now lives in Miami, said he believes the government is deliberately releasing unbecoming pictures to prepare Cubans for Castro's upcoming death and the transfer of power to Raúl.

'I would have to assume it's him choosing those pictures, and it's to show he is alive,'' said University of Massachusetts professor Dick Cluster, author of History of Havana.

Dissident journalist Ahmed Rodríguez believes the images also carry a subtle message from Castro to the Cuban people: It ain't over till it's over.

''It's important to show his picture, even in deplorable condition, to keep the people quiet. They can't have people thinking he's dead and taking to the streets,'' Rodríguez said by telephone from Havana.

Rest of Article Here

The Herald article doesn't mention that the 21 yr old independent journalist they quote in the last sentence was taken into custody last week and is still being held.
Whatever the reasons behind the video and pictures, the last memory of Castro will be of a ridiculous old man doing tricks for the camera in an Adidas suit like a cheerleader rather than a revolutionary leader.

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