25 June 2008

Dissident Blogger Fidel

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez gets more press than Fidel these days.

On Newspapers, Internet Sites, Blogs, TV, Radio, everywhere you go- it’s Yoani says this and Yoani says that. Yoani, Yoani, Yoani…

All the attention given to Yoani must have made a certain dictator, currently out on FMLA, green with envy-or is green from liver failure? No Matter.

The former darling of the international press was being ignored, so even he jumped on the Yoani bandwagon in hopes of regaining some of his lost notoriety. He decided to attack Yoani and managed to make Yoani even more famous even as he made himself more infamous.

Compañero Fidel’s approach to blogging had been to comment on international affairs and world events from his own unique perspective on the pages of his newspapers, Granma and Juventud Rebelde. His sermonic rants not only attacked the hegemony of individual freedom and choice originating in the “Empire” directly due North, but exalted the virtues of the collective misery he brought to Cuba and fought so hard to keep in place. Fidel, no fool, ignored the calls from his little half brother Raul to debate and come up with possible solutions to Cuba’s collective mess published in the same pages. The obvious solution, was, is and always will be not for up for discussion.

Maybe, rather than read the foreign press looking for blogging material, Fidel decided to read his own propaganda sheet, the one he force-feeds to the "masses." In it he found that concessions had been made, deals reached, egalitarianism breached, Fidelismo challenged.

And so Fidel, in the ultimate “if you can’t beat them, join them” move seems to have become, like Yoani, a dissident blogger.

He has taken his act to the internet-where the regular Juan Q. Publico on the Cuban street can’t read his musings-and has started to critisize his brother’s policies.

His first dissenting blog entry on Cubadebate was to trash the European Union for its hypocrital symbolic sanction lifting-just like the rest of the dissidents and dissident bloggers. His brother’s “government” had worked hard to ensure Spain’s cooperation and representation in Brussels. Fidel totally undermined his brother’s policies and publically humiliated Raul and the Spanish with his “diatribe.”

That got everyone’s attention. While he had their attention, Fidel went on to inform the world- that there was no rift in the Cuban Communist Party-of which he’s still Chairman. In this entry, what he’s saying is that it’s the party that rules, not Raul, and that no dissent is allowed-unless he’s doing it. He even threatened to stop blogging and watching sports on TV and devote that time to “other matters”. That’s a threat.

Today I read that the Chinese Communist Party’s head enforcer, He Guoqiang, who is visiting Cuba, had met with Fidel. The AP quotes Fidel as praising the Chinese style socialism:

Castro "underscored the advances of the Chinese people and the importance of socialism with Chinese characteristics" during a two-hour meeting with Politburo member He Guoqiang, according to Cuba's International Press Center.

That means that socialism with “Chinese characteristics” is not pure, egalitarian Marxist socialism. It’s not Fidelismo-and therefore not suitable for Cuba. It also means that Fidel is against any policies that recognize market mechanisms to regulate wages, production, supply and demand, dissenting from the small changes that Raul has tried to implement to save the crumbling revolution.

I look forward to read Fidel’s dissents on Cubadebate…unless they throw him in the cell next to Biscet for "peligrosidad."

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