Martes, 23 de Abril de 2019
Última actualización: 01:57 CEST

Nothing but a jeep separates the sublime from the ridiculous

Military guards push the jeep carrying Fidel Castro's ashes. Santiago de Cuba, December 3, 2016. (REUTERS)

In Castro's Cuba, a kind of Macondo in real time, anything can happen. For example, the jeep carrying Fidel Castro's ashes can even broke down as it enters Santiago de Cuba, with the shrine's solemn keepers having to get out of the vehicle and push.

Thus, the supposedly invincible Comandante (allegedly able to survive more than 600 assassination attempts plotted by the "imperialists," according to the fanciful and implausible assertions of his toadies, who never presented any credible evidence of this, because they made it all up) was not even able to complete the Havana-Santiago route: upon entering "the cradle of the Revolution," the Russian jeep carrying his sublime ashes broke down.

Naturally, the means of transport used for this operation could have easily failed at any time, due to its ever-questionable quality. And yet, this was the type of equipment the dictator imposed from the outset of his regime, insisting on bringing it from the Soviet Union and the "socialist camp," spurning, even from before the embargo, vehicles and spare parts manufactured by "the empire" – though he personally always liked them, and actually used "capitalist" makes like Oldsmobile, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes Benz. The inefficient and symbolic Soviet armored Chaika that he sometimes used was only for show, to stay on the good side of his friends at the KGB.

In addition to the unreliability of the Russian vehicle used to transport the remains, the lack of training and competence by the country's transport maintenance professionals was laid bare, as a breakdown was possible even when moving the ashes of the most-hallowed cadaver. What would have happened if the hypothetical "enemy aggression," caricatured during the recently held Bastion 2016 military maneuvers, had been real? Would the "revolutionary" transport have been able to withstand a large-scale enemy attack when even the jeep carrying Fidel Castro's ashes breaks down in the middle of the city, and has to be pushed? Was it really a jeep, or a wagon in disguise?

If something like this had happened in Africa or Central America people would he talking about underdevelopment, or the colonialism that fleeced the peoples of the Third World, or any other favorite theme of the violent left wielded to justify its own inefficiency and corruption.

But, for a country where, according to Raúl Castro, his late brother taught Cubans throughout his life that they could achieve anything they could imagine, it is embarrassing, even pathetic, that the late leader's ashes could not even be carried to their resting place without the vehicle transporting them having mechanical problems.

Incidentally, the phrase "Yes, we can" (Sí, se puede) that Raúl Castro so incessantly repeated at the final funeral ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, with those on hand mechanically echoing him, like trained parrots, was the same as that used by President Barack Obama throughout his presidential campaign in 2008. One would expect genuine revolutionaries to be capable of coming up with some inspirational slogans without borrowing from "imperialist" leaders.

Another point to consider is that when the urn's guards had to get out of the vehicle to push it, the operation's security mechanisms broke down too, as they were forced to abandon their roles as guards, with a whole gang of people required to get the vehicle rolling again.

They say that in Santiago de Cuba many Cubans who worship gods different from the Castro brothers have already begun to point out that the jeep's breakdown was a clear sign that the land did not wish to receive the dictator's remains, and that people ought to shout at the deceased and his brother the same thing Fidel Castro yelled at those Cubans who left the country in 1980 from El Mariel: "we don't want you, we don't need you."

In any case, Raúl Castro should take measures to ensure that during his own funeral the same thing does not happen, when his remains are transferred to the Mausoleum of the Second Front, where his mortuary niche awaits him.

The solution is very simple. They ought to stow away the inefficient Russian jeeps and resort to "imperialist" makes recognized for their quality, effectiveness, durability and performance, like Jeep, Land Rover, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, or any other.