Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fidel Needs Retirement

Fidel Castro, after he fell ill and handed over practical leadership of Cuba to his brother Raúl, began publishing fascinating reflections in Granma and other publications, and Monthly Review has been republishing them in the "Commentary" section of its Web site. Almost all of them show that he is still sharp as a tack, after all these years, and his criticism of the biofuel craze, which the neoliberal Lula administration of Brazil has bought into big-time, and its deleterious impacts on food prices was particularly welcome.

Fidel's latest, however, is an exception: "The Empire and Its Lies" (Granma, 12 September 2007). The Guardian comments on it thus:
Fidel Castro today joined the band of September 11 conspiracy theorists by accusing the US of spreading disinformation about the attacks that took place six years ago.

In a 4,256-word article read by a Cuban television presenter last night, the country's leader asserted that the Pentagon was hit by a rocket, not a plane, because no traces were found of its passengers.

"Only a projectile could have created the geometrically round orifice created by the alleged airplane," he said. "We were deceived as well as the rest of the planet's inhabitants," he said.

In fact, the remains of the bodies of the crew and passengers of American Airlines flight 77 were found at the Pentagon crash site, and positively identified by DNA. (Mark Tran, Castro Says US Lied about 9/11 Attacks," 12 September 2007)
Fidel has had a long, distinguished record of leadership, and many in the global South, not just Latin America, respect him. So do I. But everyone, even Fidel, needs retirement. The latest reflection of his confirms the need.

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