The impressive painful reaction and commitment of the Cuban people due to Fidel’s death has not been hidden. That is why, some news media have consecrated themselves to interpret and devaluate it, before selling the idea of a country mined by uncertainty and discouragement, “no referents”. The diagnosis and then the prophecy that they desire auto-accomplished: “Cuba is so stopped in time that any change that comes, will have to be sudden to be effective.”
Even in psychology they have looked for explanations. It has been said the way Cubans have reacted is not rational, that it is due to a “Stockholm syndrome”, it has been mendaciously suggested that the mourning is obliged, because “if someone drinks alcohol or listen to music in the car or at home, they have to pay a 50 dollar fine”, and the image of the pain provoked by the departure of the Commander has been concentrated in “a lot of old men and women”, as if the young people were not those who started saying “I am Fidel” and shouted it at full blast in the homage at the Revolution Square.
Considering Cuban women and men as themselves, the reporters sent to Havana to cover Fidel’s funeral service were looking for material reasons –hints about pots for cooking rice and refrigerators- but, there is something invisible for them. If they delved a little into the Cuban history to know who was being venerated, they would understand the truth. Then, they would learn about Antonio Maceo who, just with a handful of men and after a devastating war, did not accept a peace without independence and the abolition of slavery; about José Martí who more than offering was asking for help from the emigrant laborers –he got a day of salary a month to arm the liberators of Cuba; about Antonio Guiteras who, when the U.S. ambassadors had authority in Latin America, had the courage to push out one of them from his office; about Jesús Menéndez who forced the only agreement in history on the North American monopolies in favor of the sugar workers. It is logical, none of those referents was transmitted through the media neither constructed by the well paid columnists of the dollar.
Perhaps in the head of the Cubans who give moved good-bye to their leader there is nothing material to remember, but victories they achieved close to Fidel as the return of the five anti-terrorist prisoners unjustly convicted in the United States or the boy Elián González’s return, whom, against common sense, the Commander assured they would bring back.
It is that looking at themselves in a mirror, in an extreme search for clients, shady maneuvering in politics and demagogy, as it is in other societies, and pretending to be an example for Cuba, they are not going to meet Fidel, the Fidel the Cuban people admires.
The Commander’s last pronouncements were, as always, politically incorrect. “I do not rely on the politics of the United States”, he said in January 20l5; “brother Obama”, ironically called the U.S. president when the intentions of his visit to Cuba were undressed. And, with a worthy facial expression of Maceo, he said, “We do not need anything as a present from the empire” and he ratified his Communist condition in his last speech. He was neither ambiguous nor equidistant, he always took sides, he was radical, “extremist”, someone would say, like Martí, Maceo, Guiteras, and Menéndez; that is why he is close to them in the heart of the Cubans, because he achieved what led those to render up their lives.
What do Cubans thank when they pay their last respects to Fidel? Let’s say it, not with the words of a revolutionary, but with the words of one from the opposition who, in an act of honesty that made him finish a radio interview on a station of the Spanish extreme right; he said what anyone who has paid tribute to the Commander during these days knows very well: “When Fidel arrived, succeeded and converted a country of mambo dancing girls, prostitutes, blacklegs, and Americans; he turned it into one of the most important nations of the world.”