Here and there in America, you'll still find a Fidelista or two consoling each other in the imagined achievements of the revolution. It is a certain form of political Alzheimer's: recalling only what they want to remember. But Fidel's gaunt and haggard face, eerily reminiscent of the visage of Kim Jong Il, tells us that the hope died long ago and that it was murdered not by the U.S. embargo but by the maximum leader himself and by his comrades.
Having never known Fidelismo, the younger generation of radicals in our county have fixed on Hugo Chavez just when his own people are tiring of the by now classic tyranny disguised as populism. They may not have read that the Kirchner couple in Argentina, epigones of the Perons in the same country, having just been delivered a coup de grace in congressional elections, are on their way out. But I heard a few people whining at a restaurant two nights ago about the American-sponsored coup against Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. Now, as it happens, the U.S. was not involved at all with his overthrow. Moreover, President Obama lined America up with the displaced Honduran, who was in the midst of a long term plot against his country's constitution and supreme court on the issue of whether he could have another term which the cardinal rules of his polis say he couldn't.
I started this little reflection writing about Cuba. And that is because there is an intriguing story in this morning's FT about how Raul Castro's is trying to "cast off Fidel's legacy." Please read this report from Havana by Marc Frank. Desiccated and phobic, the revolution still lives...but in fear of its own.