Fidel Castro: ’20 Years of Batista Was Enough!’




Cuban Premier Fidel Castro gets ready to pitch to the first batter as he opens the 1965 National Baseball Championship at Havana's Latin-American Park, in Cuba, on January 31, 1965. (AP Photo)

Fidel Castro winds up.

Met the son of Fulgenico Batista’s finance Minister in 1959 at USC.  Reuben’s dad bought him a 20’s house across from the University.  The Cuban people were great, loving, kind and with a wonderful sense of humor.  Reuben’s cousin Juanito hailed from Bakersfield and also lived with Reuben, from time to time.  All of us were first year students at USC and even though we were Pledging a Frat House,   hanging out with Reuben and smelling that stinky Cuban food, with the left overs in the sink was just too tempting.  Reuben loved talking politics, so when we asked him about Fidel….that wide toothy grin and his wild eyes and brilliant black skin would light up even more.  “Oh Rawnee!”, he would say: “My mom and dad and my sister had to leave Cuba…..before it gets hotter!”  “So Reuben, how did you get this house?  Are you renting?”  “Oh no Rawnee…my papa only buys things so Juanito and I have a place to stay close to the school!” Directly across from Bovard Field…no less!  Don’t get us wrong….Reuben was a very serious guy…even when he was laughing wildly or making jokes!  Reuben knew what Fulgencio Batista had done during his 20 years in Cuba.  Reuben knew the connections between the various crime figures in the United States and the Cuban Government before Fidel.  Reuben also introduced us to our first menudo and jalapeno peppers…..

Having said that:  Fidel Castro has had a great run.  He fought the great toothless Tiger of the North, at a time when people didn’t have a clue about geopolitics.  He tried to make nice, nice with the outgoing Eisenhower Administration, all to no avail.  John Foster Dulles was evidently in the pocket of some very powerful folks.  These things could get complicated, even in an Ozzie and Harriet world…as we know.

Was there visiting in Havana, staying at the Tropicana Hotel, with the parents and rich uncle as a child in 1956, even then the cab drivers were saying “It was bad with Batista – Revolution is coming!”, raping, killing and fire bombing the opposition peonies..  Like Pancho Villa, from the turn of the century, who battled American Troops along the southern border of the United States with Black Jack Pershing and the 2nd Cavalry and Mexican General Juerta…..Fidel gathered his Che and an unemployed American Used Car Salesman and created the Revolution:  “Cuba Si….Yanquis No!”  In the name of Global Social Justice he fought in Angola, Rhodesia, Mozambique  and sent Che all over Central and South America.  Not bad for a little country that almost caused a Nuclear War between the world powers.  How important was Fidel Castro to world politics?  Hey, John Milius made the movie:  “Red Dawn”, in no small part because of Fidel Castro.  “The Motorcycle Diaries” about Che Guevera……set another tone!
Was Fidel Castro the evil tyrant that repressed his island nation?  Was Fidel the Grand Papa that brought education, sports excellence and healthcare to his people?  Was Fidel Castro a Global Revolutionary?  How could Fidel Castro beat back and embarrass  American force to sustain his revolution at the Bay of Pigs…..?  How was Fidel Castro able to use the East West Divide to enhance his own presence in the Western Hemisphere?  Only history and those that know it will be able to tell these stories, either as glowing fables or as diatribes against his likeness and image.  Since the Spanish American War, at the turn of the Century, the United States and Cuba have been connected at the rib, through thick and thin.  After the CIA tried to kill him several times, did he have a part in the JFK Assassination?  Fidel was unique to any leader we can think of….other than Pancho Villa – who said:  “40 Years of  Diaz… is enough!”  Evidently Fidel thought “20 years of Batista….was enough!”  When Jimmy Carter was unhelpful, Fidel made his boat people invade south Florida!   Fidel never stopped thinking out of the box.  Luckily Reagan was able to hold back the tide or Fidel may have taken over all of Central and South America.
One thing is certain now with Fidel’s passing: The Cuban people deserve a expanded future and now have the opportunity to enter the 21st Century, grab a cell phone, repair their 50’s cars and start consumer buying like everyone else.  90 years!  Doesn’t seem possible that Fidel remained in charge for over 50 years.  Hope they can all keep their sense of humor … too!  Cuba Libre!  Cuba Libre!

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.