Marxmail list, Louis Proyect posted an article from Counterpunch (September 17 - 19, 2010) by Alexander Cockburn entitled Autumn of the Driveler.
If President Raúl Castro wants to defend Cuba’s record on human
rights, all he needs to do point to the fact that his brother has
not been deposed from his formal position as First Secretary of
the Communist Party, and carted off to an isolation ward in the
Casa de Dementes, Havana’s psychiatric hospital. Instead he has
unstinted access to the state radio and the newspaper Granma.
In both of these media Castro, now 84, has spouted a steady stream
of drivel. Memorable among these forays intonutdom was his outburst of
conspiracism on the sixth anniversary of the Trade Center/Pentagon
attacks with the whole slab of nonsense read out by a Cuban
Castro claimed 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," according to Fidel. "We were deceived as well
as the rest of the planet's inhabitants." All nonsense of course.
There were remains of the passengers on the plane that hit the
Pentagon, in the form of teeth and other bits traced through DNA.
Hundreds of people saw the plane -- people who know the difference
between a plane and a cruise missile. The wreckage of the plane
was hauled out from the site.
Of course Fidel never showed any sign of mental instability or paranoia prior to his 80th birthday. He was just a guy who enjoyed 6-hour long speeches in which "Fidel connects to the people in a way much more profound than democracy. He is the Cuban people. They respond to his every word with shouts, with cries, with drumming, with dancing, with the thousand expressions of the Cuban psyche. Truely Fidel is the Cuban people and the Cuban people is Fidel" (Che Guevara) His long TV appearences would tell people how their island was constantly under attack (true enough), how they had to beware of saboteurs (true enough) and how mistakes had been made , how socialism could not be rushed, and why they had to help make next year's zaffra (sugar cane harvest) the biggest ever. He was just a guy who believed that Khrutshev had made the biggest mistake (true enough, it cost him his job) in his life by not forcing the US exclusion zone on nuclear missiles. "They the Soviets] must press on the button first, goddamit ! The first nuclear strike guarantees a win. So what if the world is reduced to ashes. From these ashes socialism will be born. It is the shame I cannot live with, not the nuclear war !" (Castro in 1962) Anyway, Raul is still as sane as you or me (well maybe not you and me, given that we are for the emancipation of the working class) so it's natural that he should be in charge. By the way, talking of conspiracy theories, how exactly did Cienfuegos meet his untimely demise ? A Havana worker and one of the first leaders of the Cuban revolution, he was, as well as one of Che's friends, the son of Spanish Anarchists who had fled Spain. His politics were Marxist with "Libertarian leanings". He vehemently opposed the rapid infiltration of Communist elements in positions of power following the Cuban revolution. He died in "an airplane accident" in 1959. Since the late 1990s, many new elements have come out implicating Fidel in the mysterious disappearence of "a great son of the revolution".