Here in Miami, itâ€™s the third night of the RaÃºl Castro Ruz era. Although I wouldnâ€™t say the euphoria (or the schadenfreude) has entirely evaporated, calm has returned just in time for everyone to rush to the supermarket to stock up on water and batteries should Tropical Storm Chris decide to spoil any weekend festivities. Only a man as evil as Fidel could pick the Monday before a weekend hurricane to drop dead. Thoughtless bastard.
All kidding aside, itâ€™s been fairly surreal down here. Coverage of the crazy Cubans shaking their booties across several major thoroughfares in Miami has been on all the national networks. We saw hours of videos here. Yes, weâ€™ve danced on Fidelâ€™s grave before, but this time itâ€™s different. It really is. The announcement that Fidel was ceding power — even if it is only temporary — was like watching a coma patient twitch his eyes after 47 years. You simply just donâ€™t sit back and relax when something like that happens. Weâ€™re celebrating and waiting to see what twitches next.
We donâ€™t really pretend to know whatâ€™s going on down there, but fueled on shots of high-octane Cuban coffee, everyone is speculating. Maybe for once they told the truth. Maybe heâ€™s already embalmed. Maybe heâ€™s just in a coma or stroked out in a hospital bed. Maybe â€” as my friend Robert suggested â€” heâ€™s on Calle Ocho dressed as a little old lady, spying on his Miami Mafia funeral. And with RaÃºl missing in action too, the conspiracy theories multiply with each passing hour. Maybe itâ€™s an honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned, backroom coup d’Ã©tat. The possibilities are endless, and I suspect weâ€™ll never really know.
Iâ€™ve rolodexed through a number of emotions these last three days â€” mostly disbelief, grief for family and friends who didnâ€™t live to see this, and hope that the future starts now for Cuba instead of after another couple of years of close calls â€” but I never expected in my wildest dreams to actually be concerned for the Castro butchers. For all the trouble those two have caused I guess I want them to have a more fitting end than gastro-intestinal trouble and some quick â€œdemiseâ€ in a dark hallway. Just what the hell has happened to RaÃºl? Until this mystery surfaced everything had been going according to my schedule of how the changeover was likely to happen.
Itâ€™s almost a traitorous feeling, I suppose. My Mom and most of her family fled their adopted island home within a couple years of the glorious revolution in â€™59. Then again, if it werenâ€™t for the Castros, she wouldnâ€™t have moved to Miami, and I would never have been born, so I guess they do deserve a smidgen of concern from me…or maybe I was just hoping for the better entertainment value of a nice, public lynching.
(I posted a bit about this on Monday night over at Crash Landing, one of my regular blathering haunts.)