A Highly Relevant Tragedy
By João Cerqueira
Greenleaf Books, 14.95, 188 pages
In this fictional world, Fidel Castro and JFK are well-matched antagonists, although their feelings about their relationship are decidedly different. Castro views JFK, who represents and leads a Capitalist society, as the embodiment of all the Evils which he led the Revolution to fight. JFK, on the other hand, seems to view Castro (who is in fact the embodiment of the Revolution, and of the Communist Regime he leads) with an amiable rivalry, like he would an opposing football team. Now nearing the end of his life, Castro, although he knows his system is infinitely superior to that of the pig Capitalists to the north, finds himself feeling conflicted. All the abuses and coercions, lies and murders were, he knew, not only justified but absolutely necessary to the establishment of the perfect state in his glorious vision, yet his people still seem dissatisfied. It must be the Capitalist’s fault. To combat this threat, Castro devises a two-pronged attack: invade the country of JFK, and allow capitalist tourism in Cuba. Meanwhile, the heavens watch in fascination, wondering if they should intervene.
“Human beings have an innate taste for servitude and subservience, a strange resignation to abuse, which allows minorities to tame the masses without much effort. That is why those who promise to emancipate them also throw them into the dungeons, as if it were the same thing.
This is the reality, the only social contract possible. Let us not generate needs in them that they are currently unaware of, nor appetites for which we might one day become the food. The people are ugly, dirty, and bad, and all they want is bread and circuses.”
This book has amazing depth and connections that bear repeated scrutiny and investigation. The problems with Castro’s rule are obviously delineated, but the problems with capitalism are also clearly recognized, although the latter are infinitely preferable to the former. There are several themes that are carefully intertwined, and parallels drawn about ostensibly different communities, from Cuba to the United States to a prison, an army, and even a monastery. One main theme seems to be that people would rather be led than think or work to free themselves, no matter what system they are in, even if they find it oppressive. Nothing seems left in which to put faith; the farce and satire are lined with despair. The Tragedy of Fidel Castro is highly relevant to our society today, and I highly recommend it.
Sponsored Review – Gretchen Wagner