Columns / Discourse / February 8, 2012

Fidel Castro comes clean: A satirical book excerpt

Fidel Castro, the retired dictator who led Cuba from the ‘50s, to the ‘80s, and back into the ‘50s, has, at age 85, announced the release of his memoir: “Guerrilla of Time.” 1,000 pages long, the memoir focuses on Fidel’s childhood, cutting off 12 years before he takes office. There are no copies available in the U.S., although I managed to smuggle in a few excerpts:

From the prologue: “… I come from The People, from inside The People. Even before I was born I knew the power of The People, the power of social reform. ‘People,’ I called out to my fellow sperm, ‘Do you see how you are slaves to a materialist system of exploitation? Gametes of the womb unite!’ I couldn’t convince them all, but I did turn a few heads. I made them stop and think. They were slower that way, so I beat them to the egg. Brave sperm, all. I never saw them again …”

From page 342: “… On my father’s farm I harvested lessons that you’ll never learn from reading capitalist propaganda history books, English books or times tables. I learned how to stand up. First for myself, then for the oppressed. I eventually learned to walk for the oppressed and then how to make caca for the oppressed. Working alongside the laborers on those hot Havana days, fertilizing their budding crops with my infant fecal matter, I saw how The People work, how The People sweat, how The People give back massages and sing Kumbaya …

From page 686: “… but my banana peeling days were soon over. At age nine, I was kissing all of the girls at school. No one would have found out about it if their young faces hadn’t given it away. The blushing maybe; the beard-burn more likely. So at age ten, I took a razor, and did the brave thing. I shaved my beard. After that, everyone refused to kiss me, including my little brother Raul. He told me my face was even rougher than before. That’s when I learned that even when you think you’re doing right, you can still end up hurting the ones you swore to protect, or maybe even killing them …”

From page 999: “… A young man now, I met Che Guevara. He was even more handsome in person. I will always remember riding on the back of his motorcycle. One year we decided to make a road trip all the way across Cuba. Twenty minutes later we had lunch. On the t-shirt he gave me as a souvenir he wrote: “Liberate Cuba! Have a great summer! Never change!” And that is exactly what I did. And in that order too …

From epilogue: “It was pretty great.”

Ben Lee

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