Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel Quitting ?

Tom Hagen: Do you know how they're gonna come at ya ?
Michael Corleone: They're arranging a meeting in Brooklyn. Tessio's ground, where I'll be "safe."
Tom Hagen: I always thought it would've been Clemenza, not Tessio...
Michael Corleone: It's the smart move -- Tessio was always smarter. But I'm gonna wait -- after the baptism. I've decided to be Godfather to Connie's baby. And then I'll meet with Don Barzini -- and Tattaglia -- all of the heads of the Five Families...
Robert Duval as "Tom Hagen" and Al Pacino as "Michael Corleone" during the funeral of "Vito Corleone" (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather (1972) (screenplay by Mario Puzo; directed by Francis Ford Coppola).
Fidel Castro, dictator of Cuba, says that he will not seek a new term as "President" or commander of the Cuban armed forces (Comandante en Jefe) when his puppet National Assembly meets late this week. The text of Castro's letter is here.
Until the old bastard is safely dead and buried under whatever gargantuan and tasteless mausoleum the Cuban commies will put him in (who knows, maybe it will even be finished before the regime goes ?) -- he may be "resigned" but he will certainly not be gone. Godfathers don't get to quit anyway. Mr. Castro is First Secretary of the Communist Party, which is the only job that really matters, (save for possibly running the military) and it's not clear if Fidel has given up the party job too.
Mr. Castro, who is 81 years old, has been ill for some time and probably wants to secure his positions for Brother Raul, (at age 77, no spring chicken himself), who is Acting President, Acting First Secretary, Acting Jefe of the Armed Forces, yadda, yadda, yadda, besides being First Vice President. More significantly, he's Minister of the "Revolutionary Armed Forces." I do wonder, though, if Raul and the Minister of the Interior, Corps General Abelardo Colome Ibarra, are on the same page ? General Colome runs the police. If Raul's about his business, he has the arrest lists all drawn up, if not, he won't last very long anyway.
I come back to this question of how much a resignation really means ? Retired Godfathers are so inconvenient. They still have more than a little influence, so they're not quite retired. At the same time, the younger people still active can see that the sick old Godfather is soon to be off for the Great Party meeting in the sky. The old man's influence declines daily, as people try to make their preparations for the future -- but he can still stick his nose into things. As I say, very inconvenient. Who guards Fidel ? Who do the doctors work for ? Who do they obey ? It's rough being an old dictator (Fidel) or the not-quite-new dictator (Raul). Sleep well, gentlemen.


louielouie said...

it appears that EJM I second favorite dictator is in trouble in his home country. oh, pardon me, i mis-spoke, as opposed to mis-remembering, they are all your favorite dictators. i suppose he would be your second favorite person then.
yes, Pervez Musharraf got the snot kicked out of him in the Pakistansville elections. as of course i don't know squat about the paky electorial process, if it even exists, but other blogs think that mushy has got his travel plans finalized.
wait just a sec.....
did i screw the whole thing up when i said mushy was EJM I second favorite person?
how silly of LL.
of course i know Huge O Chavez is EJM I second fave.
EJM I travels in such colorful circles. only a gulf away.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Hmmmmm, well, I guess the all-time fav. would be Franco, as he managed to die still a Jefe. (And he's still dead, BTW).

The acme of skill in the Glorious Dictator business is not to be overthrown or injured by the unwashed; not to have your statues thrown down by enraged mobs; nor the names of the streets named after you, your cronies and family members changed prior to assuming room temperature; not to have your babe mistress publish her tell-all memoirs; nor to have the sticky fingers of the unconsecrated on the funds in the Swiss bank account.

As for Pervez Mushy (I do like that), if he's lucky and takes heed in time -- he appears to be headed for the Riviera or some other place where the local authorities can be given a nice golden handshake to be reasonable about bothersome things like extradition. He can then rusticate away in well-earned retirement, find decent Scotch; write his memoirs untroubled except by an occasional fanatic trying to kill him, or irksome lawyers. (I wonder which is worse ?) Mushy's stock, though, has been a "sell" since he let Benazir back in country -- mistake, mistake.

As for Hugo, he lost serious points, because he didn't study when he took Dictator 101. On the other hand Professor Fidel might have some extra time for remedial education.

louielouie said...

not to have your babe mistress publish her tell-all memoirs;

as i very rarely ever read KoC;
now do you mean to tell us, if that, misty or mindy farrar, or whatever her name is, the one SWMBO refers to as a bimbo, were to write her memoirs, or in her case have someone else write them, that EJM I would not have a rain forest leveled just to get the pulp for paper????
is that what you would have us believe???
i, of course, may not see the sunrise again.

ps: it's just that when you write about dictators your sentence structure and phrasing just flow waaaaaay too easily. it makes on e wonder.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Hmmmm...re the memoir writers, would I have the rain forest leveled to get the pulp for the paper ? Or would I bury the memoir writers under the rain forest ? Decisions, decisions...

As an aside, if you want a fun beer and popcorn film with plenty of Jefes and villians, have a look at The Advernturers sometime. Dictators, evil policeman, revolutionaries, Bergen when she's a babe...if there's a vice in it you haven't seen yet, wait a few minutes.

I'd also recommend Colleen McCullough's The October Horse, which I reviewedhere.