On the Death of El Caballo

WP_20150523_14_52_58_Pro 2After my initial euphoria in solidarity with many of my fellow Cuban compatriots rejoicing over the death of this ignominious man, I feel compelled to share what has subsequently turned into an ambivalence over the passing of this vengeful and destructive man who upended the life of an entire nation and who for 35 days short of 58 years remained tantalizing everyone inside his Gulag and the rest of us, luckier to have found refuge physically outside his failed inferno.

It has become apparent to me that this man’s death really doesn’t mark anything beyond the faint consolation of recognizing that mercifully, evil men aren’t immortal. After my grandparents’ generation passed and all my parents’ siblings and my father died as well, conscious of being next in line, I was beginning to wonder about this monster’s longevity vis-à-vis my own mortality. At the very least, I wanted to outlive him.

However, it’s also sorrowful that his death ends his physical struggles with gastro-intestinal malignancies. He’s now free of stoma bags for the collection of his waste that reduced him to an undignified existence among those at his deathbed who were forced to withstand his repulsive stench, hopefully watching him cringe in pain around the clock. His last breath released him. He’s no longer reduced to the denigrated wretchedness of his decaying body, which makes many like me regret the end of his life. As pejoratively as these images that consoled me over the last eight years communicate many of my very large character flaws, sensing the quality of his slowly expiring, baleful life provided me mean-spirited comfort, the antidote of the life-long agony his existence caused so many millions of us who suffered by the systematic destruction of our beloved country under his command.

Nonetheless, there’s plenty of evidence to assert that his end won’t bring anyone closure over having fled into exile, many as me, young and innocent children. Regrettably, his death will not assuage the hurt of not being raised at home with loving, supportive grandparents and every other close relative we loved dearly, whose death through the years saddened us and made our isolation from our family left behind that more difficult to bear when the news reached us. Surely, it won’t revive any of our deceased family members and childhood friends who died along the way, all equally dreaming of a return to a vibrant, energized cultural existence in the Cuba Castro’s totalitarianism destroyed one institution at a time with bitterness and disdain in retribution for the sins of his mother who conceived him out of wedlock with the man who paid her housekeeping wages. No, his death will not quiet the anguish of six decades, for  good people died and we, the few, were away to witness at a safe distance as our original culture and social structures imploded back home.

A careful observation of the situation and the facts today in Cuba raise my dissatisfaction with this man’s death ostensibly being a non-event. After almost six decades in power, his ideological system of theft, abuse, corruption, repression and annihilation is ensconced and woven into the fiber of the decaying society engulfing my beloved homeland. Alas, change is only possible with a new constitution, a copy of ours in the US, with specific tenets of justice and equality guaranteeing individual, inalienable rights, a respect for private property and an independent judiciary within a system of law and order.

In today’s Cuba, despite the death of this perverse tyrant, power remains concentrated at the top, and at the top sits a ruthless brother-survivor who continues to carry out the same Castro abuse perpetrated against all who raise their voice in dissent. This Castro, as his brother did, perceives change as weakness. As I’ve observed, la yegua Castro is equally as vile and vicious as el Caballo Castro. He understands how any perceived undermining of his authoritarian rule places in peril his life and the life of his descendants, who unlike the rest of their eleven million compatriots enjoy a lifestyle of excesses sipping champagne and munching on Beluga caviar as they cruise in luxury around the world while the rest try to survive in utter despair and misery.

In essence, given the present state of life in Cuba, it would take a twenty-first century miracle to foster change. I’m lucky for living in a country I love, but I confess that despite the mountain of years in exile, there remains a small, secret compartment in my heart filled with very stirring emotions stowed away, longing for a return to my real home someday, even while consciously understanding the depth of Thomas Wolfe’s assertion, especially knowing that my real home was bulldozed six decades ago. Some would label my emotions nostalgic, yet I attribute them to a desire to safeguard at least a small part of the innocence I lost as a consequence of the despair the extrication from my way of life caused me at a very young age.

In closing, though, I leave you with a clear refrain: “May Fidel Castro’s immortal soul wander through hell for infinity and may worse suffering than humans can conceive beset his ever-lasting soul forever and ever.”

About Francisco

Born in Cuba; political exile; American by choice; polyglot; father of four, grandfather of two; occupationally semi-retired; reader; writer; lover of mankind and nature; searcher of truths; hungry for wisdom; open-minded; romantic realist; critical thinker, enemy of despotism, government abuse, and inequality; believer and faithful; social liberal, fiscal conservative; in a quest to unmask the hypocrisy and the corruption enslaving overwhelming numbers of God's creatures around the world.
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7 Responses to On the Death of El Caballo

  1. José R. V Q says:

    Mis sentimientos encontrados sobre este hecho provocaron que no leyera ningún tipo de información sobre el mismo. Leyendo tus líneas y fino verbo encontré la referencia que quiero guardar en mi memoria sobre la muerte del “El Caballo”.

  2. Juan Alberto says:

    Pido perdón por ensuciar tu página con mi grosero deseo para el occiso: que el Diablo le escupa el culo.

  3. Ariel R. says:

    For those of us whose privilege was to be born 1st generation Cuban-American and who have cherished all the sound wisdom and parental advice you have shared with us and many thousands of others over many decades…thank you. My words of gratitude will not fully express nor suffice for people and teachers like you. Fidel caused more pain and suffering, over time, than probably Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini by the simple fact that he lasted longer and was able to carry out his evil inclinations without restraint. No not even the Pope, John Paul II, who with Ronald Reagan helped topple the Soviet Union did “El Caballo” waiver in his “paso”. Not even when the Soviets fell into what is now Russia did Castro’s regime collapse even though it slowed down. His brother and thus Fidel’s influence remains. Though dead he still reigns. It will be up to the Cuban people in the island to pursue the true Revolution and overthrow those dictators and their minions out of their minds and hearts with solidarity and full conviction. The relations between Cuba and “La Yuma”, I believe, will pour money, however much ends up in the State’s coffers, into businesses and movements that will inevitably set the Cubans free. As for those of us, who grew up con “Que pasa USA”, I hope that we will have the chance to help our people grow and move in the right direction. They will need all the help they can get from their brethren. I will not rejoice in his death though I am glad he is no longer around to cause further damage. He was a man like me and I do not want to try God. What I do hope Frank is that you, like many others, will have an opportunity to see your home, even after 6 decades, and give of yourselves for the sake of the Good. May God bless my people.

  4. Silvia F says:

    I second Werner Grob’s suggestion that you should publish this in the Herald or, ideally, in a real newspaper. The WSJ comes to mind. Anyway, you’re on the money as usual, and the gypsy in my soul rejoices at your ending quote. Nothing like a hefty, vicious curse.

  5. HGE says:

    I wonder what William Morgan, Sori Marin, Camilo Cienfuegos, Arnaldo Ochoa and Ernesto Guevara will say to him and he finds out what a debacle and suffering he caused just by being egocentric, paranoid, and ruthless and inept to take an island at the verge of grandiose and superlative growth, happiness. Carlos Alberto Montaner explains it well in La Agonia de las Americas when he compares Taiwan in 1959 to Cuba in 1959 and the disaster that this Idiot caused. OF course he needed the cuban people that he knew very well. Too bad he died in pampers.

  6. Leonardo L. says:


  7. Werner G says:

    I think you should submit it to the Herald.

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