Bay of Pigs II a Success?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Via American Thinker, I have learned that there is some hope that hurricane Dennis might cause political instability in Cuba.

Today [July 8] will be the worst day in Cuba's modern history. Dennis is a worst-case hurricane following a worst-case path for the island. The storm is already punishing Cuba as it moves parallel to the island, subjecting much of the island to hurricane force winds and rainfall totals of 10 - 15 inches, and destroying much of the rich sugar cane fields and other crops. The situation will get much worse tonight when the storm makes landfall, pushing a storm surge of 20 feet or higher onto a long section of the coast. Dennis will pass near Havana, the most heavily populated part of the island. Although loss of life will be low thanks to Cuba's excellent civil defense system, the destruction of buildings will probably be the worst in Cuba's history. Building collapses are common in Cuba without having hurricane winds battering the cities. Dennis will damage or destroy hundreds of thousands of buildings, leaving a large percentage of Cuba's population homeless. Lack of fresh water and electricity will be serious problems, and Cuba's political stability could well be threatened by the scope of what is likely to be its greatest disaster in modern history.
Indeed, given that Dennis made landfall near the Bay of Pigs, Fidel Castro dubbed it the "mercenary Hurricane."

Not one to miss a dig at the United States, Fidel Castro on Friday referred to Dennis as ''the mercenary hurricane,'' because it entered Cuba through an area of Matanzas province that included the Bay of Pigs, site of the 1961 invasion by Cuban exiles sponsored by Washington.

Ever since, the invaders have been called ''mercenaries'' by the Cuban government.

Castro used the description several times while talking on the phone with Daniel Moreira, a Communist Party official from the Bay of Pigs region who reported that Dennis had ''landed'' in Matanzas and was being "fought off.''

On Saturday, the daily Granma reported the telephone conversation under the headline: "The mercenary hurricane was defeated.'"

Aside from the fact that this makes Castro sound completely bonkers, it might be worth noting that his adoring public expected him to anthropomorphize the storm. Says one commenter who apparently resides in Cuba:

Two tyrants indeed, but one will be gone tomorrow.

Havana still has electricity, Cienfuegos seems to have been battered quite badly.

The tyrant that stays will blame it all on the tyrant that left.

Hoping for Castro's downfall in this context is hardly minimizing the tragedy of the hurricane strike. The other day, I thought of the hurricane striking Cuba and realized that the damage would still not surpass what Fidel Castro has already done to that island and its people during decades of despotism. What's worse is that in addition -- and in the meantime -- Castro will act to compound the tragedy.

First off, the natives have a dim view of the "excellent civil defense system" cited above. The following is bittersweet in that it captures both Castro's cynicism and the resilient spririt of the people he oppresses.

I am typing as I am talking to my source. There was a forcible evacuation plan implemented yesterday in Old Havana. Military cars with loudspeakers were used to order people to get out of their houses -many hid- and to board buses and trucks to take them to safety. My source's opinion (and so is mine) is that it was done not for safety, but to control the masses and to not show to tourists [who in some other cases got bus rides while Cubans walked --ed] and journalists the bleak conditions under which Cubans live.

Also, this move automatically puts all the "evacuees" under surveillance and isolation.

My source briefly wandered out last night and this morning. Last night it was blighted, with wind and rain, and no electricity. In my source's opinion the worse is to come today when the sun starts shining again and the buildings start to settle, that's when the danger of collapse is worse.

There were rumors of some building collapses but he doesn't have any confirmation or image. He also thinks that people will start returning today, since the storm exited Cuba by the eastern beaches of Havana, leaving a trail of destruction in the coastal towns.

Now, in a personal slant, the great tradition of the Hurricane Party is alive.

Many people had them, they got together and partied a bit during the hurricane hours. And you know who they mocked. The Devil himself didn't recognize the hurricane as an evil force on national radio and tv. Hey, they said, the evil force have been here for the last 46 years, this is actually a break from it!

On top of that, Castro, in the grand tradition of dictators around the world, will likely confiscate any relief supplies that get sent Cuba's way.
Got an email from "Raices" asking for donations (clothes, medicine) to send to Cuba after the hurricane ... not to sound harsh and uncaring for the Cuban people; but my cousin in Sancti Spiritus just told me that all the donations of clothes that are send to Cuba by the Red Cross or any other humanitarian organizations,are not distributed or given to the people in Cuba, instead, they are sold once a month in special places called "Shopi-Trapo" HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT???
Be sure to stop by Babalu Blog, the "island on the net without a bearded dictator," if you weren't already part of its recent Instalanche.

As saddened as I am that Cuba got raked by this storm, I am glad to see that the spirit of the Cuban people remains undamaged by the real disaster that "governs" their island.

-- CAV

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