A long time ago, a reporter friend in South Florida told me that the City of Miami has for decades maintained a “Castro Dies” plan, filed away next to the municipal plans to deal with hurricanes, etc., to govern the outburst of civic joy expected in reaction to the death of Fidel Castro. Presumably, that plan has been dusted off and put into action:
Most of us Floridians — Cuban-Americans and non-Cuban-Americans alike — don’t remember a time when Castro wasn’t lurking 90 miles off our coast, serving as a useful foil for American politicians and vice versa. He endured 11 American presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama.
Hatred of Castro has been such a unifying political force in South Florida that one wonders what, if anything, will replace it. There was a joke down here about Castro receiving a tortoise as a 75th birthday present and, upon being told that the tortoise has a 150-year life expectancy, lamenting that just when you get attached to a pet, it dies on you. From the Miami Herald:
Now, after surviving countless assassination attempts, communism’s bankruptcy, economic collapse, his failed revolution, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz has passed into history.
This is a moment to celebrate the prospect of a future without Fidel Castro. He should be remembered as the cynical dictator who nearly destroyed Cuba for the gratification of his own ego. Building a free, open and prosperous democracy would be the Cuban people’s greatest, most satisfying payback.
The totalitarian dictator is dead. May his police state and inhumanity be buried along with him.
We’ll see if Castro’s death changes anything in Cuba. My guess is it won’t, at least not right away. Eighty-five-year-old little bro Raúl appears to be firmly in charge. But the party will go on in Miami.