Monday, December 3, 2012

Raul Castro's Racist Grandson

Raul Castro's Racist Grandson / Juan Juan Almeida #Cuba
Juan Juan Almeida, Translator: Unstated

RaulitoI do not mean to criticize children for being children, nor
grandchildren for being grandchildren, I will just talk about a sector
that just because we haven't heard of them, that doesn't mean they are
not full of it. Today I'm answering questions about Raul Guillermo
Rodriguez Castro, the son of Deborah Castro Espin and Luis Alberto
Rodrigues Lopez Callejas.

The marriage of Vilma and Raul was the most iconographic of the Cuban
Revolution. He personified the hero, and she her heroic role of
compañera, volunteer, submissive and party functionary. Four lovely
children were born from the Castro-Espin union, children who in time
became spoiled. The first of the grandchildren, the little Rodriguez
Castro, was a solitary baby, naughty, lively and stubborn, already
demonstrating in his behavior an authoritarian tendency.

Having been born male, with a skilled calculating father, and a sixth
finger inherited through his mother, he awoke in grandfather Raul what
we might describe as a mixture of love, joy and compassion. Raulito
became the favorite. And on more than a few occasions the jubilant El
General presented him with a phrase that provoked mockery rather than
admiration. "My grandson is a marble beauty, a colossus with a baby
face." The general's creativity, although it had improved somewhat,
continued to be invaded by grandiose and epic concepts.

Surely hoping to construct a paragon of virtues, the family made this
little angel a useless mess. So when he was enrolled in "Gustavo and
Joaquin Ferrer" primary school, he walked alone accompanied by an
inseparable flattery and an unbearable escort that cast a disagreeable
spell over boys his age.

Surrounded, or perhaps well-attended by, his scandalous loneliness, he
arrived at "Josue Pais" junior high. By then he was already a youngster
who liked to annoy people and disliked everyone. Allergic to the entire
spectrum of respect, he felt the holy grail of control and enjoyed a
certain morbid knowledge that he featured in others' nightmares.

The eccentricity of the age, plus the constant vision of his family
environment, pushed him to drink, smoke, and to choose paths that others
older than he called "missteps." He adopted a vehemently racist attitude
that at times managed to embarrass his most loyal friends, family and

Out of respect I will not mention the name of the girl who was expelled
from the classroom for being black, or rather, because The General's
Grandson announced his decree that he would not share the same space
with this classmate because — according to him — blacks are not only
ugly and gross, they stink.

By that time, the words "thank you" had been eradicated from his
vocabulary. Quite understandably, Cuba suffers a feudal system generous
with a dictatorial and anarchy ruling elite; no one has to be grateful
for what they believe is rightfully theirs. Nobody learns to say thank
you if they are not truly appreciative.

Ungrateful, unmanageable, and at the precise moment when economics is
the latest hot topic, Raulito, now the presidential escort, decides to
study at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Havana. It is
common, and even reasonable, that high performance athletes study for
degrees in Sports making international competitions their state exams.

Using this same principle, and after some convincing that included
pressure, the rector of the university was left with no options but to
understand that the student in question, tall, blond, with a strong
build and uncouth manners, should be awarded a degree with honors due to
his participation as a special guest at government events. His repeated
absences from class were not taken as a sign of intellectual impairment,
but as support to the national patrimony.

The winds of change blew, the world map transmuted its colors and this
family, by order of their patriarch, needed to be more united. In an act
of humility and sacrifice, Uncle Alejandro Castro, known as the Colonel
with less body fat than grey matter, paired up with an ex-girlfriend of
his nephew Raulito, and so hoisted the flag of the strange family
passion for common property.

So, on Sundays, the clan enjoys the exotic delicacies still prepared by
old Chute (the cook Jesus); and the rest of the week nephew and uncle
review the proper code of conduct for sharing the same woman. It may
seem immoral, but it's nothing new; it is known that Vladimir Ilyich
Lenin and his wifeNadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, went with, lived
with, and were entertained by Elizabeth D'Herenville (Inessa). Sure,
there are differences, the leader of the Bolsheviks, his partner, and
their mutual concubine, were not united by consanguinity.

The boss of the State Security Staff of the Ministry of the Interior,
and some others under his command, feeling threatened by the real
possibility of being cruelly supplanted by a healthy and powerful chip
off the old family block, try with incredible care to ridicule him,
subtly launching a few phrases into the mouths of public opinion:
"Bodyguard 2," "no one knows if the grandson takes care of the granddad
or if the granddad takes care of the grandson," "I have to look after
one and watch the other"… in short, the boy is criticized, but untouchable.

Raulito married, and at the wedding was heard the contagious strains of
La Charanga Habanera, an orchestra that, among others, decided to
exchange talent for the caresses of power. Later he divorced, leaving a
daughter on the way, and making plans for another wedding.

The Castro Espin lineage is like a charitable organization committed to
pettiness where common sense is the least common of the senses. Raulito
is a victim who didn't manage to be different. Today he calls himself a
patriot and a defender of those ideas that perhaps nobly inspired
looting and revolution.

He recreates a sickly ardor to impress the people beneath his social
status. He is paranoid, and has only read some of the alternative pages
of the life of Julius Caesar; he is really convinced that the end of his
grandfather Raul will be reduced to assassination in an act of revenge
on the part of his own bodyguard. To say more would be redundant.

December 2 2012

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