¡Hasta Siempre Comandante!

fidel-castro-1-1480152108The death of Fidel Castro, for me, is a passing of an era. This familiar generation that my grandparents are from, which is the pre-digital age era. I have been thinking of my grandparents lately, for the films I show in class, are full of cultural actions that are not with us anymore. Yes, drinking and smoking are with us here today, but it is not widely accepted, we forget there is media always controlling how you must use your body. For example, in The 400 Blows, by Truffaut, there is a scene where the step-father hits Antoine. Slaps him on the face. The same in the Bicycle Thieves. Discipline by parents, and in the school class room. My students pointed that it is different now. If that happened it would have been in social media, where the whole world would have known. I added that the cops would have been called and possibly the child pressing charges. Also, I was paddled for bad behavior in high school.

There are clearly some issues I have with the policies of Castro. Yet the achievements have to be respected. The rhetoric of Cuban dissidents have merit, yet, there are other parts of Latin America where Fidel’s movement were widely held in high regard. Corporate media in the US will not focus on that part. My grandparents were never political. I don’t think I ever heard them ever say anything in regard to world events in the 70s, 80s or 90s. They were immigrants, who just came here to work. My grandfather, for example, never amounted to anything. He was just there. Working. Like many in San Antonio. Yet Fidel and Che were more respected with family from Mexico. They had more of a political mindset because of the culture. And it was different there than it was over here. They in Mexico looked at the revolution in Cuba as a marker against wide spread capitalism. We are conditioned, that other things are markers. Capitalism, is the main marker everyone forgets. I wonder how long is it till Walmart, Home Depot and McDonald’s begin to fill into the culture of the small island.

It feels like the start of a new era. A feeling of ill-ease, that departure into something unknown and the only way is to tackle it head on. Yet in the end, culture will adapt and the struggle will continue. At the end, my grandparents, seemed at ease. Their hard lives, were at the rest stop before their destination. I guess we all go there some day. That rest stop before our destination. It feels we are already there at the rest stop.

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