Sunday, August 8, 2010

Castro 2.0

Are we there yet?

Former(?) Cuban President, Fidel Castro, emerged from apparent convalescence for an August 3, 2010 speech to Cuba's parliament. That, in and of itself is remarkable; however, things got even curiouser and curiouser as he seemed to be simultaneously environmentalist, anti-nuke, anti-war, anti-terrorism, pro-diplomacy, and, perhaps most-astonishingly, pro-wiki.

Wikileaks, any way.

Castro referenced the classified documents available to the world via wikilieaks regarding the U.S. war in Afghanistan. He assured his audience that U.S. intelligence agencies wouldn't able to "hurt a hair on the head" of Bradley Manning, identified as the leaked documents' key source.

Although there is a meandering quality to Castro's speech (which lacks a clear thesis, but not necessarily purpose), it is evident that he tried to convey genuine concern for the future of planet earth. That broader view belies, perhaps, a person hoping to affect change on the macro spectrum instead of using the macro to advance the micro of nationalism. Note this excerpt, liberally translated by yours truly and web translation.

For the first time, I address this message to President Barack Obama:

It is in your hands to offer humanity the only real opportunity for peace. Within your purview is the power to launch an apocalypse, but also the opportunity for peaceful resolution. Whether on the political right or left, American citizens will applaud your efforts, and they remain faultless in these dire events in any case.

This speech signals something -- for Cuba, for Earth. Not that Fidel Castro is going to shake things up for the American Empire, but that Castro is a barometer of just how much technology has changed society, and how society has changed technology, demanding openness, moving dialogues into public forums, and seeking an increase in the quality of ideas we exchange with one another.

It is a strange circle, the grizzled dictator of pro-Soviet Cuba, calling on the allegedly socialist Obama administration, to enact the change promised in those upstart speeches in 2008.

The world waits in the comment boxes for the response.

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