Does Donald Trump wannabe like Castro? Does he possess an unconscious Freudian power phantasy? A desire to “bestride the narrow world, Like a Colossus”, as Julius Caesar and Castro hath done? Does he want to do what Castro hath done, unconsciously, in a disguised, altered, sublimated form?
Many things that Castro and Cuba hath done, Trump is now vying for. Here are some.
DRAIN THE SWAMP. Cuba has already drained its swamp: the dictator Batista who overthrew a democratically elected Cuban Government; the US multinational corporations, which replaced the plantation masters of feudal Cuba; the casinos and prostitute dens, playground for the rich. And bourgeois fat. Land was appropriated and passed on to the peasants; and this fat was suctioned off. Thousands fled (not Ted Cruz’s father, who was jailed under Batista, and fled before Castro entered Havana). Cuba has already knocked down Wall Street in Havana, and drained Washington in Cuba.
KNOCK THE HELL OUTTA ISIS. Castro was one of the first leaders on the planet who understood the insidious and mortal threat of global terrorism. Donald Trump is correct: the US does support terrorist organisations, by proxy. It does weave a mortal web of self-defeat with terrorists. Since the early 1970’s Cuba has taken a hard line against terrorism. Remember a Cuban passenger jet was destroyed by US based terrorists in 1976 in the Caribbean killing 73 persons. The Cuban Five were imprisoned in the US (1998-2014) and called “terrorists”. They were in the US conducting surveillance against potential terrorist threats against Cuba.
BUILD THAT WALL. Trump has justified his wall as a means of protecting America from the curse of narcotics. He has spoken feelingly about the criminal impact of drugs on the idyllic suburbs of New Hampshire, for example. He has declared that he wants America “to be safe again”. Cuba has long built a security wall against international drug smuggling. It has kept its own scenic island relatively free from narcotic trafficking. In 1989, General Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez was executed in Cuba, for corruption and aiding and abetting international drug smugglers. Ochoa had possibly placed Cuba at risk, not just from drugs, but from a CIA-backed Noriega-type ‘war on drugs’ invasion.
IT WOULD BE NICE IF WE COULD GET ALONG WITH THE RUSSIANS. Cuba has been friends with the Russian, despite Russian withdrawal in the 1990’s, ever since the US adopted a hostile position to the 1959 Revolution. And Trump wants to work with the Russians to bring peace to the Middle East, he says. “To give it a good shot, even though it will be difficult.” He was referring specifically to Palestinian-Israeli peace. Cuba and Russia have always argued for Palestinian self-determination; and for an agreement satisfactory to both Israel and Palestine.
NO NATION BUILDING. Trump has declared that he wants to stop the excesses of US ‘nation building’ abroad. ‘Nation building’ is a euphemism for imperialist terror. Cuba has always taken a hard line against imperialism: the wars in the Middle East; its support of revolutionary movements in South East Asia, Africa, Latin America, sending soldiers and advisors. Its anti-Apartheid stand in South Africa and Rhodesia was in contrast to the direct support and blandishments offered by the US, the UK and European nations. It has continually exported its health, relief and literacy workers globally.
THE INNER-CITIES HAVE BEEN TREATED HORRIBLY. Trump has decried the lack of education and jobs in the inner-cities. The incessant violence. The high rate of incarcerations. He has promised to “clean” up the inner cities. To provide a better affordable health care deal to Americans. Cuba has one of the best health, literacy, education, sports programs globally. Its literacy level is 99.7%. And it has fewer crimes of violence than all the other nations in the Americas. Both nations have a similar history of African slavery; but in one nation black lives seem to matter.
ELIMINATE THAT DEBT. Trump has fumed against the US Government S19.6 trillion federal debt. He pledged to eliminate it by the end of his second term. He said: “we can buy back national debt at a discount”. The average Cuban totes a debt burden of $2,556; seventeen times less than the average American burden of $45,750 (The Economist, World Debt Comparison, 2015). And Cuba has unloaded punitive health, education, land and housing costs from the backs of ordinary citizens.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. To many, Castro has made the Americas great. Like Caesar’s armies, his ideas straddle the world. Castro converted his raw intelligence, his intrepid and ungovernable ways, into a formidable ethic, to undertake a stupendous historical task: to tackle and defeat Empire, and safeguard his prize against betrayers, infiltrators, naysayers and fools. The Cuban Revolution has not exterminated native populations, enslaved Africans, and committed genocide in Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East. One hundred years after the end of legal slavery, Afro-Americans were still in 1965 fighting Segregation on the streets; are still advocating against disproportional treatment by the courts and police (Black Lives Matter). Citizens of conscience, who expose US terror in the Middle East, are in exile in Russia, holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, or in jail (Snowden, Assange, Manning).
Sigmund Freud once said: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” In other words, not a symbol, not a latent phantasy. A cigar for Mr Trump.