Fidel Castro: "Stephen Harper's Ilusions"

Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter at funeral of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

A CBC report here by David Common comments on Fidel Castro.s recent remarks called ""Stephen Harper's Illusions". Common trying to be fair and balanced calls the remarks a rant. While it is true that it is rambling and sometimes polemical the meaning of most of it is not difficult to grasp. The parts critical of the environmental records of Canadian companies in South America are certainly not off base.

There is a video interview with John Kirk a professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie which is far more balanced and informative than Common's commentary. Among the comments on the Common's piece is this:"Did anybody actually read Castro's writing? Whether you agree with it or not, what Castro was getting at is really simple to understand." This commentator gives a link to Castro's actual remarks translated into English. You can read for yourself.

David Common finds Castro's ending bewildering and apparently not connected to anything. Here is a quote from Common's article.

""The topic, it seems, is the upcoming Summit of the Americas that Cuba has evidently not been invited to.

"Who could hold back from laughing?" Castro poses, "We must hurry up and tell Harper."

Tell him what exactly? ""

Apparently the meaning of the rambling old man escapes Common who surely must have all his faculties but somehow misses what Castro implies in his ending. Harper has the illusion that he is accepted as an equal by the U.S. But when push comes to shove and Canada is no longer of use to the U.S. or goes against U.S. policy--not a likely scenario under Harper-- he will find out he is not. No doubt the U.S. president could wear a beaver skin hat made in Canada to the summit of the Americas but Harper would not be invited to the meeting. Here is what Castro said on the issue. This puts the ending with reference to Harper in the context necessary to understand what it implies.

"""The guayabera shirts to be worn by Obama in Cartagena has become one of the main issues covered by the news agencies: "Edgar Gomez [...] has designed one for the U.S. President, Barack Obama, who will be wearing it during the Summit of the Americas," said the daughter of the designer, who added: "It is a white, sober guayabera, with a handiwork that is more striking that usual..."

Immediately after that, the news agency added that the Caribbean shirt was first made by the banks of the Yayabo River in Cuba; that is why they were originally called yayaberas.

The curious thing about this, dear readers, is that Cuba has been forbidden to attend that meeting, but not the guayaberas. Who could hold back from laughing? We must hurry up and tell Harper. ""

 Actually there are many views as to where these shirts originated. Some say the Philippines, others Mexico, others still Spain. At any rate they are quite popular in those countries as well as Cuba. See this wikipedia entry. Certainly Castro has to tell us a story to together with his message but it is hardly that opaque and it fits in quite well with the title Stephen Harper's Illusions.

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