Cuba’s Castro No More

Young educated intellectuals from the southern hemisphere emulated Fidel Castro’s looks during the days when beards were associated with communism, not terrorism. Castro was fascinating because he showed the world that leaders of the South can successfully resist pressure from the mighty North; that South can rise despite the odds.

Fidel Castro survived half a century of relentless undercover machinations by America’s Central Intelligence Agency against his rule as well as his personal charisma. He survived overt war waged against his tiny Island by a super power. He survived the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when Cuba was in the eye of the storm. In the aftermath of the crisis, the American media feverishly tried to convince the Cuban public that Castro was a schizophrenic ideologue, ready to scarify the entire Cuban nation, and it was only Kennedy’s wisdom that saved the Cubans from nuclear annihilation. The heavily funded campaign ended in vain, like every-thing else the US tried against Castro’s entrenched leadership in a tiny island that lay a stone throw away from US’ own landmass. Castro’s ties with his people were so strong that nothing could break them.  His leadership survived the economic hardship caused by the decades’ long US economic embargo. He survived the ending of the Soviet subsidy in 1992 when the USSR collapsed.

The important thing to remember as we mourn the passing of this great leader is his unflinching love of his people. Castro loved his people. He loved the down trodden among them. The plans he made for the development of Cuba stemmed from this quintessential love of the people of  Cuba. No leadership can ever aspire to greatness without such love.

Just as Castro stood against exploitation of the weak by the strong within Cuba, within the international system, he stood against western hegemony and neo imperialism. Castro must have died a satisfied man as he saw the south rising in the world he leaves behind him. Brazil, South Africa, India, China are powers from the ‘South’ that have emerged strong. Neo imperialism is losing its strength as new structures replace it in Asia, Eurasia and Africa.

Castro is no more but Cubans will always remember his governance as the proudest period in Cuba’s history.

TRUMP’S IMPACT ON ISRAEL

 

There is a unique aspect about the event in Israel’s Knesset that made news on November 17, 2016, when Ahmad Tibi performed an azan using the very sound system his Jewish colleagues used to call for a ban on the volume at which Azan is made. For the first time, the visuals of Jewish Muslim tensions coming out of Israel presented the spectacle of a quarrel between brothers, instead of brutal violence between sworn enemies. Some members of the Knesset were smiling at what Tibi did, some were waiving their hands to ward off the sound he made, and some chastised Tibi out loud. Order in the assembly was called to no avail as Tibi, unperturbed, finished the azan in entirety.

Those who watched the video of the proceeding were amused.

Donald Trump has not even entered the White House yet, and the political landscape of Israel is already softening.  The criminality of Israel’s conduct towards the Muslims was sponsored by the American political elite’s need for Jewish financial support. Fearing reprisals, the elite refrained from stepping on the toe of the influential Jewish lobby. Donald Trump’s election campaign halted this trend. Whether it is because he is a man of independent financial means, or because his politics is uncompromisingly tied to the ‘America First’ slogan is beside the point. The significant fact about Donald Trump’s rise in American politics is that Trump neither sought Jewish financial patronage, nor has he shown any deference towards the Jewish lobby during his campaign, and yet he has won the election. For the first time in history, the Zionist nerves are rattled in America, where power has been taken by the nationalists.

The Jewish lobby in the US is by far the most powerful ethnic group.  According to the former director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Community, Stephen Steinlight, Jewish political power and influence is disproportionately concentrated in the television and news industry. That is why Donald Trump is the only President elect who is so scathingly criticized in the US media these days. There is a scientific campaign underway to make it look like a freak has made it to the Presidency, due to a defect in the electoral system, instead of acknowledgement that a smart politician has successfully catered to the popular desire for tough action on core issues. The same media has, in the past, accepted rehabs and alcoholics, senility and frailty of age with equanimity. It predicted Hilary Clinton’s victory with certainty that was no more than wishful thinking, as events latter proved.

It is quite obvious that Trump’s victory heralds an era when the American decision making will not be tied to the Jewish preferences in international affairs.

The hawks in Israel have lost their most comfortable cushion to date. The political consequence of this change is likely to be a positive one for the region Israel is located in. A solution to the Jewish-Muslim problem in the Middle East, (incorrectly labeled as Arab-Israeli problem) may be possible during Trump’s presidency.

 

Trump versus Hillary;Who WILL WIN

 

It is 9:16 a.m on the East Coast in America, Tuesday the 8th of November, 2016,  as I try to extrapolate whose chances of winning are greater in the current US election.

It will not surprise me at all if Donald Trump wins the current election for a very simple reason: he represents  “change. ” In 2008, Americans voted Obama in because they had a strong desire for change. The desire has since become overwhelming as Obama has not satisfied it during the last eight years.

The ongoing slow-down in US economy is relentless. Economy is currently less than half of what it was in fifties and sixties. Productivity growth is less than half of one percent of what it used to be in living memory of those who are now in their sixties. According to a recent study by Harvard Business School, the growth in productivity figure puts America within the group of the last three countries in the OECD. The young urban professionals, who lost jobs and homes during the last eight years, have yet to regain the prosperity levels they ‘believe’ they deserve as Americans. For the next two decades, the Americans will continue to vote for change if things don’t turn around for them, for that is how long it takes a population to accept the fact that its living framework may have changed permanently.

Under the circumstances, it seems poor planning on the part of the Democrats to field a candidate seeped in established ways and so opposite of what Obama represented as a candidate in 2008. Hilary is not likely to win because she is a woman any more than Obama did not win because he was Afro-American. Obama won the 2008 election because of his rhetoric of change.

Trump may not be as media savvy as Obama. Though self-assured, he is no-where near as rhetorical as Obama, but he caters to the desire for change in 2016 just as Obama did in 2008, even more so. Americans long for transparency and truthfulness; Hilary reminds them of Bush era secrecy and lawlessness. They believe their financial institutions have been irresponsible in handling their money and no one has tried to regulate them better because their leaders are “afraid.” Trump appears bold enough to undertake change, even to a seemingly scandalous extent.

Early voting has already shown a 45% turn out, hence the apathy factor is not there. It is telling me that those who were previously yielding are now going to demand that power be shared and their candidate of choice for conveying the same demand is going to be Donald Trump.

Obama campaigned for Hilary with much rigor. Obama’s rhetoric may fail him in 2016.