Born in a provincial town to a family whose last name was Castro, he was baptized in 1962 as Fidel, honoring the "Maximum Leader" of the Cuban revolution. There is no doubt of his family's fervor. Fidel's upbringing was government controlled, like all children of the revolution.
In school he was taught loyalty to the "Maximum Leader," the revolution,communism and to hate these evils: Yankees and capitalism (and to denounce family members who didn't). And to hate and denounce the "worms," enemies of the revolution. He was discouraged from believing in god and taught to ostracize families that venture to church. This wonderfully rounded education also included classes in how to arm and disarm an AK-47 rifle while blindfolded.
>From age 10, Fidel and his peers were sent to work in the fields as repayment of their "free education." This wasn't summer camp. They had to endure very harsh living conditions. Some returned home with lice and other diseases. Pregnancies resulting from the rampant promiscuity are no problem, however, since abortions are routine.
A file is kept on each person's "political ideology" from kindergarten on. This record haunts them for life, determining all education and professional opportunities.
So Fidel, the child of the revolution, grew up without understanding Cuba's past and without the concepts of freedom and democracy. Unfortunately for communism, the human spirit naturally seeks freedom. People are inquisitive. Sometimes they even think and discern. When they do, in a flash they take the irreversible course toward liberation. Fidel and his peers recognized the evils of the other Fidel and his oppressive regime, but kept their feelings hidden in order to survive.
Fidel got married and had three children. In 1994, at 34, he got drunk to escape reality. Near the town communist party office, he finally shouted a few things about the other Fidel he had hidden inside for years. The next day the communist party demanded a retraction. Fidel replied, "I stand for what I said when I was drunk, because it was the truth." And for expressing his true feelings he was charged with "disrespect" (to the other Fidel) and "enemy propaganda." He was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Fidel is now at Canaletas Prison. He became another political prisoner. The other Fidel's jailers, routinely follow the policy of mixing violent criminals with political prisoners to intimidate them and brake their will. So Fidel is sharing his cell with two criminals who brutally beat him after he went to sleep. Since 1994, he is under constant harassment. He is full of bruises and lacerations. Visitors are forbidden, even the visit of a priest as he requested.
This is the story of one of the children of the revolution. I wonder who will eventually be absolved by justice and history: this humble Fidel, whose only crime was to open his heart and express his opinion as any citizen in a free society, or the other Fidel?
Agustin Blazquez, Producer/Director of documentary COVERING CUBA
COVERING CUBA's direct message to the US media:
"TO GAZE IDLY AT A CRIME IS TO COMMIT IT." Jose Marti