Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raul Castro in Egypt

Raul Castro y su nieto en Egipto

I guess it took him almost 50 years to get there, a very long time under his brother’ shadow.

So, as soon as Raul Castro became Cuba’s first figure in the monarchy ladder, at least apparently,  he didn’t waste any time to visit the country of the pharaohs and pyramids: Egypt.

Again, I can guess, Egypt is a rich source of inspiration. A country with one of the most famous and well-known landscapes in the whole world.

The pyramids are timeless. They had withstood the natural erosion, predators of any kind and more than 2 000 years of human lootings.

And they are there, crumbling down in pieces, stone by stone, but still standing and defying time and human challenges. The best of all inspirations to Cuba’s government!

To make the most of his time in Egypt, I’m really sure Raul Castro didn’t forget to share the precious opportunity and talked with Mubarak about something that both regimes share in common: mutual experiences in repressive techniques, very useful to the Egyptian president in these days.

Ironically, when Castro visited Giza in company of his grandson and the famous archaeologist and Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, Dr Hawass made the painful mistake to tell him his profound admiration of his big brother, Fidel Castro. In his own words: “I really admire his brother Fidel Castro.”

I guess being a very renowned Egyptologist and an extraordinary connoisseur in mummies, Dr Hawass could not help himself to express publicly how deeply he admires another mummy almost as famous as the Giza’s mummies: Fidel Castro.

And that was how Raul Castro was again left under Fidel Castro’ shadow in Egypt, even when he was at that time the first figure in Cuba’s monarchy.

Unfortunately to misfortune of Dr Hawass, Egyptians pharaohs and Mubarak, Fidel Castro never ever had believed in family ties, caring feelings to old friends and reciprocal decent attitudes toward political allies. Today, Castro had added his voice to the chorus of people asking Mubarak to leave office. How ironically: a dictator telling another peer to leave!

I guess it is question of complying with the times as the pyramids do in order to continue surviving on Cuba’s throne. What it is pretty odd is, in the short period of time Raul Castro has been in power in Havana, he has showed off more diplomacy and delicacy in politics than his older brother, and the actual power behind Raul.

To the old tyrant, friends, family and old ties don’t matter when the time is to grasp tightly the throne of power and comply the times. The government of Cuba though, headed by his younger brother, had kept a discreet silence about the protests in Cairo.

Maybe Raul has good memories from the time he was wandering around the pyramids. Maybe he is more conscious about his children, family and friends, and he is trying to give them as a bargain will our destroyed and miserable country. Who knows?

Meanwhile, Raul Castro is keeping with a fervent reverence in his memory the delighted hours of his visit to Cairo and Giza. At least, and for the first time, he could enjoyed some of the magnificences of being the first figure… after too many years in the shadow.