[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Miami, Post-fidel

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miami, Post-fidel

Interesting days we've been living recently, with all the rumors flying around about fidel's health (or lack thereof). It seems like each rumor is stronger than the last, until one of these days we'll get it right.

One thing has struck me as rather odd these past few days: the theory that the rumors are being spread by the Cuban government in order to "test the waters" on how we'll react here in Miami once the big day finally arrives and the old bastard kicks the bucket.

I'm no mind reader, but I can say with plenty of certainty that the honchos in Havana know EXACTLY what's going to happen. So then, why bother with the dry runs? Perhaps they just like to bother the crap out of us, which I think is as valid of a reason for them as any.

Anyway. Just in case some in Havana really don't know what type of reaction to expect, I, being the nice guy that I am, have decided to fill them in on some details of likely events that will transpire the day fidel dies.

First, there won't be any rumors this time. Just an official announcement from the State Department and another one from Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and City of Miami Mayor Manuel (Manny) Diaz.

The Cuban-American community in Miami and the rest of South Florida pause for a split second, then erupts in joy. Drivers will be honking their horns all over streets and highways. People will stick their heads out of car windows shouting "Libertad Coño!". The masses will congregate in three locations: Calle Ocho in front of Versailles Restaurant, Bird Road in front of La Carreta Restaurant in Westchester and West 49th Street in Hialeah in front of whatever Cuban restaurant they have there. Other potential but unconfirmed sites include Kendall Drive and SW 127th Avenue across from Flanigan's (OK that's an Irish joint but it's close enough) and some brave ex-pats from Hialeah and Miami Lakes may even camp out at the corner of Pines and Flamingo north of the border in Pembroke Pines (not sure what restaurant is in that intersection, but there's a Latin American Restaurant nearby).

A celebration is attempted in Coral Gables along Miracle Mile, but city leaders quickly shoo away people, citing city ordinances against using pick-up trucks in impromptu civic celebrations.

A side note: you're probably wondering why most of these meeting places are conveniently located near Cuban restaurants. Simple...easy access to the ever-important cafecito.

At these key locations thousands of happy Cuban-Americans, young, old and everything in between, will be standing on the sidewalk and pouring into the streets screaming "libertad para Cuba", "el barbudo se murió", and other pleasantries related to fidel's afterlife address. Many will be carrying American and Cuban flags, some will have signs. Drivers passing by will have similar flags draped from the backs of trucks along with 10-15 people per vehicle coming out of windows and truck beds banging pots and screaming wildly. The honking of car horns will be audible for miles, perhaps heard even as far as Havana if the wind's blowing the right way. In a rare sign of teamwork and camaraderie, Mayor Alvarez and the County Commissioners will join in a group hug at the County Emergency Operations Center in Doral.

Don't be surprised if you see lots of older people crying. This will be an emotional day for all of us, especially the older folks who had their lives turned upside down by the deceased.

There will be a run on makeshift coffins that people will use to mock the late comandante en jefe, as well as fidel punching bags that are currently being made in some bleak factory in Allapattah.

A central location will be chosen for a big celebration, complete with huge vats of lechón and arroz y frijoles negros: The soon-to-be defunct Orange Bowl. The City of Miami will give key exile figures the keys to the old stadium but deny any involvement in the process.

Basically, Miami will be turned upside down for about 48 hours, unless it's announced on a Friday in which case it will be closer to 96 hours.

Police will be everywhere. Coast Guard personnel will be situated just off our coasts, but few will know what to expect.

Not everything will be party city, however. There will be those outside the Cuban community who will condemn the celebrations as insensitive, obnoxious and uncivilized. Letters to the editor will pour into local newspapers and TV stations from self-righteous individuals clamoring for perspective and decency. Editorial cartoons will once again lampoon Cuban-Americans. A few jerks will likely take advantage of the celebrations to commit crimes and act like typical hoodlums.

I hope this description of likely events helps our friends in Havana. At the very least, they'll stop bugging us with rumors now that they know what will transpire in Miami.



Blogger El Gusano said...

awesome post, Robert ..always near a restaurant.

I agree with you about the dry run theory, It's obvious. If the started the rumors something more nefarious was afoot, saludos.

10:21 PM, August 28, 2007  
Blogger rsnlk said...

Hey, you forgot the part about Cubans from all over the country heading down to celebrate. Love it, thanks.

9:29 AM, August 29, 2007  
Blogger Timothy said...

GREAT post. I will meet you at Fico's house. Libertad. baby!

5:21 PM, August 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:36 PM, August 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant, Robert.

Some Cubans won't be celebrating, though. They're above all that, they're too nuanced and smart to be seen with the likes of us, no sir. They're not exiles, they're "immigrants." No sir, they'll be buying new clothes and looking at the themselves in the mirror, or writing restaurant reviews. You see, when it happens, they'll feel ashamed to be Cuban, and they'll begrudge our joy that the monster is finally dead.

9:43 PM, August 29, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Thanks everyone...glad you enjoyed the post. I figured we need a tiny bit of comic relief and not take ourselves so seriously all the time when it comes to fidel and Cuba.


Interesting you mention the exile vs. immigrant topic. I was able to catch a portion of the BlogTalk radio show earlier this evening (good job BTW) where that was discussed. I have some thoughts regarding that which may or may not surprise some people. Look for it on Babalu soon.

10:07 PM, August 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Robert, ditto what rsnlk said. I´ve got stand by reservations, sort of. I have an airline connection on alert to put my name in. Hopefully the timing will be right and I can duck work and head to the airport. Cafecitos will be a necessity.

1:32 AM, August 30, 2007  
Blogger circuitmouse said...

Will enough people volunteer at the Red Cross and other aid agencies to help provide for all the friends and family on the island; or will too many people be hungover?

I wouldn't put it past the generals to yank our chains a few times, both for the sheer enjoyment of watching the Florida Straits turn into a free-for-all (and a nightmare for the USCG), as well as letting Miami vent as much of the suppressed energy as possible before they overwhelm the county, state, and feds to head to the island. I wouldn't be surprised if they intentionally let the news slip as a hurricane is approaching. More than a few boats will probably leave the marina without checking the gas gauge first. Even as the more level headed brethren plan for the days and weeks after, there is gonna be a lot of guano to hit the fan.

6:56 PM, August 30, 2007  

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