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  • What’s it like to think like Fidel Castro?

  • Almost 22 years ago I was at a conference in Halifax, Novia Scotia.

  • One of the contributors to this was a high school classmate of Fidel Castro

  • who told the following story to me:

  • Fidel Castro invented a game

  • at the Catholic all boy’s high school where he went in Eastern Cuba.

  • So he invented a game which had the following characteristics:

  • find a bicycle, establish some distance

  • a quarter mile maybe

  • between where the bicycle begins with a rider

  • and a brick wall... Can’t be covered, no padding, it’s just brick.

  • The goal is to be the last person standing-bloodied,

  • you have to be bloodied or you can’t win this game.

  • But, if you crash into the wall going full speed,

  • are thrown over the handle bars of the bike into the brick wall,

  • and you get up,

  • you go to the next round.

  • A lot of people will stop.

  • A lot of people will kind of sort of ease their way and slide into it.

  • The person who is willing to sacrifice the most,

  • who is willing to take it to the limit,

  • maybe to die-- I mean in principle,

  • smash his skull against the brick wall

  • that guy wins the game.

  • This guy said Fidel Castro never lost this game.

  • He refused to lose this game.

  • If it was a tie they had to go into overtime.

  • They had to do it again, over and over again.

  • Fidel: undefeated world champion suicide bike driver

  • That personality then became the leader of revolutionary Cuba on Jan 1, 1959.

  • In the Cuban Missile Crisis,

  • on what became the last weekend of the crisis,

  • Castro felt that Khrushchev did not have the courage to take it to the limit

  • to take it all the way to nuclear war

  • and to destroy the United States.

  • He just felt this.

  • He had seen it happen just a couple days before

  • when Khrushchev had ordered his ships to turn around

  • when they got to the blockade line, the quarantine line,

  • and he wondered:

  • Does that man have the kind of courage to deal with the Americans?

  • Khrushchev sort of lacks that certain something

  • that were Khrushchev a Cuban in the old days

  • would have also led him to want to smack his face into a brick wall

  • to see if he could be the last bloodied person standing in this game.

  • He writes a letter to Khrushchev thinking that he needs to encourage him

  • not to worry about Fidel, not to worry about the Cubans.

  • That they are willing to go all the way.

  • They are willing to martyr themselves for world socialism;

  • they are willing to hit that wall, to bleed on that wall,

  • and to go down and to die at the foot of that wall if necessary.

  • If Khrushchev will pledge that in the event of an invasion,

  • in the event of a Cuban essentially suicidal attempt

  • to defend their island from American nuclear weapons,

  • If Khrushchev will say to him, “That’s fine. Thank you for that kind of pledge

  • thatWe really appreciate that.

  • Yes, we will attack the US in the event of an invasion of Cuba.

  • We will try to destroy it once and forever

  • if that’s what’s required, Comrade Fidel,

  • then, Yes, well do it.

  • Well he never got that response.

  • Instead he got a response from Khrushchev that went something like this:

  • Oh my God! Have you lost your mind?”

  • Well, that was deeply disappointing...

  • that Khrushchev if he wouldve gone to Fidel’s high school

  • he would have been one of the first chickens to drop out of the bicycle game

  • and then Fidel had to admit that he was left basically with nothing.

  • He knew the Americans were coming,

  • and now he knew that the Soviets were going to back off-

  • that it was all kind of a game and they were going to take their weapons and go home.

What’s it like to think like Fidel Castro?

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Be Castro HD

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    Anita Lin posted on 2016/12/01
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