By New York standards the city’s (probable) next mayor Bill De Blasio wouldn’t merit a backstage pass at a Castro concert. The Stalinist dictator’s fan base in the city he craved to incinerate is much too vast and passionate to allow room in the long queue for pictures and autographs to any but the genuinely smitten, who literally swarm in New York City.
“I have a huge critique of the current government there (in Cuba) because it’s undemocratic,” snapped de Blasio to a Cuban–American radio interviewer last week. “It doesn’t allow freedom of the press, and I think there’s a huge number of problems. I also think it’s well known that there’s some good things that happened — for example, in health care.”
“What a sniveling chump!” Manhattan’s elite must be snorting at this milktoast of a Castro-fan. Indeed, when it comes to Castro-mania, de Blasio hardly does justice to New York’s Best and Brightest.
“The Toast of Manhattan!” crowed Time magazine in January of 1996. “The Hottest Ticket in Manhattan!” also read a Newsweek story that week. Both articles referred to the social swirl and acclaim that engulfed Fidel Castro upon his visit to New York by the very Manhattan media and business luminaries who barely escaped incineration at his hand. The occasion was UN’s fiftieth anniversary celebration, but the Castromania almost recaptured the hysteria for Simon and Garfunkel’s 1981 reunion in Central Park.
First on the Stalinist dictator’s itinerary was a luncheon at the Council on Foreign Relations. After holding court there for a rapt David Rockefeller, along with Robert McNamara, Dwayne Andreas, and Random House’s Harold Evans, Castro flashed over to Mort Zuckerman’s Fifth Avenue pad, where a throng of Beltway glitterati, including Mike Wallace, Peter Jennings, Tina Brown, Bernard Shaw, and Barbara Walters, all jostled for photo-ops and stood in line for the warmongering mass-murderer's autograph.
Diane Sawyer was so overcome in the mass-murderer’s presence that she rushed up, broke into a toothy smile, wrapped her arms around Fidel Castro, and smooched him warmly on the cheek.
"You people are the cream of the crop!" beamed the mass-murderer to the rapt and smiling throng he’d coming within a hair of incinerating and now surrounded him.
"Hear, hear!" chirped the delighted guests while tinkling their wine glasses in appreciation and glee. But many more were left panting, because according to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council Fidel Castro had gotten over 250 dinner invitations from Manhattan celebrities and power-brokers.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.