Castro knew his audience well. By treating Fangio with kid gloves he showed the world what a sweet and understanding man he was, one who only sought justice and freedom and publicity for his holy cause. A year later he was master of the island and a global leftist hero.
Which brings me to last Sunday’s Grand Prix of Bahrain. Bahrain is a hellhole run by one family that is Sunni (the “haves” in this equation), even though at least two-thirds of the population is Shiite (the “have-nots.”) Inspired by the revolutions further north last year, the Shiites rose up against the feudal so-called royals. In came the Saudis with armored personnel carriers and troops. We all know the result.
The Grand Prix still went on, a very bad thing as far as I’m concerned because it proves how greedy people can be. I was hoping that the protesters would kidnap the big chief himself—my Gstaad neighbor, Bernie Ecclestone. But Bernie is no Fangio. I suppose he’s a hero to his family, but that’s about all. Perhaps Khalifa, the ruling camel owner, might have paid, but we all know how tight these camel drivers can be.
The publicity would have been enormous, dampening the Saudis’ image as freedom lovers, one that has the Saudi ruling camel drivers posturing against Assad in Syria. It’s all so phony it makes me want to puke. The Saudis and the Qataris standing up for freedom in Syria? At least Syrian women are allowed to drive and there is a large Christian and Druze community that still has rights. Castro put homosexuals in jail; the Saudis are known to murder them. And after 53 years of hell, I’ll still take Havana over Riyadh.
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