The news came across my phone at around 10pm that Fidel Castro had died. Of course, the first thing I did was call my mother.
"So, did you hear the news?"
"Yes, Fidel is dead."
"Gonna pop some apple cider?"
"No. I'll just commend his soul to God."
Even 10 years ago this would have been a very different conversation. The bitterness has worn off. My mother is a US citizen now, having made a home in this country. She thinks of the US as her country, not Cuba. The world-historical events which brought her to these shores are fading into memory. A man on whose grave she would have danced not too long ago now merits only a prayer for his soul.
I, of course, was born in the US. I would not have been born in the US had there been no Cuban Revolution. I may not even have existed had my family not fled to the US. (I was a celebration baby, born a year after my family made it to New York.) I've never had the visceral hatred for Fidel which others in my family had. That wasn't my history. I'm an American, through and through, and while I have a great interest in my family history, I have enough distance that I can look at it with a clinical eye. It would have been better for my family if there had been no revolution; I can't say the same for myself.
As President Obama said in his statement (and as Fidel said himself), history will judge him. His death will only accelerate the rapprochement between Cuba and the US. Watch as President-elect Trump starts to forget his intention to undo that opening, an opening now made easier by the death of the boogeyman. (It's hard to get as worked up over Raul.) The older generation always has to pass so that the young can take their place in the sun.
This is your weekend open thread.