The moment President Raul Castro announced the death of his older brother last Friday night, everything was closed down: music ceased, discos and movie theaters emptied out and closed, bars and restaurants were told to severely restrict the sale of booze. Smiling was forbidden and the expression, "Good night" was put on hold.
Hundreds of thousands of Fidelophiles paid homage to the Communist murderer in Revolution Square. Sombre students stood in front of the University of Havana ("Go Sugarcane Pickers!") on Sunday, acting as a silent honor guard for Fidel, carrying banners with slogans such as: "Thanks for the Medical Care--Not So Much for the Killings" and guarding a temporary monument at Fidel's alma mater.
What was less noticeable was the trembling hands and beads of sweat upon the foreheads of the students who, if they refused to participate, would be imprisoned, tortured and eventually killed by Raul's army of revolutionaries.
Leftists love revolutions; they even love the word 'revolution'. Think of Bernie Sanders in his thick, Brooklyn accent tawking about how this country needs a revolushin.'
Cubans old enough to remember their island's Revolution and the early years of commie nation building may have actually felt grief for Fidel, but the 9-day state-imposed mourning period really sucks for those with less kinder memories of the thug and murderer the left so loves to love. (I can see the "Fidel n' Che" tee shirts jumping off the counters in Manhattan.)
"You need to be very careful about what you say," a Havana artist who asked to remain anonymous told FNL. "Any opinion that isn't in line with the national mourning can have consequences."
Sounds a lot like North Korea when Kim Jung-il died.