I generally ignore tweets but an aide excitedly brought me this: “Fidel Castro is dead.” I wasn’t surprised Donald Trump celebrated my reported departure, though I think it’s unseemly for imminent heads of state to publicly gloat about the passing of peers, so I tell the young man, “Bring me my phone.”
He rushes back, and I say, “Not a cell phone, you buffoon. That’s Raul’s anyway. Bring me a real phone.”
I should’ve had Raul arrange this call through appropriate channels since several times snotty capitalists between Trump and me hang up. As a younger man, I might have placed them before firing squads.
One of my intelligence agents, using confidential means, eventually connects me to Ivanka Trump and serves as translator.
“Listen to me, young lady, this is Fidel,” I tell her. “Yes, Fidel Castro, the only Fidel there’s ever been and the only real Comandante en Jefe Cuba will ever have. Please let me speak to your father.”
“All right, but if this is a hoax I won’t be as energetic in aiding the Cuban economy now that your socialist brother Barack Obama is sliding out of office,” she says.
“No estoy bromeando. I’m not joking.”
Within a minute I hear, “Oh, good morning, Fidel, you didn’t stay dead long.”
“Spare me your suspicion and sarcasm, Donald. As a courtesy I’m calling to tell you that while my flesh and bones may soon be ceremoniously interred, my spirit and my voice – still indefatigable for hours nonstop – will continue to guide the Cuban people and influence free men and women the world over.”
“In fact, Fidel, your name is synonymous with repression and economic incompetence.”
“Unlike you, I’ve never filed for bankruptcy.”
“Your whole damn nation is bankrupt and decrepit, like something from The Twilight Zone.”
“Your boycott, a petty and destructive act, did hurt us as did the demise of that bastion of communistic endeavor, the Soviet Union.”
“They collapsed because they didn’t understand business. I do, and I’m going to make America great again.”
“I won’t debate economics, Donald. Indeed, I want to make some deals with you. I know you’re aware we’ve greatly expanded our tourism and would like to have more hotels. I’ll even tell you now, to hell with diplomatic waiting: I want at least five of your splendid Trump Golf Courses in Cuba as soon as possible. And we might as well have a Trump Casino at each course. I understand you’re a fine golfer. We’d welcome you to come and play a round as each course is inaugurated. In fact, I invite you to come now, before your inauguration, to check out some prospective building sites.”
“I’m impressed by your improved attitude, Fidel. We’ll set up a business tour right away. I’ll bring my top economic advisers, billionaires who’d love to help you build businesses – computers, engineering, manufacturing – that’ll generate jobs and money for your nation.”
“Raul and our government, still overseen by me, would naturally have to approve everything.”
“Fidel, be honest. You may be a dynamic politician but an entrepreneur you ain’t.”
“We must guard against signing away our national wealth.”
“Reasonable oversight is fine. That’s part of a deal. And I want you to know, Fidel, that from now on my definition of a good deal is one that helps both sides.”
“I’d like to believe you. But what about Trump University?”
“Without admitting any wrongdoing, we paid some malcontents twenty-five million dollars. In January I’m going to be in charge of a multi-trillion-dollar nation and the mightiest military ever. I don’t want to be bothered by frivolous lawsuits.”
“I’m flexible enough to accept your promise of goodwill. We Cubans have more physicians per capita than anyone and have shared them all over the world.”
“I commend you for that but I’ll repeat what I’ve already publicly stated. Cuba must offer its people political freedom.”
“You mean like we had when the United States backed the corrupt and brutal regime of Fulgencio Batista?”
“Ancient history. I don’t mean that at all. I’m talking about free elections. You must give democracy to all Cubans.”
“That’s not why I called.”
“You want the bucks, open up your voting booths. That’s the deal.”
“Come on down and let’s do some business.”
“What about Raul?” Donald asks.
“He’ll do what I tell him. I’m still the big brother, you know.”