National Column: There is no Santa Claus in Cuba

Cuba's "Ministry of Letters to Fidel" is running six months behind, as usual. And so it is that retired communist dictator Fidel Castro just lately received - and replied to - a letter sent to him last Christmas.

Dear Fidel, I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there IS a Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in the Communist Party paper Granma, it's so." Please tell me the truth, former El Presidente. Is there a Santa Claus?

- Virginia O'Hanlon

Dear Virginia, your little friends are wrong. Their tiny little minds prevent them from seeing the real truth - the truth that lives only in Cuba.

In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him. Only Fidel and the 15 members of the Cuban Politburo can comprehend the mysteries of the universe.

No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. Santa Claus is a fiction exploited by Yankee capitalist pigs to extend corporate greed and materialism. In America, Virginia, private corporations - not a benevolent dictator, such as Fidel - own the means of production and enslave the multitudes into lives of despair.

Santa Claus does not exist in America or anywhere, Virginia, just as certainly as love and generosity and devotion do not exist. For if they did exist - if indeed man was not at his core stupid and evil - then there would be no need for government. There would be no need for smart men like Fidel to enforce, under the threat of torture, jail and death, the basic goodness that abounds only in Cuba.

Alas! How dreary would the advanced communist civilization of Cuba be if our people believed in Santa Claus! If Fidel allowed Santa to exist, where would the revolution be? A foolhardy childhood faith would eventually delude all Cubans. They would begin to squander their time not on advancing the revolution, but on poetry and romance and other self-indulgent pursuits that would ultimately make our existence here intolerable.

Believe in Santa Claus, Virginia? You might as well believe in fairies. You might as well get your papa and your uncles to watch inside all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch this Santa Claus, and when, after this great effort, you do not see Santa Claus coming down, then what will that prove?

It will prove that Fidel is right yet again.

There is no Santa Claus, Virginia. The most real things in the world are only those things that Fidel sees. Did Fidel ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not. Fidel only sees the good life the revolution has brought to Cuba - free health care for all, free housing and the best fleet of 1958 Studebakers in all of Latin America.

Thank God! Santa Claus has never lived and never will. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will still not exist, and yet, in evil capitalistic countries like America, his myth will continue to deceive, so that only rich corporations get richer as the poor grow poorer.

Alas! There is no Santa Claus, Virginia. There is no Christmas. Goodwill and goodness are possible only in Cuba thanks to the Politburo's strict rules that are faithfully enforced by the brothers and sisters of the revolution - or else!

Now that I have answered your question, Virginia, Fidel has a question for you: What are the names of these little friends who have been telling you lies about this Santa Claus?