The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday, forcing soldiers to push the vehicle until it could be repaired.
Nearly every major news website buried the news, though it was perfectly symbolic of the Cuban regime’s economic failures, and those of socialism in general.
Fox News reported:
The breakdown of the jeep in the midst of adoring crowds chanting “Long live Fidel!” was symbolic of the dual nature of Castro’s Cuba. While his legacy inspires fierce adulation by many of the nation’s citizens, others continue to grumble about Cuba’s autocratic government, inefficient bureaucracy and stagnant economy.
The Wall Street Journal offered more detail:
After a final farewell early in the week at Havana’s Revolutionary Square, the former president’s remains, placed in a small, glass-encased casket, began moving east in a cross-country cortege through towns, cities and listless countryside. The state called it “The Caravan of Liberty,” the same name the guerrillas called the journey they made from Santiago to Havana to topple the Batista regime in 1959.
It didn’t all go well despite the state’s attention to details: at one point, soldiers were forced to push the jeep towing the remains when it broke down, fitting for a country where vehicles creak along.
But mourners along the route across Cuba, waving their country’s flag, shouted, “I am Fidel” and cried before state TV cameras.
The Associated Press seemed to ignore the news almost entirely, except in photo captions of the incident: “The Russian jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro broke down and had to be pushed for a period on Saturday.”
Castro’s ashes were interred in a private ceremony in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba on Sunday. His brother and successor, Raúl, declared — somewhat incongruously — that Fidel had not wished a cult of personality to define him after his death. His final resting place will be next to that of Cuban independence hero José Martí.
The global left and the American media have mourned Castro, whose chief achievement was maintaining an iron grip on power for half a century in defiance of opposition from the United States. His human rights abuses, and his economic failures, have largely been downplayed.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.