Source – africaresource.com
– “…Yoruba gods protect ailing Fidel Castro from witchcraft and want to see him continue leading Cuba”, the first priest of the Santeria religion to be elected to parliament said on Monday”:
(DIVINE PRESENCE: Voodoo/Santeria – The African Gods of Cuba and Fidel Castro)
“Olodumare says he is the one that should be there and so he is untouchable,” said Antonio Castaneda, a babalawo (priest) in the religion slaves brought to colonial Cuba from Nigeria.
Hurricanes may batter Cuba this year, but Castro’s health will not break, according to the orishas (deities), he said.
The 614-seat National Assembly elected on Sunday must approve Cuba’s top leadership at its first session on February 24, when Cubans will learn whether Castro will retire as head of state.
Castro, 81, has not appeared in public since stomach surgery for an undisclosed illness forced him to hand over power temporarily to his brother almost 18 month ago.
Santeria followers have believed their gods were on Fidel Castro’s side ever since a white dove landed on his shoulder during a victory speech in Havana after his 1959 revolution.
Castaneda, who played the sax at Havana’s famed Tropicana cabaret for 30 years, never joined Cuba’s Communist Party, but considers himself a “revolutionary.” He praised Cuba’s social safety net despite widespread economic hardships Cubans face.
He said 60 percent of Cubans believe in Santeria and he can give them a voice in the National Assembly. Castaneda won a seat as president of the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba, which is close to the government.
The orishas augur a good year for Cuba, the babalawo said. “If Cuba marches ahead, so too does the Comandante,” he said.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Eric Beech)
The true history of Cuba is the history of its entangled transculturations
– Fernando Ortiz
In January of 1959, Fidel Castro commenced his regime with his first televised speech to the Cuban nation. While on the podium, a white dove landed on his shoulder, another perched upon his rostrum; both stayed there throughout his two-hour oration (plate 1). In Cuban Santería, a religion derived from the Yorùbá people brought to Cuba as slaves, a white dove represents the divinity Obatalá, a divine king who molds humans from clay in heaven. While the international press regarded the spectacle as a freak accident involving “doves of peace,” many Cubans read it as evidence of Castro’s selection by supernatural forces.
Are the Santeria Saints with Fidel Castro?
It is no big secret that for Fidel Castro to make it to 79 as leader of Communist country in the Americas he has to be pretty lucky or was he bless by the Santeria Gods. Fidel Castro has embrace the Afro-Cuban Community and the various Africa Countries and leaders through out the years but has he embrace there religion or has there religion embrace him.
Between the 16th and the 19th centuries over 1 million Africans were brought to Cuba as slaves – principally to work in the sugar fields. Most of the kidnapped were Yoruba from the central part of Africa in present day Benin and southwestern Nigeria and brought to Cuba. Torn from their homeland, they held on to their belief system despite many attempts by the Spanish colonial lords to repress it. Faced with pressure to give up their religion, the slaves merely adapted it to the Catholicism as it was practiced in Cuba. Each of the Yoruba gods was equated to one of the many Catholic saints creating a so-called syncretized religion, meaning that two differing belief systems were brought into harmony with each other. Rather than worship their gods openly, slaves would pray to Catholic saints (thus appearing very pious to the slave owner). Because the slaves had to hide their religion behind the Catholic saints, the name of their belief system became known as Santeria, which some now consider politically incorrect. For this reason it is also referred to as Regla Lucum or Regla Ocha. There are other syncretized religions in different former slave countries such as Brazil. Even today it is not uncommon to meet Cubans who go to a Catholic church and also adhere to the customs of their African forebears.
So is Fidel Castro protected by Santeria? It is known big secret that a lot of Castro most die hard support are Afro-Cubans a lot of whom practice Santeria. Afro-Cubans have loyal support Castro Socialist Revolution. We the god with Castro when he attack Moncada Barracks and was not killed but jail and exile to Mexico where he form a guerilla army that reinvade Cuba December 1956 and overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959. He survive the Bay of Pigs invasion in April `15 1961. The Mariel Boat lift in the 1980th and countless plots of assissination by the CIA and exiles. Fidel Castro is also rumor to major Drug dealer in the Carribiean and It is know fact that various power drug dealer like his once good friend Manuel Norieaga pratice Santeria to power them from there eniemies. Some believe that Fidel Castro was a powerful Santeria practisenar, who could literally right the heart of his eniemies. It is also rumored in Cuba that Celia Sanchez, who as a was an iyalocha, a priestess devoted to Obatal introduce Fidel Castro into Santeria; However these are just a rumors.
Now wheather Castro ever believed or pratice Santeria is pure speculation; however there are Santerians, who are Afro-Cuban that believe in Fidel Castro and believe he is bless by the Santeria Saint and they offer as proof not only his long life and survival but the fact that white dove came and sat on his shoulder in speak he gave on day, which they say is proof in Santeria that the Gods or Saints are with him.