Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 11:06 am | Partly Cloudy 69º

 
 
 
 

Tom Purcell: If Virginia O’Hanlon Had Asked Fidel Castro about Santa Claus

I am 8 years old. Some of my 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, El Presidente. Is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Dear Virginia:

Your little friends are wrong. Of course there is no Santa Claus. Did your papa not tell you that I banned all likenesses of Santa, a symbol of Yankee capitalist greed, in 1959?

Did your papa not read the 1959 Time article that explained how I required all Christmas decorations to be made of Cuban materials, with traditional Cuban scenes — that American-style Christmas trees had to be replaced with Cuban palms?

Does he not remember that I, the world’s most successful Scrooge, canceled Christmas altogether in 1969 — that millions of Cuban children grew up without any sense of a Christmas tradition — and that I only eased the ban in 1998 when Pope John Paul II visited our country?

Believe in Santa Claus, Virginia? You might as well believe that freedom exists — as foolhardy American pigs do. Their freedom opens the floodgates to everything that is bad in the human heart — greed and vanity and dishonesty.

Only a benevolent dictator like Fidel can stop such freedom. Only I can open the floodgates to everything good in the human heart, such as generosity and selflessness and integrity. Those who refuse to embrace these traits will be beaten, jailed or sent to the firing squad!

I laugh when I read the various estimates of the political opponents I sent to their deaths — between 4,000 and 33,000. Even Fidel has lost count. But I had to whack these troublemakers. They stood in the way of the revolution. They didn’t know that only with absolute power could I help my people, in particular the poor.

All the world knows I am a great champion of the poor. I love poor people so much, in fact, that I created millions of new ones.

I gave them education — I’m proud to say my country has the best educated janitors, maids and garbage collectors in Latin America!

I gave them free health care — albeit not very good health care. It’s not my fault most of our doctors, in their greed, fled to other countries to enrich themselves with the livable salaries our communist country can never pay them.

My intentions are good and — as the progressive left in America will tell you — isn’t that all that matters?

It’s true that as my people have suffered — the average income in my country is $20 per month — I have lived a lavish life.

Forbes estimated my net worth at just short of $1 billion. Had I been a ruthless capitalist pig like America’s president-elect, Donald Trump, I, too, would be a billionaire many times over. But Fidel didn’t do too badly as the dictator of a small communist island.

But getting back to your question, Virginia, of course there is no Santa Claus.

Look, 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 that the revolution has brought to Cuba — including the finest fleet of rundown ’58 Studebakers in all the world!

Alas! There is no Santa Claus, Virginia.

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

Fidel Castro

Tom Purcell, author of Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood and Wicked Is the Whiskey: A Sean McClanahan Mystery, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist; syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @PurcellTom. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >