Afro-Cuban Santéria Priests Predict World Will See Turmoil in 2010; But Whose World?
The mainstream media is making a big deal over this, especially since it comes from Cuban witches. The ceremony in Cuba is one of several New Year’s religious traditions in Latin America. Native shamans in Peru last week performed good-luck rituals for peace in 2010, asking for eased tensions between Venezuela and Colombia, and for President Barack Obama to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations. Mexico’s brujo major or “Great Witch” will announce his predictions on world events and celebrity affairs on Monday, January 4. Venezuela’s priests are expected to make their own New Year’s predictions soon after.
Santéria is not a religion to scoff at; it is equal to Voudou elsewhere in the Caribbean and in New Orleans. For example, it is said that the mulatta mother of both Fidel and Raul, Lina Ruz González, was a Santéria sorceress who bewitched their father, Ángel María Bautista Castro y Argiz. That’s an easy accusation to make, especially when a woman has a hold on a man’s emotions. But there may have been some truth to this, especially since some relatives of Lina’s were reportedly from Haiti and a couple of her children were sent there temporarily. Ángel was already married when he met her and her family, who were contract workers. A maidservant and cook, Lina later inhabited a shack behind the house with her seven illegitimate children by Ángel, Fidel among them, until they were married in 1943.
The media, though, want to believe that the predictions are a pronouncement on the regime of the Castro brothers, Fidel, now 83; and Raul, 78. The priests, they think, are sensing something not only from the gods and spirits, but from the populace in total. These old, Commie dinosaurs have got to go.
No doubt. However, I would have to caution people about throwing everything into the lap of the supernatural. Fidel Castro has survived almost every prediction and assassination attempt since he seized power in 1959, including ten American presidents. He’s done the very worst and the very best to people–even to those in his own family–like gays, religious, political opponents and artists and writers. A man with that kind of vitality holds more than just temporal power. When Fidel goes, for good or bad, it will be his time. After his time is yet another matter.
Plus these kinds of predictions have a tendency to cause a boomerang effect. People may think and hope that something is going to happen to an enemy; instead a prediction may apply to them and their own country.
Some of Cuba’s leading Afro-Cuban priests are predicting social unrest in 2010 and have called on the older generation of leaders to step aside.
The priests are from the influential Santéria religion, a mix of Catholicism and traditional African religions introduced by slaves.
They made their annual forecast after conducting animal sacrifices.
Their prediction is seen as politically contentious in a country still ruled by the aging Castro brothers.
The priests – or babalawos as they are called – made their forecast following a secretive New Year’s Eve ritual on the outskirts of Havana.
Their prediction: a year of social and political unrest, struggles for power, and treachery.
They also warned that there could be a coup d’etat or other sudden political change.
Speaking about their findings, one of the leading babalawos, Victor Betancourt, said it was time for a new generation of leaders to take over.
“Times change. The older generations should pass their experience on to young people because they are better prepared,” he said.
I just wonder who those younger people are who will eventually lead Cuba. The priests are not specific on this. Nor did they ever predict that Fidel Castro would be stricken with life-threatening illness, and that his younger, but equally elderly brother would have to take over the reins of power in 2006. (I think that they would not have dared to do this–it would have been tantamount to proclaiming Castro’s death. The priests would have all faced jail terms as they do not enjoy official sanction from the government, just acceptance. There is a group that does, and true to form, they had nothing but good news to offer.) No younger successor has ever been identified by the Castros; and some who have become indispensable at one point have either died naturally or have been murdered, have been discredited or have fled the island as exiles.
For example, according to a 2006 CBC article released after Castro relinquished day-to-day responsibilities (he remains head of state) to his brother, those who were thought to be in the line of succession were the now 73-year-old Ricardo Alarcon, President of the National Assembly and No. 3 in the hierarchy; Felipe Perez Roque, now 45, former chief of staff to Fidel Castro, of the generation that has experienced the blockade; and Carlos Lage Davila, described as “in his fifties,” Vice President of the Council of State of Cuba, and an economic adviser who has helped keep Cuba on an even financial keel.
Perez Roque, however, was forced from his responsibilities as Foreign Minister in March 2009; Fidel Castro even rebuked him for loving power too much. Some saw Alarcon and Perez Roque scheming against each other in the succession sweepstakes, but this time, Perez Roque had only his big mouth to blame. Electronic bugs had been placed in his offices and his home; and the recordings revealed that he was harshly dismissive of Castro and of other senior government officials. The public scandal that erupted was cause to strip Perez Roque of all of his hard-earned party and state office positions. However, in a newspaper article a day later, he agreed that he had been arrogant and had committed errors in judgment and accepted Castro’s criticism.
Davila was also ousted at the same time as Perez Roque in 2009 in what was officially called a government reshuffling after Raul Castro took over, but what could also have been a settling of old scores. Fidel Castro also assailed Davila for being power mad, and Davila, seeing the handwriting on the wall, announced his resignation from all his party and state positions. Like Perez Roque, he also accepted Castro’s criticism, and admitted that he had committed numerous offenses in his resignation letter.
In short, of the three mentioned in the 2006 CBC article, only Alarcon remains in power.
An old man.
If I were to predict anything, the surest prediction would be that no one from the anti-Fidel faction in Miami is going to gain anything. That is, none of the right-wingers supported by our government for more than fifty years is going to attain power there, unless these people have some heavy American armor to assist them. The people don’t know these guys. They cannot take up where they left off when Fulgencio Batista was around. Frankly, we have enough on our plates than kicking up this old, old dust. What Cuban Americans have to offer is more economic and cultural than military and even political, because the younger generation of exiles is not as idealistic–or as bloodthirsty–about bringing about the fall of the Castro regime and settling scores as their fathers and grandfathers.
The Santéria priests said 2010 would bring “dramatic changes in the social order” and “an increase in the fight for power,” as well as a “high number of deaths” of political, intellectual and religious leaders. To highlight their point, the priests wrote the word “POLITICAL” in all capital letters in a statement they read out.
They said the year could be summed up with the saying: “The King is dead; long live the King” the traditional shout announcing a monarchical succession.
The priests also warned that the year would bring “treachery and usurpation” at the highest levels of governments, and that there could be coups d’etat or other sudden political changes. They also warned of the threat of climate change, disease and war, among other things.
The priests said their religious ceremony revealed 2010 to be the year of Baba Eyiobe, a Santéria sign that means “double salvation,” as well as the divinities Obatala and Oya.
According to teachings, Obatala is a female divinity responsible for the creation of human beings, as well as the patron of reason and intelligence. Oya is the goddess of storms and wind, as well as ancestral spirits. (Oya creates “the wind [that] comes in from Africa” as Joni Mitchell once sang–hurricanes.)
In 2009, the priests predicted a year of conflict between neighboring countries and warned of the necessity to foment respect within families.
Another priest, Lazaro Cuesta, stressed that Santeria does not teach that the year-end predictions are fated to occur, and that there is still time for the world to avoid the unrest and conflict forecast in the ceremony.
That’s exactly what I tell people when I have done Tarot readings that certain portents are not necessarily written in stone, but that they have time to change the current of these forces before it is too late. It certainly is not just up to Raul and Fidel Castro, but up to the young Cubanos coming up. What do they want to see in their country? Do they dream of the consumer heaven of America, or do they want a mix of the old regime and the new regime that may come? It’s all up to them.
And let’s hope that there will little bloodshed and few deaths if and when such an upheaval happens. No violent change like that is ever all good; it takes years of forgiveness to recover.
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~ by blksista on January 3, 2010.
Posted in Accidental Death/Death by Misadventure, American Foreign Policy, Black People, Chicanos/Latinos, Cuba, Health, History, New Orleans, People of Color, Race, Religion, The Rest of the World
Tags: 2010, African Religion, Afro-Cuban, Age, Baba Eyiobe, Babalawos, Betrayal, Brujo Major, Carlos Lage Davila, Catholicism, Coups d'Etat, Cuba, Cuban Americans, Elderly, Exile, Exiles, Felipe Perez Roque, Fidel Castro, Forecasts, Foreign Minister, Former Slaves, Lazaro Cuesta, Miami, Obatala, Oya, Predictions, Priests, Raul Castro, Ricardo Alarcon, Santéria, Social Unrest, Successors, Tarot, The Mainstream Media, The Young, Victor Betancourt, Witches, Youth