“FIDEL CASTRO IS DEAD.”
That was Donald J. Trump’s tweet as the news started to spread. Considering that Castro was a communist dictator who killed dissidents and threatened to nuke the US, I found that tweet rather restrained. Over the next 48 hours, I was going to find out that the Left saw Trump’s tweet as ‘rude’ and would be singing Castro’s praises rather than calling him out for what he was.
I thought that we should have a moment silence for his victims, rather than for him. I was to find out that not everyone felt the same.
There’s one thing that we all know about Castro for sure – He was a Communist dictator. Everyone agrees on that point. Apparently what people don’t agree on is whether he was a ‘bad’ Communist Dictator or a ‘good’ Communist Dictator (According to today’s Left, apparently there is such a thing as a ‘good’ Communist Dictator. Who knew.)
So let’s take a look at Castro’s life:
BY HIS NUMBERS
At least 10000, and probably as many as 100000 – the number of dissidents killed by Castro regime, mostly by Nazi style firing squads
78000 – the number of Cubans who died trying to flee Castro
5300 – the number of people who lost their lives fighting Castro’s communism in the Escambray Mountains (mostly peasant farmers and their children) and at the Bay of Pigs
14000 – the number of Cubans killed in Fidel’s revolutionary adventures abroad
166 – the number of Cubans who were killed with blood extraction so that the blood could be sold to Communist Vietnam at a rate of 50 dollars per litre.
500000 – the number of Cubans imprisoned by Castro’s regime since 1959 for political reasons (just to be clear, that’s half a million)
(NOTE: Cuba doesn’t have a freedom of information act so those numbers are probably conservative.)
BY HIS ACTIONS
1) Castro ruled Cuba as a dictator from 1959 until 2008, disallowing any ‘presidential’ elections. Under Castro, Cuba was run as a one-party Republic with Castro’s Communist Party being the only permitted party.
2) Any other political parties that tried to form during the time of Castro’s rule were prohibited from campaigning in elections or public political speech.
3) Under Castro, Cuba had no freedom of press. The Cuban media was operated under the supervision of the Communist Party’s Department of Revolutionary Orientation, whose role was to “develop and coordinates propaganda strategies.”
4) Castro’s government seized the private property of all Cuban citizens.
5) Castro dismantled the Catholic Church in Cuba, crushing its educational system, expelling hundreds of priests, and forcibly indoctrinating baptized believers with atheism and Marxism.
6) It is well known that after seizing everyone’s private property, Castro lived in luxury while his people lived in poverty.
7) There are many instances of documented ‘disappearances’, torture and executions of anyone who disagreed with him under his rule.
8) In 2003, Castro was tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the international Court in Belgium.
So in a nutshell, Castro banned the democratic elections he once promised, expropriated the private property of all Cubans, created a one-party Communist state, and ruthlessly suppressed all forms of dissent and opposition through torture and murder. He destroyed freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of the Press in Cuba. Thousands were tortured and killed for trying to oppose him, and many Cubans risked the death of themselves, and their children, rather than staying on the island with Castro. Death seemed like a better option than staying in their home country under Castro. One would think that point alone would speak volumes about whether he was a ‘good’ Communist Dictator or a ‘bad’ one.
That brings me to the reason for writing such a long post – The Left’s reaction to Castro’s death. I didn’t think that much could surprise me anymore about the views of some liberals (not all). I’ve watched them get more and more ‘loose’ in their support of freedom – not only ungrateful for it, but at times totally opposed to it. I thought I’d seen it all and had a full grasp of the depth of the problem. I was wrong.
Here are some of the responses to the death of Castro, the Communist Dictator who tortured and killed dissidents and was charged with crimes against humanity.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau called him a “remarkable leader.”
Jeremy Corbyn said Castro “will be remembered both as an internationalist and a champion of social justice.”
Many left leaning publications published articles romanticizing him, making him sound almost saintly. I saw one young college-educator commentator say “Well the healthcare is good there and there is economic equality. Everyone may be equally poor but they have a place to sleep and they can eat everyday. That’s way more important than freedom.” Speechless. I was left scratching my head and wondering if I had missed something.
Of course those that cheered the loudest at Castro’s death were the lucky Cubans who managed to survive getting away. Many Cuban celebration parades lined the streets of Miami the moment they got the news. I can only imagine the feeling of betrayal when they realized that the new free country that they were so grateful to reach would speak highly of the monster they risked their lives to flee after his death. Must be very confusing.
So yes, Castro’s death has been a wake-up call as to the true feelings of many on the Left these days. Maybe they do genuinely admire a Communist dictator like Castro. Maybe they don’t value freedom, or property ownership or democracy at all. Maybe they want economic equality so badly that “ALL POOR” has become a better option to them than “ALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CLIMB OUT.” Maybe the freedom to pursue happiness (and just freedom in general) has lost its wonder for them. I find this genuinely concerning.