A defense of Fidel Castro in two parts

I should probably be the last person to stick up for Castro, but conservative critics of the former Cuban dictator might be surprised to discover he despised the so-called "elites" just as much as they do

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Part 2

We tend to underestimate the power of health and education, but as I said, it is the basis of everything. I think Castro understood that. In spite of his many failings (and I may have a healthy respect and admiration for him now but I'm also not blind) he truly gave the best to his people. I was also impressed by the fact that the crime rates are very low. The experience of DiMatteo with a prostitute in Habana is rare. I challenge him and any other journalist to compare the levels of prostitution in Cuba with any other resort country, supposedly more 'advanced' and democratic. Especially because at the very least there is no child prostitutes in Cuba, unlike so many other countries that catter to western people in search for pleasure. What is also noticeable low are the crime rates for anything else. The streets of Cuba are the safest in all Latin America. And you won't see homeless or crazy people on the streets either. You may say they 'hide them or repress them' but the truth is, the rates of homelessness is almost none existent due to the nature of the communist manifesto. People may live in shacks, especially in rural areas, but those shacks have basic services and those people have a roof over their heads. That's basic human rights that about 90% of countries around the world don't provide. So yes, there is still a lot of repression, and yes, Castro was not a saint and committed atrocities like any other dictator in the world (and I come from South America, so that doesn't really surprises or alarms me much, I've seen worse), but the truly remarkable thing, which is something few really pay attention to, is that Fidel, with all his bombastic personality, allegedly expensive life style and controversial polices, did truly care for his people and really believed in the model. He, unlike 80% of politicians, truly did lots of work for his people in incredibly difficult circumstances. Believe it or not, the vast majority of Cubans (those actually living in Cuba) actually love Fidel and his family. They speak about him as they speak about any other friend, like he was one of them instead of their president. They know he has made mistakes, they disagree with him in a number of issues, but they respect and love him because they know he has good intentions and the oldest of them remember the Batista/US years that were far worse. They may be poor, they may be small, but they are educated, they are positive and they are creative. What is more, without the interventionism of the rest of the world and in isolation from intrusive technologies, they are also pure of heart and intention. I cannot help but think that in many ways, Fidel's social experiment was successful. I won't be joining the parties either in his honor or rejoicing his death. I will be lighting a candle for the Cuban people, for the represent hope in a world turned mad.

Ana 4 days ago

Experience Cuba, then talk (part1)

I have been in Cuba 2 times. One time in the area of Santa Clara and Remedios, and the second in Varadero/Matanzas/La Havana. I grew up in a Catholic, Conservative, Peruvian home where the words 'communism' and 'socialism' were considered insults. I learned to dislike and distrust anything with that 'label'. However, now I live in Canada (almost 9 years already) and I can see that 'socialism' is a much wider term and is actually something I ended up embracing, as my work as a nurse in an organization working with homeless people with mental illness and addictions broaden my mind and my heart. I was truly impressed by Cuban people both times I visited. Since I speak Spanish and I'm south american, it was much easier for me to connect with people there, in a way that many Canadian and American (or even European) journalists can't ever understand. I have spoken with a fair share of Cubans and I couldn't help but admire Fidel Castro as my discovery of Cuba continued. Every single person I spoke to, from the street sweeper in La Havana to the barman at the resort has a college education, fully funded by the government. Every single person I met, also had access to health care and all the medications needed for his treatment, for as log as they need it. And we are talking about one of the best health care systems I've ever seen (and I have mentioned, I'm a nurse in Canada). I had the privilege to speak with other doctors and nuses in Cuba, their system is fully holistic, creative, really patient-centered (not the joke of it we have in most 'advanced' countries). They use natural remedies more often than pharmaceutical pills, the same with nutrition, and they have much better results than all the best medical centres in the US combined. Because of the lack of resources and limited access to western medications, they have learned to practice a type of medicine that is truly integrative and holistic. In regards of education, the fact that every single person receives free education all the way to college, it's the best gift Castro gave his people. Yes, there are engineers and doctors working as barmen and taxi drivers, or playing music on the streets for the turistas. But that blame is more thw result of the blockade than Castro''s. Their economic situation is on the shoulders of those 11 US presidents that Castro survived. And the moment that blockde disappears, we will have a highly educated community (yes, community, that I also learned from Cuba, they truly understand the word community, they had to work together for so long to survive they are truly kind to each other naturally) with plenty of resources. I won't be surprised if they find a solution to every problem of mankind. Because the other thing the Cubans are (apart from resilient, corageous, and some of the happiest, more engaging people in the world) is creative. Free education and free health for everybody is a reality in Cuba and it is truly the basis of everything.

Ana 4 days ago

Leftists can always rationalize atrocities from one of their own

Well if Castro isn't so bad, I guess Rob Ford wasn't the devil incarnate either, right NOW? I mean he was vilified for not attending the Pride parade, to the point that photographers actually went up and creeped the guy's cottage. But now the same publication will defend a guy who threw homosexuals into concentration camps. Lol, you can't make this stuff up.

The world isn't a black and white place, and the Cuban situation isn't something that can be summed up as "USA good, Castro evil" or anything like that. But the fact remains that Castro was a murderous despot who imprisoned and executed dissidents, put gays in concentration camps, didn't allow freedom of expression or movement, enriched himself and his cronies as his people lived in poverty. His human rights record is terrible. If any ruler did all this and was considered a right-wing figure, you guys would condemn him. But since Fidel is considered a leftist, it can always be rationalized "well it was a difficult time" etc. Just like how the savagery of Lenin is countenanced in leftist circles. You guys would never apply that same logic to the US, or any right-wing head of state.

Richie 7 days ago

Castro was no better than Batista

But Castro will endure in the annals of history due to his flamboyance. It seems that the masses just can't get enough of politicians with big personalities.

On the other hand, tens of thousands of Fidel's fellow Cubans dared to leave his island paradise for evil America, often using crudely-constructed boats. Whatever his successes, Castro ultimately failed to deliver on his revolution's ideals.

Donny Football 9 days ago

Defense of Castro

There is no need to defend Castro. The North American media has it's predictably biased view, which runs counter to 95% of the world's population that resides elsewhere. I'll stand with the Pope, while the conservative commentators can stand with Uncle Sam.

BJ 9 days ago

Defense of Fidel Castro

Just because Kellie Leitch published a pic of Fidel executing someone, no difference than Americans with clones killing many innocent people. Just sayin !

Roger Morais 9 days ago

Sure

Go on down to cuba and try to protest the killing of innocent people by the gov't. You'll get a different reaction than doing the same thing in the US. Just sayin!

DC Toronto 9 days ago

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