November 28, 2016

Fidel Castro - The Legacy of a Tyrant

While progressives and the mainstream media fall all over themselves praising Castro, the truth is quite different. 

On YouTube A Miami Funeral: The "Legacy" of Fidel Castro by David Vargas.  About 3 minutes long, it's well worth watching if only to see the joy of the Cuban exiles at the death of a tyrant.

As a filmmaker I aspire to tell fictional stories, but until now I have only been able to make a living telling real ones. Sitting on the couch last night at 2am learning about Fidel Castro's death was such a surreal moment for me, because it's a topic that has been discussed in my family since I can remember. The decision my grandparents made, along with so many others, to put everything on the line and abandon everything they knew and loved from one day to the next is unfathomable. All I know is that I am so grateful that they took that chance, because it paved the way for my parents to pursue things my grandparents never could, thus extending those opportunities to my sister and I. Knowing that one of the centers for celebration was only minutes from my doorstep, I decided to get off the couch, grab my camera and go tell this story which is deeply engraved in my DNA.

In the Miami Herald There is no RIP for Fidel Castro in Miami. Just good riddance

This is an iconic moment. Generations of Cubans, Cuban-Americans and our children in Miami, capital of exiles, are celebrating his physical erasure with an ardor reserved for World Series and NBA titles. Behold this hashtag on social media: #myabuelitosarehavingapartyinheaven.

Don’t judge us harshly. Give us this moment. Our exile is his doing. There’s no RIP from us for the embodiment of evil in our collective and personal histories.

Fidel Castro’s Communist Utopia.  He turned a developing Cuba into an impoverished prison.

Fidel Castro’s legacy of 57 years in power is best understood by the fates of two groups of his countrymen—those who remained in Cuba and suffered impoverishment and dictatorship, and those who were lucky or brave enough to flee to America to make their way in freedom. No progressive nostalgia after his death Friday at age 90 should disguise this murderous and tragic record.

The Cuba that Castro inherited was developing but relatively prosperous. It ranked third in Latin America in doctors and dentists and daily calorie consumption per capita. Its infant-mortality rate was the lowest in the region and the 13th lowest in the world. Cubans were among the most literate Latins and had a vibrant civic life with private professional, commercial, religious and charitable organizations.

Castro destroyed all that. He ruined agriculture by imposing collective farms, making Cuba dependent first on the Soviets and later on oil from Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. In the past half century Cuba’s export growth has been less than Haiti’s, and now even doctors are scarce because so many are sent abroad to earn foreign currency. Hospitals lack sheets and aspirin. The average monthly income is $20 and government food rations are inadequate.

Michael Totten visited Havana in 2014 and gives us the flavor of living in the ruins of The Last Communist City 

Outside its small tourist sector, the rest of the city looks as though it suffered a catastrophe on the scale of Hurricane Katrina or the Indonesian tsunami. Roofs have collapsed. Walls are splitting apart. Window glass is missing. Paint has long vanished. It’s eerily dark at night, almost entirely free of automobile traffic. I walked for miles through an enormous swath of destruction without seeing a single tourist. Most foreigners don’t know that this other Havana exists, though it makes up most of the city—tourist buses avoid it, as do taxis arriving from the airport. It is filled with people struggling to eke out a life in the ruins.
Cuba was one of the world’s richest countries before Castro destroyed it—and the wealth wasn’t just in the hands of a tiny elite. “Contrary to the myth spread by the revolution,” wrote Alfred Cuzan, a professor of political science at the University of West Florida, “Cuba’s wealth before 1959 was not the purview of a privileged few. . . . Cuban society was as much of a middle-class society as Argentina and Chile.” In 1958, Cuba had a higher per-capita income than much of Europe. “
In the United States, we have a minimum wage; Cuba has a maximum wage—$20 a month for almost every job in the country. (Professionals such as doctors and lawyers can make a whopping $10 extra a month.)...As for the free health care, patients have to bring their own medicine, their own bedsheets, and even their own iodine to the hospital.

13 FACTS ABOUT FIDEL CASTRO by Carlos Eire, a professor of history and religious studies at Yale University

● He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.
● He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.
● He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.
● He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.
● He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.
● He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.
● He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.
● He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.
● He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.
● He censored all means of expression and communication.

Castro wanted nuclear war against the U.S.

The evidence is that Castro advocated striking the U.S. with Soviet nukes. Via Andrew Stuttaford, is an excerpt from a letter Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent to Castro after the Cuban missile crisis:
...In your cable of October 27 you proposed that we be the first to carry out a nuclear strike against the enemy’s territory. Naturally you understand where that would lead us. It would not be a simple strike, but the start of a thermonuclear world war.

Glenn Reynolds in US Today Castro and his ilk showed us that under socialism, the powerful grow rich — and everyone else grows poor.

He spent his life railing against the excesses of capitalism, but he lived his life as a king. Forbes estimated his wealth in 2006 at $900 million.  Fidel Castro had 20 luxury homes, a private island, an 88ft yacht - and mistresses galore.  His private bodyguard of 17 years described how Castro offered Colombian cocaine traffickers safe haven for cash and directed "illegal operations like a real godfather.”

Castro created a police state and brought the world to the brink of Armageddon,

Castro’s frightened subjects dared not speak his name. They feared they would be overheard by ever-present secret police spies,  The ‘Committees for the Defence of the Revolution’, present in every workplace, school and street, watched everyone, reported every word out of place and ruined the lives of those who spoke out of turn.

History Will Not Absolve Fidel Castro by Henry Gomez

Castro’s half-century rule of Cuba was characterized by foreign interventions, terrorism, and espionage in Africa (the Congo, Angola), the Americas (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, and Grenada to name a few), and even Asia (it has been reported that Cuban torturers were used by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War).

Despite five decades of propaganda to the contrary, Cuba has deteriorated in almost every imaginable measure of quality of life under Castro’s rule. Food rationing, which was introduced as a “temporary” measure in 1962, persists to this day. Infrastructure is crumbling and even literacy gains are not so impressive considering the gains of other Latin American countries that have not been subjected to decades of totalitarian rule. ....

Fidel Castro will be known most of all for his broken promises. The popular revolution he led was a promise of a better life. Instead what Cubans received were the worst examples of oppression and repression in the history of the western hemisphere. History will not absolve Fidel Castro. On the contrary, it will condemn him. Millions of eyewitnesses will see to that.
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 28, 2016 10:22 AM | Permalink