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The romanticised dictator

Photo: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock.comPhoto: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock.com

Fidel Castro, hailed by many news outlets as a revolutionary thinker, thought to be the singular absolute ruler who would create a functioning communist state, has died aged 90. For a time, it was believed that he would be the man to finally solve the communist dilemma – finding a way of being Marxist without becoming Stalinist, and in so doing creating a fully socialist state that would never succumb to totalitarianism. Of course, we all know that didn’t happen – or do we?

In an age of post-truth, where the presentation of facts is more significant than the facts themselves, it comes as no surprise that so many people think that Fidel Castro was some sort of saviour. What is truly disconcerting is the reaction on social media, which for the most part romanticised the dictator as if he were some kind of benevolent leader, instead of denouncing him for what he was – a sinister, murderous tyrant.

Indeed, Castro was a brutal dictator masquerading as a saviour, whose communist regime committed innumerable atrocities under the explicit command of the supreme leadership. But as is reliably demonstrated time and again, the mainstream media won’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

Nevertheless, the deceitful, mendacious edifices of the media aren’t as much the highlight as is the truth about this communist dictator, which the left seems to have trouble getting a grip on. Castro’s legacy can be summed up by the vast amount of people who fell victim to his regime. In fact, the US State Department, Amnesty International as well as Human Rights Watch all listed Castro’s Cuba as among the worst violators of human rights on the entire planet.

Despite this, a fair amount of people, especially the useful idiots on social media have praised him as a “revolutionary leader” – with the BBC being at the forefront of what is essentially Communist apologetics. As has come to be expected, the propaganda outlet emphasised his “Communist revolution,” where he “defied the US for decades” over the fact that he was a sinister tyrant, comparable to any other authoritarian dictator.

What if upon Hitler’s death, the main headline would have read ‘Today we mourn painter and animal rights activist, Adolf Hitler. His death also highlights the need for suicide awareness.” Just imagine the outrage that would be hurled at such obvious nonsense.

The sheer amount of atrocities, with death squads and disappearances being well-documented in the Cuban Archive are among some of the known horrors undertaken by Castro and his regime. Officially, the Cuba Archive has documented 3,615 firing squad executions conducted by the Cuban state since Castro took over on January 1, 1959 – and those are just the ones they’re completely sure of.

The Black Book of Communism has estimated that over 16,000 Cubans were murdered throughout Castro’s leadership by firing squad alone – without trial or any judicial process. In 1965, after being forced to sign under duress a confession declaring themselves the “scum of society”, those already classified were summoned to the camps. Among the so-called “scum” were the undesirables, counter-revolutionaries, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and LGBT people, who arrived to the concentration camps by train, bus and military vehicles – only to be humiliated, tortured and forced into labour.

Castro’s legacy can be summed up by the vast amount of people who fell victim to his regime

Many committed suicide, while others died as a result of hunger and disease with no medical attention. Solitary confinement, rape, mutilation, torture and execution of workers was commonplace – workers never to receive the humane treatment they were promised under the UMAP (Military Units to Help Production) plan.

This was a regular occurrence under Castro’s Cuba, with his chief enforcer Guevara – in response to questions about the firing squads saying: “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution. And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”

To one’s shock no doubt, Guevara’s comments just happen to perfectly summarise Castro’s Cuba and his outlook on justice, which is to say none whatsoever.

Being barely distinguishable from other communist states of its time, their 1980s Soviet comrades still insisted that Cuba was a socialist paradise, impoverished solely because the US had isolated the island with economic boycotts and military threats. What they do not tell you is that Castro’s very own sister, Juana Castro once said: “Cuba has become a colony of communist imperialism. The Moscow regime exerts great influence on the Cuban regime.”

She continued: “The communist regime has forced on the Cuban people the lowest standard of living ever observed in Cuba. Fidel never tired of lying to the Cuban peasants.”

When she testified before Congress in 1965, Juana said: “Fidel’s feeling of hatred for this country cannot even be imagined by Americans. His intention, his obsession to destroy the US is one of his main interests and objectives.”

Unsurprisingly, as per communist standards, the destruction of the family through the state was also part of Castro’s dictatorship, with the United Nations stating: “Between 1968 and 1974, the rate of legal abortions quadrupled… since then, abortion rates have fluctuated between 47 and 62 abortions per 1,000 women.”

However, Juan Felipe Garcia insists that “the official Cuban infant-mortality figure is a farce” and the “Cuban paediatricians constantly falsify figures for the regime… If an infant dies during the first year the doctors often report the baby was older. Otherwise such lapses could cost him severe penalties and his job.”

Excluding infant deaths by governmental coercion, the Cuba Archive Project (available online) has estimated that under Castro’s leadership, through murders, deaths in prison, forced labour camp victims, and sea drownings, approximately 100,00 deaths occurred under Castro’s rule.

But of course, Marxist-Feminist prime minister Justin Trudeau had this to say about the dictator: “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island.

“While a controversial figure, both Castro’s supporters and detractors recognised his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for el Comandate.”

It seems that, unlike the countless ignoramuses spouting nonsense about Castro, Human Rights Foundation chairman Garry Kasparov is one of those who hasn’t yet taken leave of his senses, saying that “Castro was one of the 20th century’s many monsters. We should lament only that he had so long to inflict misery on Cuba and beyond.”

He added: “Don’t rationalise or apologise for Castro’s decades of brutal repression, torture, and murder. He didn’t fight for freedom; he destroyed it. History does not judge from the perspective of a dictator’s followers and defenders, but from that of his victims.”

Those who sincerely believe that despite his countless atrocities, Castro was somehow a force for good are merely confessing their lack of engagement with history and their critical faculties. The truth is that a sinister dictator, who like all communist rulers inflicted misery upon his own people - has died.

If anything at all, now would be a good time to light a Cuban Victory cigar.

Christopher Attard is a staunch advocate for free and open inquiry.

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