A minor dictator and tyrant for six decades has died. Opined Garray Kasparov, who lived under several, there is no need to mourn:
Fidel 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.
Don't rationalise or apologise for Castro's decades of brutal repression, torture, and murder. He didn't fight for freedom; he destroyed it.
So “why are some dictators remembered so fondly?” wonders Douglas Murray at The Times.
Long before his death it was obvious that Fidel Castro would benefit from the “revolutionary hero” type of obituary more than the “murderous bastard” variety. The BBC and the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, among others, have not disappointed.
Even now, Castro’s eulogists claim a man who urged the Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev to issue a pre-emptive nuclear strike against America to have been a man of peace. They claim the torturer of dissidents and sexual minorities to have been the representative of the oppressed. And they claim an unimaginative and logorrheic egomaniac to have been the voice of the voiceless. For decades before his death, Castro enjoyed a disgusting leniency, not to mention sycophancy, outside the nation he immiserated…
His revolution with the people, for the people turned out to have very little interest in the people. If the justification for overthrowing Batista had been that Batista overthrew democracy, there was no evidence in the decades that followed that Castro had any devotion to the ballot box. And if Batista was brutal and oppressive — and he was — it was a habit Castro showed no desire to kick. Throughout his rule, Castro tortured, murdered and imprisoned his opponents to keep himself in power. Those who still deny these facts — and they are many — should consult the online Cuba Archive as a corrective to their frivolous and sinister revisionism. Like dictators throughout history, Castro was on the side of the people for only as long as all the people were slavishly on his side. And as in North Korea, one of Castro’s staunchest allies, communism was not only the blueprint for the revolution but also an excuse of sorts. It applied an internationalist, intellectual coating to conceal a squalid and deeply parochial crime scene.
Excuses for the crimes continued throughout his reign.
Even now, with his death, we hear the implication that Castro at least “meant well”. This obscene claim can be heard in the assertion by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that Castro was “a champion of social justice”. It can be heard in the BBC describing Castro as “iconic”. And it can be heard in the corporation’s invitations to former KGB agents of influence, such as Richard Gott, to laud their hero on the airwaves..
There were no eulogies from world leaders more flowing than that from Canada’s child-PM Justin Trudeau
— whose Liberal party should have something to say about liberty — [but who] had this to say about Castro’s death: he feels “deep sorrow” upon hearing the news, notes his dad was “very proud to call him a friend,” and offers his “deepest condolences” to the dead dictator’s supporters.
As a former Sunday Times editor points out, Castro' "flaws" include 5,600 Cubans murdered by firing squad; 1,200 in “extrajudicial assassinations”; and tens of thousands jailed, tortured and who died escaping.
The online backlash against the child’s eulogy suggests at least that the embracing of butchers is far from universal, the hashtag #trudeaueulogy quickly trending to post Trudeau-like eulogies to the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer, Stalin and Vlad the Impaler:
UPDATE 1: Lawrence Reed reckons the reaction to old busy-whiskers’s death is an important litmus test …:
The moral bankruptcy of the state-worshipping Left has never been more vivid than it is now in what they're saying about Fidel Castro. Good people of sound character and judgment don't praise thugs, thieves, tyrants and murderers but stupid people of lousy character and poor judgment apparently do, especially when they choose to embrace or cover up for an evil ideology.
UPDATE 2: Former Green MP Keith Locke fails the test. Dismissing Fidel Castro as a “brutal dictator” simply shows how out of touch you are, he says at Martyn Bradbury’s blog. Linking to a good Guardian piece (!), a commenter reckons Keith would do better to remember Castro’s victims.