This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.
It is hardly surprising how the American left and outlaw nations like Iran are lining up to praise Fidel Castro upon hearing of his death at age 90. After all, they have been lionizing him since the revolution even after he embraced communism and lined his country up in the Soviet camp. Even the executions of thousands of people connected to the regime of Fulgencio Batista could not dampen their enthusiasm. It must be conceded at the outset, however, that Batista was a corrupt and brutal dictator. During his regime, Cuba was a holiday resort for the Mafia. Batista woud up in Florida and lived there until his death.
Had Castro brought democracy and economic prosperity to his people, he would have gone down in history as a truly great leader to be admired by all. Instead he merely replaced one dictatorship with another. His appeal was that he became an enemy of the US much to the glee of the USSR and the American left. His deputy and chief henchmen, Che Guevara, the Argentine medical student, took over the kangaroo courts, where anyone connected to Batista was brought in and taken out and shot after a few minutes of listening to the evidence. Yet you see American college kids walking around with this killer's image emblazoned on their t-shirts. This "phenomenon", for lack of a better word, has been going on since the 1960s. It is sickening.
Thousands of educated people and business leaders fled Cuba to the US chiefly settling in Dade County, Florida. Ever since they have represented a prosperous and conservative community-a community that has made so many contributions to the area to this day. To be sure, the infamous Mariel boat lift during the hapless Carter administration of the late 1970s brought criminals and mentally unstable people to the US as Castro emptied his prisons. As an aside, I happen to know one of them very well. He spent almost a decade in prison for a crime he committed in the US. He is now reformed, married with kids, and working. In short, he has turned his life around.
It is said that Castro brought improved health care and education to Cuba. Maybe so, but in terms of freedom and human rights, he did not. Not that Cuba didn't have international tourism. Many European men flock to the island to enjoy the sexual favors of underage prostitutes.
None of that kept fools like Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau from lavishing praise on Castro as a great revolutionary and orator. (So was Hitler). He said that ALL Canadians were mourning Castro's death. And of course, there is that America-hating "brain surgeon" who plays quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who weighed in positively on Castro's legacy. He was probably too dumb to realize that the fans in Miami (where he had to play Sunday) were not fans of Castro. They booed him lustily. I don't even want to mention his name.
Fidel Castro is just one more poster child for all that is wrong with communism-and the American left.