Saddened By Fidel Castro Passing

News of Fidel Castro’s death ignited a curious sadness. Politics, propaganda and perception of the Cold War are complicated. It upsets me to ponder how little is remembered of how and why the revolution took hold.

Revolutions aren’t born of prosperity or contentment, they fester in a population oppressed by corruption and greed. Everyone knows of Castro, how many regard his predecessor Fulgencio Batista with contempt? How many Americans schooled on evils of Castro fathom the injustice of Batista’s Cuba, grasp simmering disgust for his roll out the red carpet invitation to organized crime and American profiteering? Batista governed twice under vastly different circumstances – duly elected president in 1940 on a socialist platform, Batista left office in 1944. Eight years in America later he returned as a candidate in the 1952 election, facing certain defeat Batista orchestrated a military coup, seizing power as an unelected dictator.

The U.S. government fawned over Batista, a dictator who suspended the constitution, revoked the right to strike, handed American based corporations exclusive rights to resources and welcomed U.S. mafia into Havana – all with financial/military support of the United States. Obviously America was rattled when Havana lawyer Fidel Castro called bullshit.

Cold War propaganda, a super-power pissing match, threat of nuclear annihilation – vilifying Castro was effortless. Who could blame people for thinking Communism their greatest enemy, the hammer poised to eradicate civilization. America wasn’t bothered by dictator Batista”s Cuba, his Cuba suited them nicely. Batista death squads, torture, state controlled media, suspension of elections and corruption could be overlooked – irrelevant details considered part of doing business.

Pondering sadness over Castro’s passing has nothing to do with pro/con analysis of his legacy. I’m not defending human rights violations, or claiming sunshine and roses for Cubans under his rule. My sentiment comes from the realization so many forget, or never knew why Castro orchestrated the revolution.

America condoned corruption and terror in Batista’s undemocratic Cuba because it suited them. America played a starring role in driving Castro to revolutionary desperation. In my opinion Fidel Castro began as an idealistic young man, a man appalled by greed, brutality and social injustice. Unfortunately 1950s hysteria called poking fat U.S. money bellies in the name of social justice Communism. By virtue of the era, Castro himself had no choice but to profess his ideology Communist. Castro seized power in a world indifferent toward human rights atrocities of a corrupt dictator who played well with American interests.

Remember this when pondering Fidel Castro. Before making broad generalizations, understand the Batista Cuba Castro abhorred. History’s puzzle isn’t complete without all the pieces. Pieces of time, place, circumstance and consequence won’t snap in place until we see the whole picture.

Below, a link to another of my posts on Cuba

5 thoughts on “Saddened By Fidel Castro Passing

  1. I have no real view on Castro, though I’m sure that history will give him a clear place. Certainly the name will live on a very long time in one lore of another. Perhaps for the wrong reasons, I also fealt sad, so see the only communist who gave meaning to Marx’ vision of “the revolution”. A cold war warrior that brought us close to a nuclear war. With his passing, the political era of my youth extinguishes. I’m apprehensive for what is next but Castro may rest in peace.

  2. I often wonder how different Cuba would be today if the U.S. had not embargoed the country in 1958 (or ’60 or ’62 — depending on which phase of the embargo you’re talking about). Much of the last 60 years of Cuban history (and suffering) is because we have prevented access to the very standards being used to judge the country.
    But … history is written by the winners and the story we know about Cuba will always be colored by the view we are allowed to see.

  3. I guess Castro abhorred Batista as much as Batista abhorred Castro – but it is sad that Castro did not manage to do better in terms of regime’s victims than Batista, whose record was also appalling…

    • No, I am not Fascist. My view is about as far left of Fascism as you can get.In expressing sadness over Castro’s death I make it clear that consideration of his legacy should include the impetus of his revolution. I’m not condoning hardship Castro imposed on citizens.That said, before making broad generalizations on Communist Cuba, I believe we should understand what drove Castro to kick Batista out.

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