Ding dong the dictator’s dead – and was finally buried today ~
Fidel Castro’s ashes were driven two miles through Santiago, Cuba on Sunday morning to Santa Ifigenia cemetery, where he was laid to rest. Raul Castro laid his brother’s remains in a stone tomb marked with one word: “Fidel.” Thousands of Cubans lined the streets to get a glimpse of the leader before the small burial service. His remains were laid to rest after nine days of mourning.
You can bet nary a tear was shed in Little Havana, Miami – unless they were tears of joy. I’m sure Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a U.S. congressional representative (FL-R) was dry-eyed, and spoke for most Cuban-Americans: “Fidel Castro should not be revered; he should be reviled.”
Ros-Lehtinen was born in Cuba and fled to the U.S. with her family when she was eight years old, shortly after Castro came to power. She shared her thoughts about the dictator and his regime in this piece at The Hill ~
With the death of Fidel Castro, Cubans can now close a chapter of this horrific nightmare they have endured for over half a century. While some have been quick to offer their praise of him and mourn the passing of a man they hail as a great leader, nothing could be further from the truth or more ignorant. The real Castro was a sadistic murderer who brought great suffering to the people of Cuba. That is his legacy. He should not be revered; he should be reviled. His only accomplishment was staying in power and maintaining a stranglehold on the Cuban people.
Even as news of his death spread across Cuba, reports came in that pro-democracy leaders who oppose the regime were rounded up, thrown in jail and purged from the streets — one last measure that symbolizes his decades of rule. His real legacy will be the firing squads, the gulags, the torture and the beatings for anyone who dared stand in opposition to him. His legacy will be of a man with blood-soaked hands, stained with the blood of American citizens and the blood of the people in Cuba, Venezuela and around Latin America who dared to call for freedom and democracy.
Writing at The Stream, Mike Gonzalez explains that Cuba was relatively prosperous before Fidel and his comrades collectivized (stole) all private property and businesses (executing some 15,000 political prisoners along the way!) ~
Castro destroyed a thriving society and imposed penury, either out of Marxist dogma or out of resentment that his out-of-wedlock birth had left him with a stigma among Cuba’s middle classes.
Cuba had problems in 1958 as many societies do. But on a number of fronts it was the lead country in Latin America, or among the very top. Its social indicators were not just ahead of Asia and Africa, but also ahead of many European countries […]
A study by the State Department’s Hugo Llorens and Kirby Smith show, for example, that in infant mortality, literacy rates, per capita food consumption, passenger cars per capita, number of telephones, radios, televisions and many other indicators, Cuba led when Castro took over on New Year’s Eve 1958.
As for literacy rates, Cuba’s 76 percent in the late 1950s put it closely behind only Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica. Giant Brazil’s percentage, by comparison, was 49 percent.
And Cuba’s GDP per capita in 1959 was higher than those of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and most of Latin America, Asia. and Africa, again according to U.N.statistics.
In most vital statistics, therefore, Cuba was on a par with Mediterranean countries and southern U.S. states.
Today? The average Cuban is impoverished and disenfranchised, left with no means to improve their seemingly hopeless situation. As Spyridon Mitsotakis explains, their are really two Cubas; one for the elites, and one for everyone else. While the socialist propaganda blames Cuban woes on the American embargo, the real problem is the “internal embargo,” that is ~
… the embargo that the government elite has imposed on the Cuban people to keep them from participating in the economies of the elite and the outside world.
The internal embargo is so complete that, not only is there physical separation from the elites, but there is even a separate currency. The Cuban people use the Cuban Peso (CUP), whereas the government elite and the tourists use the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). The CUC is worth 25 times the value of the CUP, and the nation’s tourist areas, luxury restaurants, and other attractions for foreigners will not accept Cuban pesos, effectively keeping the native population out.
In the cities, the people live in squalor, while the elites look down on them from balconies like feudal overlords or prison guards. In the countryside, the people must travel to work on foot (often barefoot) or in hot crowded buses where nothing but the engine is working and have to endure military checkpoints, almost as if they lived under a foreign occupation. The only successful part of the Cuban economy—the tourism sector—is off limits to ordinary Cubans. There is literally a wall separating the Cuban people from the beaches, where the (mostly Canadian) tourists have the white sand all to themselves. On the other side of the wall, the people have nothing.
There were even separate medical facilities. The clinics for foreigners were absolutely pristine. I did not get to visit a clinic or hospital for the Cuban people, but the conditions were indicated to me by a nurse who asked if we had extra bed sheets to spare, because they were dealing with an outbreak of cholera (a disease that had not been seen in Cuba for over a century).
And nothing has improved since Barack Obama re-opened diplomacy with the island paradise – certainly not for the average Cuban ~
Castro’s communism has not just left Cubans economically pauperized, but politically bereft, a situation that Obama’s unilateral concessions to Castro’s little brother, the 85-year-old Raul, Cuba’s present leader, has only made worse.
According to the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which is recognized by Amnesty and Freedom House, so far this year there have already been over 8,505 political arrests during the first eight months. This represents the highest rate of political arrests in decades.
Meanwhile, we are in the midst of a new Cuban migration crisis. The United States is faced with the largest migration of Cuban nationals since the rafters of 1994. The number of Cubans fleeing to the United States in 2015 was nearly twice that of 2014.
Some 51,000 Cubans last year entered the United States and this year’s figures will easily surpass that. The numbers of Cuban nationals fleeing Cuba have now quintupled since Obama took office, when it was less than 7,000 annually.
Source: The Stream
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen believes Fidel’s death presents an opportunity to truly improve the lot of the 11.3 million Cuban citizens ~
Now is the time to put pressure on the Castro regime to close all the gulags, release all political prisoners, and call for free and transparent elections in Cuba. We must work together alongside responsible nations to help write a new chapter in the history of Cuba, one that is an era of progress and peace, and close this chapter marred in violence, bloodshed and oppression.
And while the Obama administration has been unwilling or unable to recognize the Castro regime as the impediment to democracy for Cubans, President-elect Donald Trump has illustrated his willingness to help the people of Cuba, not its ruthless oppressors. By recognizing that Fidel Castro was a brutal dictator and rightly stating that he will overturn many of President Obama’s ill-conceived overtures to the communist dictatorship, Trump has an opportunity to bring about real change in Cuba.
This is a good start, but we must also engage our allies internationally who believe in the cause for freedom and seek their assistance to bring real reforms and immediate changes to the island to help the people of Cuba. The people of Cuba yearn to be free and desire democracy, and we can help them get there. That can be our legacy.
“Only oppression should fear the full exercise of freedom.”
~ José Marti (Cuban patriot, freedom fighter and poet )
The high price in human life paid for Cuba’s so-called revolution
Cuba: Don’t say “good morning” ~ The Communist regime issued guidelines for the official mourning period ~
Not being allowed to display the most basic civility – “good morning” – to your fellow man is emblematic of Communism’s goal: crushing the human spirit.
Obama’s Cuba FAIL: The total failure of Obama’s policy of embracing and supporting the apartheid Castro regime ~ Capitol Hill Cubans points out the complete and utter failures of Obama’s Cuba’s policy.
• Military has taken absolute control of the island’s tourism industry
• Reforms have been stifled
• Neighboring dictators encouraged to fulfill their authoritarian ambitions without consequence
Updated: 12-5-16 ~
Fidel Castro’s Death Is an Opportunity to End Cuba’s Communist Dynasty ~
The policy that President Barack Obama and his young deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, have doggedly pursued, despite all the evidence to the contrary, has led only to a greater concentration of power in the hands of the new generation of Castros.
A new communist dynasty, a la North Korea, is taking hold 90 miles away because of Obama’s policies. This is something President-elect Donald Trump must prevent by rolling back, as he has promised, the unilateral concessions that Obama has made.