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Celebration, sorrow and slights greet news of Castro's death

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Trump elaborated on his initial tweet later Saturday, calling Castro “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.”

absolute nonsense....

Trump says Castro left a legacy of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

sounds like he is describing life for African Americans in some states of America... while not exactly firing squads they do face police who are happy to shoot people quite happily...

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Castro would have had more going for him if he didn't install himself as "leader" for life. And instead of allowing the people to decide, he names his BROTHER, as the next leader... for life....

Many Cuban ex-pats are happy, those living locally are mostly happy he's moved on. For some he was the only leader they ever new.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

absolute nonsense....

Why?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Castro was a romantic thug.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Trump: “Fidel Castro is dead!”

Iconoclast vs iconoclast.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who cares what Trump thinks? He is the worst person on the face of the Earth. The U.S. has always been pissed about him because he didn`t bend over and take it like a chump. Screw the U.S. I think the last paragraph says alot about Castro.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm sure we'll see many articles and books from serious and sober minds assessing Castro's rule and legacy. It's a complex one.

The barkings of the likes of Trump and other GOP headbangers are not serious or sober and shouldn't be taken seriously. It's just noise for the idiots.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Peter Hain put it best: "“Although responsible for indefensible human rights and free-speech abuses, Castro created a society of unparalleled access to free health, education and equal opportunity despite an economically throttling USA siege," plus beating the South African regime in Angola.

Castro was neither a bad man who did good, nor a good man who was responsible for crass human rights violations. He was a creature of circumstances that directed him throughout his career. Those circumstances were a just fear of American intervention. Had he been a nicer he may have ended up like Allende and host of other democratically elected Latin American leaders that the U.S. did not happen to like. Correctly or not, but tragically, he saw Cuban real politic as authoritarian and paternalistic. Cuba did not get democracy but it got rid of Batista and got free medical care and free education in its place. (In Denmark you get democracy and free health care and education; in the U.S. you get democracy but go into debt for medical care and a university degree).

The worst thing I can say about Castro's Cuba is that it created an authoritarian role model for Socialism in Latin America.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm sure we'll see many articles and books from serious and sober minds assessing Castro's rule and legacy. It's a complex one.

So now we are using the euphemism of Castro's rule and deprivation of human rights and the brutalization of his oppressive regime as a "complex one??"

I call the man a Tyrant and a dictator and I think the Cuban people have more than enough to celebrate, it's a start and I wish nothing but happiness and freedom for the Cuban people.

The barkings of the likes of Trump and other GOP headbangers are not serious or sober and shouldn't be taken seriously. It's just noise for the idiots.

LMAO! Wow!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Kabukilover

Good post. The Allende point is an interesting one. The US backed the filthy dictator Pinochet after helping to overthrow a democratically elected government and seemed to be ok with his human rights abuses. Pinochet wasn't a communist and so that made it ok. In my country, ex-PM Thatcher welcomed that filthy butcher after his abuses were known to all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kabukilover. Excellent post. I don't know so much about Cuba or Latin America but I know Castro upset America and in regards to America's foreign affairs, there always seems to be more than meets the eye.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At least Castro was a fairly enlightened "tyrant." He could have enriched themselves at the total expense of the people like Batista. He did not. Cuba was terrible to be a dissident. It was a great place to be sick. Castro could have been worse. He was not a Stalin. Cuba was not a North Korea.

At tie time of Castro's death the U.S. had a larger percentage of its people in prison than Cuba. If ever the U.S. gets a tyrant he or she will not be a Castro but someone like Trump, who destroy the last vestiges of affordable health care and education and social security before destroying democracy itself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kabukilover: At least Castro was a fairly enlightened "tyrant." He could have enriched themselves at the total expense of the people like Batista. He did not.

Fidel outdid the Clintons, so far, but he had a 20-year head start on them (not counting his silver-spoon origins).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/keithflamer/2016/11/26/10-surprises-about-castros-extravagant-life

10 Surprises About Castro's Extravagant Life - Nov 26, 2016

... A decade ago, Forbes estimated Fidel Castro’s personal net worth at $900 million. That’s a lot of socialist rationing for one person. ...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Kabukilover

Good post. That's what I meant as compared to the honks, quacks and barks coming out of the likes of Trump and other GOP bobble heads.

The Allende point is an interesting one. I just wonder how many people were happy to see the death of the US-backed scumbag Pinochet after the US had helped overthrow a democratically elected government.

Then again, Pinochet was a rightist despot, not a communist one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Who cares what Mr. Trump thinks? JAPAN better care what he thinks. Japan's future, its "self-defense", and economic prosperity may change on Jan.20th. Japan has no natural resources such as oil, etc. A neighbor to the northwest as well as other directions is a threat to Japan's future, self-defense and economic prosperity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"The barkings of the likes of Trump and other GOP headbangers are not serious or sober and shouldn't be taken seriously. It's just noise for the idiots."

"LMAO! Wow!"

Another incisive, biting and focused response. It almost reaches the soaring level of Trump's Fidel Castro is dead tweet.

The larger point I was making was that I'm more interested in the views of non-partisan historians and academics on the Castro years than the views of GOP sock puppets. It's like your take that the non-partisan historians who reassessed the Bush presidency and found it to be a roaring success means more than the views of the majority of Americans who thought it was a disaster.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

HOORAY that maggot is dead!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Thank you Jimizo and roosterman 77 for your posts. Pinochet was much worse a tyrant than Castro. Castro, inspired by Marx, helped the poor. Pinochet, inspired by Milton Freedman, made Chile's poor even more miserable. Castro indeed upset JFK to the point that he had, as David Korn recently wrote, a Castro obsession. His ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion and his near-nuclear war with Soviet Union over Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba were but two outstanding ant-Castro escapades.

Turbotsat, one interesting item from you: the Forbes claim that Castro was worth $900 million. I do not trust the mainstream media and Forbes least of all. But it is a poignant thought to keep in mind. Firstly, $900 million is not that much, tyrant-wise. Secondly, what did he do with all that money? Presumably he lived better than the average Cuban but doubt he lead a Donald Trump lifestyle.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Almost all country heads moaned with etiquette. US? almest all badmouthed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump says Castro left a legacy of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

Trump is proving to be a fine diplomat, one you would want to be the president of your country.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Trump does not remember what he said. So, wait tomorrow what he will say about Castro.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is to MOURN the death of someone. The moaning are comments from Putin, et al. Castro is cremated, a sin in the Catholic religion, but a blessing in that he cannot return. If he were such a great leader, educator, and change maker, why is Cuba in the same economic condition as when he took over? Answer: Look in the bancos." You can't take it with you!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

(Forbes): ... A decade ago, Forbes estimated Fidel Castro’s personal net worth at $900 million. That’s a lot of socialist rationing for one person. ...

But, effectively, he was the King of Cuba (old-style sovereign, not the new king-under-Parliament style). So maybe his true net worth would be equal to the net worth of Cuba.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Castro created over 1.2 million refugees, executed tens of thousands, forced homosexuals into work camps, and made freedom of movement, freedom of belief and freedom of speech crimes against the state. He ran mental hospitals as extensions of the penal system, employing electro shock therapy against political prisoners. He was a despot.

The world is a better place without him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So thousands of Cubans were executed and tens of thousands more were jailed for wanting a politically pluralistic society and they should be grateful that they all got a free Socialist education and barely above adequate health care? No. Fidel Castro was a mini Mussolini. It is beyond me why the Leftist in Europe and America worshipped such a vile and cruel human being.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kabukilover: Turbotsat, one interesting item from you: the Forbes claim that Castro was worth $900 million. I do not trust the mainstream media and Forbes least of all. But it is a poignant thought to keep in mind. Firstly, $900 million is not that much, tyrant-wise. Secondly, what did he do with all that money? Presumably he lived better than the average Cuban but doubt he lead a Donald Trump lifestyle.

Kabukilover, at approximately $1B net worth Fidel is at about 1/80th of Cuba's GDP of $80B/year (2014). At $10B Trump is at about 1/1800th of the USA's $18T GDP (2016), Trump's ratio of worth vs his country's GDP is about 4 percent of what Fidel's was.

Also (as I noted in another comment above), I don't know how Forbes came up with their number, but Fidel was effectively the King of Cuba, owning the entire country. If you read the article at the link, he was probably living better than Trump, and if not, it was only because of his location.

There have been mass escapes of emigrants from Cuba over the years, but I don't think I've heard of any mass attempts to immigrate there. Can't imagine there have been many immigrants from well-to-do countries.

I haven't looked into it lately but from the accounts I've read before most Cubans were pretty unhappy with the trickle-down economics there, even given the free medical. I guess that people high enough in the party are happy with their lot.

Fidel's also on the hook for the massacres early on, as some have mentioned.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Socialism is a wonderful system, as long as you are running it and have all that wealth and power. You just put all your opponents in jail and nationalize their property or even shoot them.

Castro started out to rid his nation of a tyrant but like so many before him, he becomes the new tyrant. Castro turned out to be just another cheap thug, murderer, and dictator

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

HOORAY that evil man is dead!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Castro's salary for himself was a pittance. Too bad his religious teachings made him such a reactionary toward homosexuality in his country. However, get it from the source. Read his oral autobiography, which took a year of conversations to create. It's extraordinary, and it's also a first hand story of the last 50 years. From a very sharp mind.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do wish to excuse any of Castro's wrong doing, of which there are many. No doubt Castro lived well--far better than the average Cuban. If Cuba is (or was) anything like the Soviet Union, shortages are (were) many for the people (thanks to a great extent to the US embargo) while the elite got choice Western goods. (Whatever privileges Castro had, they were small compared to what the rich elite have in the U.S,) At least the people got free education and free health care.

What was (is) Cuba like from the inside? I do not know.

What I do see from the outside is that Cuba is a Castro family business. That will mean will go from a revolutionary state to a political Walmart. The romance of revolutionary Cuba that has held the country together and dazzled the world will be gone.

Unfortunately Castro's Cuba was a model for Socialism in Latin America and it was the wrong model. Dreams die hard. Die they must, so newer and better dreams can take their place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education, literacy and health,

Much much more so than America. There are no uneducated ghetto speakers in ghettos in Cuba. The man did a wonderful job.

Um, please pass the turkey platter, foie gras torchon , caviar and that nice cigar.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

At least the people got free education and free health care.

So in other words the ends justify the means argument, correct?

The strength of this argument depend upon if that was the only way to achieve those ends.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All the rhetoric about the dead leader must be giving NK dictator a sense of well-being because he can mistakenly believe that when he dies, he will be praised by the same world leaders. He will need to achieve it before Mr. Trump becomes president. President Obama leaves at noon on Jan. 20th at noon, EST. Change is coming in the US foreign policy, ready or not, accept it or deny it, but it is going to happen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With all of this praise for Castro's benevolent government and its concern for the poor, one wonders why so many poor people chose to risk their lives by using rickety rafts, boats, etc., to leave Cuba.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is rather funny that the folks frothing at the mouth over the 'massive human rights abuses' under Fidel froth at the mouth if you mention the crime against humanity and massive human rights abuses that are occurring under Netanyahu. Their claims that their hatred for Fidel is rooted in concerns for human rights, freedom, democracy rings as phony as Trump's claims that his hatred for Clinton was rooted in concerns over marital fidelity, legality, and honesty.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dre Hund: Castro's salary for himself was a pittance. ... However, get it from the source. Read his oral autobiography, which took a year of conversations to create.

The Forbes article indicate he faked his background as a show for the populace. Born to and raised by wealthy parents in Cuba, he pushed a story of a background of persecuted Galician peasants or some such. He probably faked his tiny salary, too. One of his main residences is a former (pre-revolution) luxury hotel with a golf course.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Noling: The strength of this argument depend upon if that was the only way to achieve those ends.

Fidel Castro and his Leftist political supporters the world over are a perfect example of this sort of ends justifies the means mentality. How many times have we heard Leftists praise Castro for setting up a crappy universal health care and education system and then use it as an example for the rest of the world? All the while they ignored the gulags, political executions, incarceration of political opponents, and generally appalling human rights record. The Leftist ideology of enforced socialism is the end goal and the bad is ignored in favor of the perceived good of the utopian Socialist governing system. Whatever keeps the fraud going - so the ends justify the means.

Prime Minister Trudeau is either complicit in whitewashing the horrible crimes of Fidel Castro or he is ignorant of history. In either case it doesn't say much for the man.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ToshiYori: Because they worked for and were corrupted by the Bastita government.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another incisive, biting and focused response. It almost reaches the soaring level of Trump's Fidel Castro is dead tweet.

Sorry, not going to work. Maybe you thought Fidel was some charismatic character, but most people in Cuba didn't and especially the Cuban's that had to escape his grip. The man was absolutely one of the worst dictators in modern history and I can't rejoice enough in this guys demise, and other crazy loons like Hugo Chavez are where they should be. Now I believe there is a real chance to have hope and build a REAL lasting and beautiful relationship with the people of Cuba. They deserve it, they deserve our help and I hope Raul is at least somewhat not as defiant or stubborn to block any effort of change that should come to these people.

The larger point I was making was that I'm more interested in the views of non-partisan historians and academics on the Castro years than the views of GOP sock puppets.

That's not being partisan, there was nothing good about Castro. Almost every Cuban I have met in the States or in Japan had nothing nice to say about the guy, nothing, that's not being partisan, that's being a realist.

It's like your take that the non-partisan historians who reassessed the Bush presidency and found it to be a roaring success means more than the views of the majority of Americans who thought it was a disaster.

So now you want to do the apples and grapefruit comparisons again? Well, at least you tried, can't ask much more than that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"It's like your take that the non-partisan historians who reassessed the Bush presidency and found it to be a roaring success means more than the views of the majority of Americans who thought it was a disaster."

"So now you want to do the apples and grapefruit comparisons again? Well, at least you tried, can't ask much more"

What in the name of non-existent, non-partisan historians are you ROFLing about now?

The historians I was talking about don't exist. You made them up.

Can I ask how you know most people in Cuba didn't think Castro was a charismatic figure? Have you been on assignment for the Washington Post and did comprehensive surveys on that island?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He was nothing but a bloodthirsty tyrant. Enjoy hell!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Fidel was a hero to millions of people. Despite 50 years of a crippling US trade embargo and decades of economic/industrial sabotage, Cuba is still the only country in Latin America where you don't see kids looking for food in rubbish bins and garbage dumps. No one's going hungry, and everyone get's an education and has access to public health. It's funny how the US always seems to target governments whose health and education systems rank top in their particular region (most recently pre-regime change Libya in Africa and pre-invasion Syria in the Arab Middle East). And it's pretty ironic that the site of the most glaring human rights violations in Cuba today is Guantanamo Bay where people have been held without charge or proof of guilt for decades, and where they are routinely tortured. I'm just reading Sy Hersch's book "The Dark Side of Camelot" which goes into great detail about Kennedy's pathological hatred of Castro and his attempts to murder the man utilizing the CIA and the Mafia. Very few people know that Castro was a candidate in the 1952 Cuban elections before the US supported military coup brought Batista into power and he cancelled the free elections. Only then did Castro become a revolutionary and even after seizing power in 1959 he wanted to maintain a good relationship with the US. It was the Bay of Pigs invasion that drove Castro into the arms of the Soviets. And of course since then the western media made him out to be a monster that somehow was beloved by the vast majority of his people and people throughout the developing world. Yes, he locked people up, but we all saw what kind of people they were when Castro took up President Carter's offer to welcome anyone from Cuba to the US and emptied his prisons and shipped them all to Miami. The crime rate immediately went through the roof! I still chuckle about that one.

As for the controversy about Justin Trudeau's comments, I thought they were excellent and obviously written by a man whose father was a friend of Castro and who was Prime Minister during a time when Canada wasn't just simply a patsy to the US and was proud to have some independent thought. Nice one Justin!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

https://www.google.com/#q=hunger+in+cuba

http://www.csmonitor.com/1995/0612/12062.html

Hunger in Cuba: A Problem That Doesn't Officially Exist - June 12, 1995

... But with little open acknowledgment of the problem, Cubans are left to anecdotal evidence that hunger exists. ... A Mexican woman in Havana says she went to see her Cuban husband's family on the eastern end of the island recently and found they had not eaten for three days. "They had no food," she says. ...

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371520/cuba-holodomor-next-door-robert-zubrin

Cuba: The Holodomor Next Door - February 20, 2014

Cuba’s starvation policy is a crime against humanity. ... I just got back from a business trip to Mexico. While there, I met with some Mexicans who had recently traveled to Cuba. What they told me was shocking. The Cuban people are being held on the edge of starvation. ...

http://thefederalist.com/2016/03/25/obama-plays-castros-hunger-game/

... The Cuban government rations to their people just one-third of the calories they need to live. ...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

turbosat...The Christian Science Monitor, National Review and The Federalist....gee, unbiased reporting anyone?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"...The Christian Science Monitor, National Review and The Federalist....gee, unbiased reporting anyone?"

It's progress of sorts. People have been posting links to Breitbart.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh, well, just ask Cuba, then. Or the Wobblies. I'm sure you can find the answers you want there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can I ask how you know most people in Cuba didn't think Castro was a charismatic figure?

Because a large portion of their relatives live in the US and even though they are apart, they know about the outside world and knew what a Tyrant he was, but they had to be quiet about it, because any opposition would result in being hauled off and land you in prison. Are there some people that liked Castro, sure. The majority? No. But this is a great day for the Cuban people and I wish I could march in the streets with them, because their biggest nightmare is over.

Have you been on assignment for the Washington Post and did comprehensive surveys on that island?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Are there some people that liked Castro, sure. The majority? No."

The question was about Castro being a charismatic figure. I haven't heard anyone say Castro isn't charismatic. You started LMAOing about something else.

Anyway, you or I don't know what the majority of Cubans think. As I said, maybe with your work for the Washington Post you were able to visit and do polls.

If you couldn't, you don't know. There is no way you could.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Florida, zCubacs are celebrattig,,, in Cuba, people are moaning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway, you or I don't know what the majority of Cubans think.

The celebrations from Cubans abroad would suggest otherwise, remember in Cuba, Raul still is the reigning president, so let's see how quiet the people will be once he's gone as well.

As I said, maybe with your work for the Washington Post you were able to visit and do polls.

Liberal humor attempt? Try again, please.

f you couldn't, you don't know. There is no way you could.

Sorry not buying it, not for a minute, but the way Castro was, there is no way on God's green Earth anyone could convince the average rational thinking person that so many people in Cuba loved the man. Don't conflate misconstrue fear and love.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I've seen a whitehaired old Chinese lady weeping at a shrine to Lenin, around 10 years ago. Mass weeping in China at Mao's death, too, I've heard from people who where in China then. Everybody cried. You can see the same in videos for the DPRK leaders' deaths.

People on the inside don't have a choice on whether they buy into the personality cult or not, at least publicly, and I'd think most of them buy into it privately as well. To people on the outside, it looks like Stockholm Syndrome.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"The celebrations from Cubans abroad would suggest otherwise"

Suggest, eh? I'm talking about all Cubans, not just the anti-Castro people abroad.

As I said, you have no way of knowing what the majority of Cubans think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As I said, you have no way of knowing what the majority of Cubans think.

But I think we have a good indication from the majority that he won't really be missed that much.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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