Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)
With his shaggy beard and rumpled, olive-drab fatigues, Fidel Castro presented himself to the world as a modest man of the people. At times, he claimed he made just 900 pesos ($43) a month and lived in a “fisherman’s hut” somewhere on the beach. But Castro’s public image was a carefully crafted myth, more fiction than fact. “While his people suffered, Fidel Castro lived in comfort — keeping everything, including his eight children, his many mistresses, even his wife, a secret,” wrote Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, Castro’s longtime bodyguard. Sanchez’s book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Líder Maximo,” describes his former boss’s hidden life of political ruthlessness, mistresses and greed. Story is here.
Jerry Newcombe regales us here with the truth (unpopular with progressive liberals) regarding Fidel Castro.
The left chooses to idolize the wrong people, and Castro is no exception. I see people on occasion wearing Che Guevara shirts, and I think to myself, “What happened? Is your Adolf Hitler shirt in the wash?”
... on socialism that it seems that “every generation has to relearn this lesson” that socialism fails and ushers in nothing but death and misery ...
.. Valladares reflects on those he saw who were killed, many of whom were Christians: “I thought about all of those men who marched to the firing squads with a smile on their lips; I thought about the integrity of those martyrs who had died shouting, ‘Viva Cuba Libre. Viva Christ the King. Down with Communism.’ And I was ashamed to feel so frightened. … My heart rose up to God, and I fervently prayed for Him to help me stand up to this brutality, and do what I had to do. I felt that God heard my prayer.”
By 1963, such condemned men were gagged before they were shot, lest their cries be heard, “Long live Christ the King” and “Down with Communism.”
Hollywood is a bastion of progressive liberals who live in a concocted fantasy world with no anchor in reality. Read here about 9 Hollywood naive stars who were seduced by Castro. In 2009, Humberto Fontova theorized here why Hollywood was so enamored with Castro.
While of course there are diehards like Bernie Sanders who have cemented themselves into a powerful delusion, it's usually the young and innocent - the "useful idiots" - who are enamored with the idealism of socialism. Ships without rudders, they are prey for the diehards who suck them into a worldview that promises utopia but inevitably ends as a nightmare.
Jonah Goldberg observes here that even in death, Castro still has 'Useful Idiots'.
At least when people note that Hitler built the autobahn and Mussolini made the trains run on time, they're usually being ironic. To listen to some Castro defenders, you'd think the scales of justice can balance out any load of horrors, so long as the substandard health care is free and the schools (allegedly) teach everyone to read.
As much of the American left is openly mooting whether or not the American president-elect is a dictator-in-waiting, one has to wonder whether they would take that bargain: No more elections, no more free speech, no more civil liberties of any kind, but socialized medicine and literacy for everyone! American political dissidents, homosexuals, journalists and the clergy, just like in Cuba, can languish in prison or internal exile, but at least they'll be able to read the charges against them.
Such un-nuanced arguments always make leftist eyes roll. In a blog post titled "Castro: It's Complicated!" University of Rhode Island professor Eric Loomis cautioned against thinking "in terms of simplistic moral judgments." It seems to me that when people want to ban simplistic moral judgments, it's usually because simple morality is not on their side.
... But among serious leftists, Castro's radical chic is secondary. For them, Fidel's revolution provided the slender hope that America was on the wrong side of history. It was a symbol of resistance -- intellectual, political and spiritual -- to Western yanqui hegemony. They loved Cuba for many of the reasons they hate Israel (despite its exemplary literacy rate and universal health care system). They think -- wrongly -- that Israel is an extension of Western colonialism while Cuba was a rejection of it.
Ben Shapiro wrestles here with the fascination of progressive leftists for dictators.
When evil Cuban dictator Fidel Castro finally died last Friday, the left seemed deeply ambivalent. President Obama noted "the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation," as though Castro had been some sort of high school guidance counselor. Former President Jimmy Carter recalled all the wonderful times he spent by the sea with Castro, the sun gleaming off the waves. He said, "We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- aka handsome Bernie Sanders -- described Castro as "remarkable ... a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century."
Meanwhile, around the world, dictators wept in solidarity with Castro. Palestinian Authority dictator Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in the 11th year of a four-year term in office, ordered the flags dropped to half-staff around his trashed territory. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Cuban President Raul Castro, saying, "Free and independent Cuba, which (Fidel Castro) and his allies built, became an influential member of the international community and became an inspiring example for many countries and nations." Chinese dictator Xi Jinping called Castro "a close comrade and a sincere friend," adding, "His glorious image and great achievements will be recorded in history forever."
What were Castro's great achievements? He presided over the economic destruction of one of the most quickly developing countries in Latin America; he arrested and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of dissidents; he caused the self-imposed exile of millions of Cubans; he watched and participated in the drowning of thousands of Cubans attempting to escape his prison island; he worked with mass murderer Che Guevara to murder political opponents. Castro was, simply put, one of the worst people in a century full of awful human beings.
So why did the left emerge to pay its respects this week?
Because at least Castro sought utopia.
Radical leftism believes that the quest for a utopian world, a world free of unfairness, justifies any cruelty against individuals. Individual rights are obstacles to communal greatness. The bricks of the tower of Babel will be mortared with the blood of those sacrificed on behalf of the vision.
... Dictators everywhere are safe so long as leftism reigns. And leftism will continue to reign so long as men dream of a collective heaven on Earth ...
As our culture accelerates into paganism, Christians who refuse the seduction and stubbornly decline to relinquish their tether on truth will pay an increasingly high price for their faith. Yet as the distinction between us and the world becomes greater, our witness becomes more and more powerful.
And in the end, we will still be standing when all around us burns into oblivion.