Recently deceased Christopher Hitchens, the world’s most famous atheist, had a younger brother named Peter, who is not as well known. When interviewed by The Guardian — a publication best known for its stalwart defense of leftist values — Peter voiced some opinions that probably struck most Guardian readers as heretical. Afterwards, he summarized some of these observations in another U.K. publication, The Daily Mail (better known for its obsession with photos of scantily clad starlets).
Finding this item while trawling on Google for news on Cuba is a lot like finding a small diamond in a trash heap. It’s small, yes, but it’s still a diamond. Enjoy.
The Guardian interviews me. And some Thoughts in Passing on Cuba
by Peter Hitchens, Mail Online, 22 October 2012
Readers here may not be regular students of the Guardian newspaper (I’m told this works both ways) so they may be interested in this interview of me by Decca Aitkenhead, which can be found here
I much enjoyed meeting Decca Aitkenhead, and will post some thoughts about the encounter here later this week.
A couple of points from the weekend. Now that it is plain that the Castro tyranny was and is an indefensible political slum, I am now asked if I am ,by attacking it, defending the Batista government which preceded it. Obviously not. Why should I? One thing is fairly plain from that era, which is that Batista was nearing the end of his time in power, and was likely to be displaced anyway. Though I would ask any fair-minded person to compare the conditions of Fidel Castro’s imprisonment, after his armed revolt against Batista at the Moncada barracks, and Castro’s treatment of those who did no more than speak critically of him. I’d also mention that Cuba before Castro was a relatively advanced economy, and that many of the claims of the Castro revolution, notably to have made huge improvements in medical care, are not what they are cracked up to be. Medical care and education in Castro’s Cuba are by no means as great as the propaganda claim, and the Communist elite have privileged access to both schooling and medical care, which would surely be needless if things were as good as we are told.
No more do I defend the Tsarist autocracy which ruled Russia before the Bolshevik revolution.
The logic of such questions is that the revolution which they support or defend was the only possible resolution of the problems of the country. I do not think that this was, or generally is, the case. If Russia had had only the February Revolution of 1917, and not the October putsch, it would have been saved from a long nightmare. If Castro had been what the USA believed he was when he was in the Sierras, a democratic rebel, then Cuba might likewise have been saved from much.
If you want to know more about Peter Hitchens and his take on the entire leftist utopian enterprise, go here.