“Castro was an SOB but he was OUR SOB!”–NOT! (says Mandela)
"You accept your allies where you find them," goes the almost unanimous rationalization in "respectable" political, academic and media circles of the Mandela-Castro political marriage. "Hey, Castro was Anti-Apartheid!"(at least in Africa)
Now find me a "respectable" politician, commentator, pundit or academic "expert" who doesn't ritually decry the "U.S.-backing" (often bogus, as in the case of Batista) during the height of the Cold War of Latin American (quasi) dictators (who compared to Fidel Castro about like the common-cold compares to Leprosy) because these helped the U.S. contain Communism.
Now find me a "respectable" commentator, pundit or academic "expert" who doesn't bring up and decry Franco's links to Hitler and Mussolini almost instantly upon any mention of the Spanish Caudillo.
Well, in 1936 nobody else was willing to help Spanish anti-Communists fight Communism.
As always: no enemy on the Left.
To many of us Nelson Mandela's affection for Castro and his handiwork sure seemed like more than some temporary expedient.