Granddaughter of one of Fidel’s first victims writes killer essay

Nosferatu in his university days

Cuba’s Nosferatu was a gangster “pistolero” (gunman) and a cold-blooded killer long before he became a murderous despot.

The essay below shines a light on one of the Beast’s first crimes, while he was a university student.

Then, it moves on to assess his horrific legacy.

Marianne Murciano

From the Chicago Tribune

Fidel Castro is dead? Good, but the damage is done

by Marianne Murciano

Because I was born in Cuba, just about everyone I know has been asking for my thoughts about Fidel Castro’s death. So much has been said already. As a journalist, I try to stay as objective as possible when I’m asked about Cuba. But news of Castro’s death on Friday was an emotional bombshell, going straight to the heart of who I am and how I’ve grown up.

For my entire life, these were the magic words I’d been waiting for: Castro is dead.

But when it happened, it felt anticlimactic. So what if he’s dead? He still won. He died at 90 after destroying Cuba and leaving in place a framework for his repressive policies. However, as I watched televised news coverage of the celebrations in Miami — people leaving their homes in the middle of the night with Cuban flags, pots and pans and other noisemakers — I wanted to be there too. Finally, it was not just another rumor. And although I’ve been in Chicago for 23 years, it felt like a time to rejoice, no matter what. So I turned to Twitter.

Then I heard a report about Castro’s positive impact on Cuba, and my celebratory tweets turned angry. This larger-than-life character who has haunted my life since I could speak was not just a tyrant — I believe he was my grandfather’s murderer.

Manolo Castro, no relation to Fidel, was shot to death outside a small theater in Havana in 1948 when my mother was 9 years old. At the time, my grandfather was Cuba’s sports minister, but he had made a name for himself as president of the University of Havana’s Student Federation. In the 1940s, Havana was rife with violence led by revolutionary organizations vying for political advantage. Gunmen associated with “action groups” loitered at the corners of buildings, looking to settle vendettas or oust the competition. It was hard to tell who was a revolutionary and who was a terrorist.

Manolo Castro: one of Fidel’s first victims

A young, ambitious law student, Fidel Castro, desperately wanted to join the student protest movement and follow in my grandfather’s footsteps as Student Federation president. According to the book, “Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro” by Georgie Anne Geyer, Castro put a bullet through a protester’s lung in order to ingratiate himself and gain my grandfather’s political support. Manolo Castro refused, and Fidel Castro began a very open public relations campaign to get my grandfather’s name on a hit list with the deadliest gang in Havana.

On Feb. 22, 1948, on the last night of Carnival festivities, snipers gunned down Manolo Castro as he was walking to his car. Within hours, Fidel Castro and three others were arrested. Castro’s fingerprints were not on the gun found at the scene and he was released. Still, there was ample reason to suggest that Castro was behind the shooting, according to students and community leaders who lived through that tumultuous period. But that night, Castro denied taking part in the murder. He called my family several times to insist he was not the gunman and had nothing to do with it. They believed otherwise.

My family has carried this weight for almost 70 years, since well before the world knew Fidel Castro’s name. My mother’s entire life has been shaped by it.

Much, much more worth reading…Marianne Murciano is just warming up at this point….continue HERE.

Victims of Castroism memorial, Miami

No booze, no sports, no parties, no entertainment: Extreme mourning forced on all Cubans and tourists

No mow-hee-tows for anyone!
No mow-hee-tows for anyone!

It’s a return to Good Friday, the way it used to be celebrated in pre-Castro Cuba.

No one is allowed to have any fun, or to be lighthearted.

Everyone must mope and mourn in somber silence, stone cold sober.

Castrogonia is in deep mourning until the ex-Maximum Leader’s ashes reach their final resting place on December 4th.

But what about the tourists?  Can they have at least one mow-hee-tow while they’re there, or at least a cold sir-vay-sah?

No way!  Ni se atrevan!  Don’t even think of it.

At least, for once, Castrogonia’s apartheid rules are being ignored: tourists must suffer along with the natives.

As Mr. T might have said: pity the fools who pity the fools who want to get drunk in Cuba while the Messiah’s ashes are on parade.

No fun for anyone!  Nadie puede divertirse!  De ninguna manera, coño!

The Messiah has died, and this Messiah is not rising from the dead.


From Translating Cuba

The “Dry Law” After the Death of Fidel Castro
by Iván García

Although the official press hasn’t announced it, the Dry Law is extended to the whole Island. The journalist Lourdes Gómez, in Diario de Cuba, reported that “strangely, you don’t see anyone drinking alcohol. A cafeteria worker said that they received a directive prohibiting the sale of alcohol for the next nine days, the period decreed by the Council of State for national mourning.”

We Cubans are used to getting silence for an answer. Right now, Fidel’s death is the priority. He’s a genius and an important figure up to the grave, after his death, built up with a gibberish worthy of a Cantinflas comedy.

The celebrated tenor, Placido Domingo, who was going to make his Cuban debut in the Gran Teatro de La Habana, on Saturday, November 26, had to pack his bags and leave until further notice. Those who love baseball or football in the European leagues have to spend the equivalent of two days wages to get on the Internet to find out the results, since the official press and other media like radio and television are only giving news about the trajectory of the Maximum Leader.

By State decree, the army of drunkards in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and the rest of the provinces can’t drink beer or rum. “This would be in poor taste, to have people drinking and partying in the middle of national mourning. Where’s the pleasure in that? After December 4 they will have plenty of time to booze it up,” answers a police officer.

Read the whole article HERE

Castrogonia’s dead Messiah

Amnesty International pleads for release of “El Sexto”

Here we go again.

The Normalization Circus has a new act: the arrest and torture of Cuban dissident artist Danilo Maldonado Machado, “El Sexto.”

His crime?

Writing “Se fué” on a wall and posting a video on You Tube.  (see below)

Amnesty International has taken up his cause.  Let’s see what happens next.

Maybe Castro dynasty friend Justin Trudeau will step in and secure his release?

Or maybe Papa Che will do it, simply by reminding the Castronoids that all communists are really good Christians, deep down?

From Amnesty International:

Cuba: Free Graffiti Artist
‘El Sexto’ Held Incommunicado Without Charge

Cuban authorities should order the immediate release of Danilo Maldonado Machado, the graffiti artist known as “El Sexto,” Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested him after he posted a video of himself celebrating Fidel Castro’s death on social media.

On November 26, 2016, hours after Castro’s death, Maldonado posted on Facebook a video of him painting Se Fue (he’s gone) on the Havana Libre hotel and asking people to “come out into the streets” and “ask for freedom.” The video was later widely broadcast on YouTube. Speaking on the phone from Havana, Maldonado’s mother, Maria Victoria Macha, said that police stormed into her son’s house, dragged him to a police station, beat him severely, held him incommunicado for three days, and still have him detained without charges – a wildly disproportionate response to a minor act of vandalism.

“Nobody should be arrested for expressing political views,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “And under no circumstances should anyone be held incommunicado without access to family and legal counsel.”

Maldonado has long been a target of police harassment. In 2014, police arrested him for spray painting “Fidel” and “Raul” on the backs of two live pigs – for which he served 10 months in prison. In 2015 Amnesty International named Maldonado a prisoner of conscience.

Machado said that the police took her son to the Villa Marista state security prison, notorious in Cuba for holding political prisoners, and beat him so severely that it brought on an attack of asthma, from which he suffers. Only then – 72 hours after his arrest – was he allowed to contact her so that she could bring him an inhaler. The police did not tell her why they were holding her son and she has heard nothing from either her son or the police since, she said, except that police are threatening Maldonado with a charge of damaging state property.

Short-term arbitrary arrests of Cuban human rights defenders, independent journalists, and artists have increased dramatically in recent years. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, an independent human rights group that the government views as illegal, received more than 7,900 reports of arbitrary detention from January through August 2016 – the highest monthly average in the past six years.


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen lets it rip, eloquently…..

From The Hill

Fidel Castro Should Not Be Revered; He Should Be Reviled
By Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

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.

I was born in Cuba. When I was 8 years old, my family and I were forced to flee our homeland shortly after Castro came to power. We were not the first, nor were we the last. In the fifty-plus years that followed, many Cubans arrived in the United States just as my family and I did, with countless having died trying to escape from Castro’s rule and countless more no doubt wishing to flee but unable to do so. The sheer number of people who have risked their lives, the lives of their families, and who left everything that they know behind to have a chance to be free of Castro and his regime should be a testament to just how dire the situation in Cuba was under his rule.

Today, I have the honor of representing many in the Cuban-American community — a community that knows firsthand the brutality of the Castro regime. Upon hearing the news of Castro’s death, the people of Cuba and the Cuban-American community mourned and grieved; they mourned for the lives that had been taken away from them by Castro, and they grieved for the friends and loved ones they have lost at his hands.

From former Cuban political prisoners living in exile to the families of the Brothers to the Rescue pilots — three Americans and one U.S. legal resident — who were murdered when their planes were shot down over international waters by Castro, the announcement of Fidel’s death has given some spiritual closure to many. But it also brings an opportunity, because though one tyrant is dead, the tyranny remains. With Raúl Castro firmly entrenched as the communist head of the regime, it would be unwise to expect any immediate change. But this death gives the people of Cuba the opportunity to stand up and demand what is rightfully theirs. It gives the United States an opportunity to refocus our efforts to help the people of Cuba finally achieve that which has eluded them for nearly six decades — a free and vibrant democratic society and the realization that every man, woman and child is entitled to fundamental human rights, and that no individual or regime may take that away from any one of them.

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.

Fidel’s ashes are now on parade

An old Gallego joke goes something like this:

“Si me muero en Lugo, quiero que me entierren en Orense, y si me muero en Orense quiero que me entierren en Lugo”

“Pero, coño, porque?”

“Para joder, coño, para joder…”

Loose translation:

“If I die in Vigo, bury me in Orense, but if I die in Orense, bury me in Vigo”

“But why?”

“Just to f— with you all, just to f— with you.”

Well, it looks like the half-Gallego Fidel Castro liked that joke, for his ashes are now beginning a long procession to the eastern end of the island of Cuba.

Leave it to Nosferatu.  Hasta en la muerte jode a los cubanos.  Even in death he screws with the Cuban people.

The only surprise here is that he didn’t request to have his ashes carried atop a Sherman tank.

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

Castro’s ashes in marathon procession to Revolution´s birthplace

Draped in the red, white and blue national flag, Fidel Castro’s ashes were borne through Havana on Wednesday, at the start of an island-crossing trek to his final resting place in eastern Cuba, where the first shots in the Cuban Revolution were fired.

Castro, who ruled Cuba for half a century until 2008 and built a Communist state on the doorstep of the United States, died on Friday aged 90, plunging the Caribbean nation into nine days of mourning.

He was cremated on Saturday. It will take the cortege carrying his ashes three days to make the 550-mile (900-km) journey eastward across his eyebrow-shaped land to Santiago de Cuba, going back along the route taken by his bearded revolutionaries in their victory march to Havana in 1959.

The cortege slowly set off from the city´s Revolution Square on Wednesday morning, wending its way along Havana´s seafront drive the Malecon. The box containing Castro´s ashes sat in a glass case on a small flatbed trailer towed by a green military jeep, rimmed in white flowers.

For a few more lines of nauseating dribble about the love Cubans have for Fidel, go HERE.

Unmasking the inner despot in Castro admirers

Below is one of the most perceptive essays published in the past few days, in response to the death of Nosferatu.

In it, David French unmasks the inner despot that lurks inside those who admire Fidel Castro.

French makes a distiction between “liberals” and “radical leftists” and sees the inner despot only in the radicals, letting the liberals off the hook.

My experiences with journalists over the past four days — and with liberals over the past 50 years or so — lead me to reject this distinction.

My experience with liberals of all stripes has always been just about the same when it comes to the subject of Castrogonia.

In my opinion, the inner despot lurks in nearly all who are to the left of center.

Most of the time that inner despot is hidden, but sometimes it emerges, as it did when former University of Missouri professor Melissa Click  called for “some muscle” to remove a student videographer from the a protest area.

The leftist protesters had barred all media coverage of their event to ensure they would not be subjected to “twisted narratives” afterwards, and had actually posted a sign that read:  “NO MEDIA SAFE SPACE.”

Neo-Stalinist Melissa Click

From National Review

What Fidel Castro Taught Me About the Radical Left

I didn’t realize how many Americans actually hate their own country until I talked about Fidel Castro at Harvard Law School. I had no idea how many Americans despise democracy and have no problem with tyranny – so long as they’re in charge – until I talked about Castro in Manhattan. And I had no clue how many Americans believed that sins committed in the name of socialism weren’t sins at all until I talked about Castro in Ithaca, New York.

Indeed, these early conversations about Castro – and his mass murdering friend, Che Guevara – helped teach my younger self that there was indeed a difference between “liberals” and the radical Left. Liberals are people a lot like me. We broadly share many of the same goals, including a shared interest in greater American prosperity and power. We love this country. During the Cold War, we shared opposition to the Soviet Union. Our policy disagreements are important, but we still share a common bond.

There was no political bond with the radicals I met in law school. They liked Castro because he was a communist. They loved him for his opposition to American power. They were completely indifferent to the suffering he inflicted on dissidents. These people, after all, were likely American spies and dupes, to be treated with all the contempt they deserved.

Radicals exist in every political movement. What troubled me about the people I talked to in Cambridge and New York wasn’t their existence but rather their power. Ivy League professors can dominate their disciplines. Young Harvard radicals often move on to jobs at the pinnacles of American culture and politics. It’s hard to call someone fringe – or to dismiss their views as inconsequential – when they occupy the most coveted positions in the American academy. Indeed, their views were often more welcome than those of orthodox Christians. People like me were narrow-minded and bigoted. My socialist classmates, by contrast, were exactly the “critical thinkers” many of my professors liked to engage.

For years Castro served as a form of ideological Rorschach Test. Loving or even liking him immediately placed a person in a very particular political community, one that likely as not believed the entire left-wing indictment of American history and culture. Showing respect for Castro indicated the degree to which the radicals could hijack even reasonable people. Our own president’s ambiguous statement after Castro’s death shows the reach of the Castro apologetic.

The radical mindset will of course live on long after the Castro brothers are a distant memory. Anti-American leftists will find new heroes, and they’ll keep teaching young people to loathe their own country. And, sadly, they’ll continue to find their ways into the halls of power. After all, in the tolerant quarters of the radical Left, it’s long been easier to get tenure liking Castro than loving Jesus. The impact on the academy and our culture of that world view is both obvious and pernicious. THE

Most brilliant idea of the week…maybe the year…the decade…the century….maybe ever!

Congressman Rohrabacher

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher –who is being considered by the Trumpinator for the post of Secretary of State– has come up with one of the most brilliant suggestions ever made in Washington D.C..

His suggestion concerns the funeral ceremonies for the Beast from Biran, Nosferatu, the Creature From the Red Lagoon.

According to the British tabloid Daily Mail

Rohrabacher has suggested that the Obama administration should dispatch disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner to represent the U.S. at the funeral of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro – as a show of disrespect.

‘He could basically go down there and he can show off and do whatever he can do,’ Rohrabacher said. ‘Maybe they’ll keep him.’

Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful….

As it turns out, many of the world leaders who have praised the Beast in their statements of condolence are not attending the ceremonies.  Not even the revolting Justin Trudeau is attending.

So it looks as if the foreign dignitaries at the ceremonies will all be second- or third-  and fourth-tier bureaucrats.

Perfect company for the aptly-named Mr. Weiner, undisputed King of the Lurid Selfie, soon-to-be-ex-husband of Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman, Huma Abedin.

Mr. Weiner at work


Photos of the Day, Diabolical Scam of the Day…

News outlets all over the world are interpreting this and other similar images as proof of the fact that the Beast from Biran was loved by the Cuban people.

Everything requires a “cola”(a waiting line) in Castrogonia, especially venerating the monster’s ashes.

Ever since the monster died I’ve done over a dozen radio and newspaper and magazine interviews, and nearly all of them included questions about the “love” for him expressed by Cubans.

When the crowds transported to the Plaza of the Revolution by their Committees for the Defense of the Revolution began to file past the monster’s ashes, the interviews got weirder.

My interviewers thought these mourners had all come to venerate the monster’s ashes out of love for him.

The fools who mistook these crowds for genuine mourners were in the U.S., Ireland, England, Italy, and Canada.

The interviewers expressed shock at my cynicism and sarcasm when I  informed them that all such events are carefully orchestrated and that there are penalties to be paid by those who fail to take part.

The interviewers expressed disbelief even when I told them I knew this because my own father — who was anti-Castro from day one — was forced to attend such events against his will until the day he died in 1976.

Some rabid Castronoids in Ireland accused me of being “irrational” and “uneducated.”  Yes, “uneducated.”

One Canadian interviewer was left speechless for several seconds when I said that those Cubans who were crying for Fidel might have been faking their tears out of fear of reprisals, just like mourners previously photographed in North Korea during Kim-Jong-il’s funeral rites in 2011.


crocodile tears?

Why do well-educated journalists choose to believe that Cubans loved Fidel?

Because they desperately want to believe that.  Because it confirms their bigotry and their feelings of superiority over Cubans and all other so-called “Third World” people.

We are all supposed to be noble savages, content with scraps, afraid of freedom, thrilled by “strong men” who allow us to feed on those scraps allotted to us by wise visionary leaders such as the Beast from Biran.

I can think of no other reason that makes sense.  All other explanations are illogical.


Shock and disbelief also followed when I pointed out that some of these tears and gestures of grief might be genuine, indeed,  because even the worst of all dictators have their admirers, including Hitler and Stalin.

One Canadian interviewer was floored when I said that Fidel had ruined Cuba and that my feelings about his death were not in the least “complicated” by the great achievements of his Revolution.  In other words, he genuinely thought that I would have to admit that his “reforms” were a great step forward for Cuba.

One Irish interviewer said it was “absolutely wrong” for me to compare Fidel’s propagandists to Joseph Goebbels.

God help us all.

The death of the monster has made me deal with people who actually believe that Fidel was a great man.  And these people are in charge of disseminating information to the so-called “First World.”

I am a firm believer in the existence of the Devil and of his grip on humankind.  Sorry if this shocks you, but I’m being honest.

The Devil most definitely exists.  And we humans are damaged goods, flawed, selfish, ever open to believing in the Devil’s lies.

It’s a great mystery, why a good and loving God allows an evil being such power over humans.  I cannot even begin to understand that, but it is a fact, nonetheless, and the New Testament is full of warnings about the power that the Evil One has over the human race.

Take this warning, for instance: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Read the Gospels, and what do you find? Jesus expelling demons constantly, wherever he went.

Or you find Jesus saying things like this to those around him who were bent on evil: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

Yes, a liar and the father of lies.

And there are those who believe his lies.

Why?  The answer is a mystery.  But a clue lies in a fact noticed by John Calvin in the 16th century: “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.”

Humans are driven to create idols to venerate who are evil and to believe in false gods.

I’ve spent the past three days dealing with these believers and idolaters, over and over and over again, ad nauseam.

And all of this has made me even more resolved to keep fighting the father of lies and those who believe and venerate him.

Miserere mei, Domine, Cubanus sum.

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

I’ve got an NPR interview at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Let’s see what happens…..

The monster’s ashes, guarded by his noble savages

Rally in Miami announced by The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance

For those of you who live in the Alter-Patria:

PRESS RELEASE from The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance


MIAMI (November 28, 2016) – The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance. The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance together with other patriotic organizations of Cuban exiles call for a massive demonstration of the Cuban exile, with the purpose of reaffirming our commitment now more than ever for the freedom of Cuba, this Wednesday, November 30th, at the Monument of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, 2506 Brigade.

Leaders of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance and patriotic organizations of Cuban exiles.

A demonstration of Cuban exiles to reaffirm its commitment to Cuba’s freedom by supporting Cuban resistance within the island.

Bay of Pigs Veterans Association Memorial -2506 Brigade Monument
806 SW 13 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33135

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.


Surprise! Black Lives Matter movement in deep mourning over Fidel Castro, praises dictator

Santa Mierda! Holy Crap!

Of course, this is no surprise.

And… it’s not much different from the condolence messages issued by many world leaders, including Justin Trudeau of Canada and the usual gang of Castronoid sycophants in Latrine America.

What should shock the hell out of every American, however, is the fervor with which this “movement” calls for an emulation of Fidel’s principles, and the depth of feeling with which it thanks the late dictator for giving safe refuge to criminals.


from Heat Street

Black Lives Matter praises Fidel Castro in article about the ‘overwhelming sense of loss’ after his death

The Black Lives Matter movement has come out in support of Fidel Castro, following his death on Friday, saying they must “come to the defense of El Comandante” and thanking him for safeguarding Assata Shakur, who’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.

The movement penned an article on Sunday titled “Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante” on the Medium platform where they eulogized the passing of the Cuban dictator. The article, which was not bylined, was Tweeted out by the closest thing there is to an official Black Lives Matter account and also posted on the movement’s semi-official Facebook page.

The article claims Castro’s death has caused “an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety.”

Breaking News: Cuban dissidents rounded up in the wake of the monster’s death

No surprise here.

Even though reports are unconfirmed, it is highly likely that the Castronoids are in high alert.

It is also highly likely that Cuba’s dissidents will not be seen or heard from during the nine-day mourning period imposed on the island by King Raul.

An email received from Frank Calzon at the Center for a free Cuba:

Center for a Free Cuba is receiving reports from Havana and other Cuban cities that pro- democracy activists are being arrested  and taken away as well as human rights leaders to unknown Cuban police centers. Relatives are told to remain indoors or they will also be arrested.

Washington Post publishes op-ed by Cuban exile

Wonders never cease.

The Washington Post invited Tres Fotutos to say a few words about the dead tyrant:

Farewell to Cuba’s brutal Big Brother

by Carlos Eire

One of the most brutal dictators in modern history has just died. Oddly enough, some will mourn his passing, and many an obituary will praise him. Millions of Cubans who have been waiting impatiently for this moment for more than half a century will simply ponder his crimes and recall the pain and suffering he caused.

Why this discrepancy? Because deceit was one of Fidel Castro’s greatest talents, and gullibility is one of the world’s greatest frailties. A genius at myth-making, Castro relied on the human thirst for myths and heroes. His lies were beautiful, and so appealing. According to Castro and to his propagandists, the so-called revolution was not about creating a repressive totalitarian state and securing his rule as an absolute monarch, but rather about eliminating illiteracy, poverty, racism, class differences and every other ill known to humankind. This bold lie became believable, thanks largely to Castro’s incessant boasting about free schools and medical care, which made his myth of the benevolent utopian revolution irresistible to many of the world’s poor.

Many intellectuals, journalists and educated people in the First World fell for this myth, too — though they would have been among the first to be jailed or killed by Castro in his own realm — and their assumptions acquired an intensity similar to that of religious convictions. Pointing out to such believers that Castro imprisoned, tortured and murdered thousands more of his own people than any other Latin American dictator was usually futile. His well-documented cruelty made little difference, even when acknowledged, for he was judged according to some aberrant ethical code that defied logic.

This Kafkaesque moral disequilibrium had a touch of magical realism, for sure, as outrageously implausible as anything that Castro’s close friend Gabriel García Márquez could dream up. For instance, in 1998, around the same time that Chile’s ruler Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London for his crimes against humanity, Cuba’s self-anointed “maximum leader” visited Spain with ample fanfare, unmolested, even though his human rights abuses dwarfed those of Pinochet.

 Even worse, whenever Castro traveled abroad, many swooned in his presence. In 1995, when he came to New York to speak at the United Nations, many of the leading lights of that city jostled so intently for a chance to meet with him at media mogul Mort Zuckerman’s triplex penthouse on Fifth Avenue that Time magazine declared “Fidel Takes Manhattan!” Not to be outdone, Newsweek called Castro “The Hottest Ticket in Manhattan.” None of the American elites who hobnobbed with Castro that day seemed to care that he had put nuclear weapons to their heads in 1962.

If this were a just world, 13 facts would be etched on Castro’s tombstone and highlighted in every obituary, as bullet points — a fitting metaphor for someone who used firing squads to murder thousands of his own people.

    • He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.
    • He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.
    • He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.
    • He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.
    • He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.
    • He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.
    • He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.
    • He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.
    • He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.
    • He censored all means of expression and communication.
    • He established a fraudulent school system that provided indoctrination rather than education, and created a two-tier health-care system, with inferior medical care for the majority of Cubans and superior care for himself and his oligarchy, and then claimed that all his repressive measures were absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of these two ostensibly “free” social welfare projects.
    • He turned Cuba into a labyrinth of ruins and established an apartheid society in which millions of foreign visitors enjoyed rights and privileges forbidden to his people.
    • He never apologized for any of his crimes and never stood trial for them.

In sum, Fidel Castro was the spitting image of Big Brother in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” So, adiós, Big Brother, king of all Cuban nightmares. And may your successor, Little Brother, soon slide off the bloody throne bequeathed to him.