The Third-World Burial of the Century

Today’s absolute must read comes from Otto Reich writing for NRO:

Funeral for a Tyrant

A morally disorienting gathering in Havana.

By Otto J. Reich

This time the rumors are real: Castro is dying of stomach cancer. He may have already died, even before the funeral preparations were finished, so the news is not out. Confirmation of the terminal illness comes from the usual sources but in a non-conventional manner. The Cuban government has been summoning to Havana representatives of the major international media to negotiate the best seats, camera angles, and interviews with the despot’s political survivors, and to inform them of the ground rules for coverage of the state funeral.

The foreign media are being told that the model for Castro’s funeral is that of Pope John Paul II a year ago. The Cubans actually believe — or pretend — that the death of a tyrant deserves the same attention as that of the world’s great men of peace.

This is one of Castro’s lasting legacies to his countrymen: moral disorientation. The Cuban ruling class has been so isolated from reality for so long by fear and Castro’s airtight press control that they equate the burial of a mass murderer with that of a prince of the Church. No doubt there will be “dignitaries” at the funeral: fellow revolutionary leaders from the last repressive regimes on Earth: Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan, for example; and leaders of failed states like Zimbabwe and Bolivia; and representatives of the world’s resentful Left and the Hollywood Left (pardon the redundancy).

You can read the rest here though I have posted the rest below the fold for its absolute fucking brilliance. READ THE WHOLE THING.

Hat tip: Bill T.

Some examples of distinguished invitees will include terrorists whose organizations once instilled panic in entire populations but are now forgotten except to their victims. Many of them were trained in Cuban camps back when Castro called for world revolution and predicted he would outlive capitalism: Argentine Montoneros, Uruguayan Tupamaros, Nicaraguan Sandinistas, Salvadorean FMLN, Colombian ELN, MIR, FARC, and others; Chileans, Brazilians, Guatemalans, Angolans, Ethiopians, Palestinians, Syrians, even Vietnamese. The list is virtually endless. Not long ago, Castro himself admitted publicly to having “supported wars of national liberation in every country in this hemisphere with the exception of Mexico”. I believe everything except the exception; his hand has been present in much of Mexico’s violence as well.

One security problem the Cubans will face is that some of the “revolutionaries” who they trained in techniques of assassination, torture, kidnapping, bank robbery, explosives, and other tricks of the trade now hate each other and may use the occasion to settle old debts. The explosions heard in Havana may come not only from ceremonial cannons. The guests will have to be carefully screened for poisoned-tipped umbrellas and other Cold War artifacts.

Among the guests coming to Havana for the Third-World Burial of the Century will be Western capitalists anxious to see how they can exploit Cuban workers, who are assigned to the employer by a Cuban state entity which then collects the salary and delivers five percent — yes, five percent — to the worker and keeps the rest to pay for the expenses incurred by the generous socialist state. There will be the bottom feeders of the capitalist world willing to go anywhere or do anything for the Almighty euro or peso. You know the ones, those who have given capitalism a bad name, the exploitation of man by man, and whose example is in turn used by the revolutionaries against the good capitalists. There will recognizable faces of American and other TV, oblivious to the irony of “covering” a press event orchestrated by a government which has not allowed a single free or independent newspaper, magazine, radio or television station for almost five decades.

Caught up in the spectacle of the funeral, the smiley faces of the free world’s morning shows, the “serious” news readers of evening newscasts, of 24-hour news channels and “prestige press” will unlikely mention the “Ley Mordaza” (literally muzzle law), law number 88 of 1998, which calls for penalties of up to 30 years in prison for any Cuban caught telling the foreign press of any flaw in Cuba’s economic or human-rights record. It is unlikely they will ask to interview the prisoners who have violated Castro’s Orwellian laws and are serving terms of as much as 27 years for committing journalism without a license or stating that the economy does not produce enough to feed the people.

There may be international labor leaders in attendance, who will equally disregard the absence of any but the official Cuban Communist labor organization. Not wishing to offend their hosts, they will not mention the Castro law which condemns to eight years in prison anyone guilty of even attempting to establish a non-government labor union. On second thought: Why should they mention it now, when they have been silent for so many decades?

Some of those leaders present may even be government officials from democratic states, having been elected in free elections such as the ones which disappeared in Cuba half a century ago. That irony will escape them also. Then there will be some genuinely elected Christian or social democrats, from Europe and Latin America. Those who have been silent about, and therefore complicit in, the longest dictatorship in this hemisphere’s history. A wise man once said that “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” The history of Cuba in the past 50 years proves him right.

— Otto J. Reich served President Bush from 2001 to 2004, first as assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere and later in the National Security Council. He now heads his own international government-relations firm in Washington.

17 thoughts on “The Third-World Burial of the Century”

  1. Otto Reich deserves better than he got from the castro-ass-kissing Dems in the Senate. This piece nails the “ambiguities” to the wall…

  2. castro has been dead for awhile, as the comment by the Brazilian indicates. raoul is so afraid of letting things spin out of control, as is chavez, that they will do everything to keep this under wraps and to do the ultimate in spin control.

  3. It would seem that we are in the home stretch boys and girls. No matter how hard they tried all the tyrants men couldn’t put the monster from Biran back together again.

    Champagne chillin!

  4. Excellent article by Mr. Reich.

    And, Conductor “from your lips to God’s ears.”

    There was an “unconfirmed report” yesterday, I think from one of the smaller local Spanish language television channels, that Juanita Castro is in Cuba. As I understand it, she had never returned in all these years. Does anyone know whether she really travelled there? If so, how do you all interpret her trip there now? Dead or dying? (or something else?)

  5. Castro’s legacy is not so much moral disorientation as it is amorality or moral relativism. In other words, it’s the notion that what’s “moral” is what’s most convenient or what will get you what you want (meaning you can make it up to suit your purposes). If something others consider moral is inconvenient or an obstacle to what you want, you simply dismiss it as “bourgeois,” “capitalist,” “reactionary” or something along those lines. It’s done all the time all over the place.

  6. “You know the ones, those who have given capitalism a bad name, the exploitation of man by man, and whose example is in turn used by the revolutionaries against the good capitalists.”

    This is a common mistake spread by leftists. Exploitation is a result of the political system not the economic system. If you look at history you will see that communist and other totalitarian countries always exploit their people much more than democracies. The economic system doesn’t have much to do with it. Compare totalitarian capitalist countries with democratic capitalist countries and you will see this is true.

  7. Just read an example of the level of desperation of the propaganda bureaucrats in Havana. Supposedly, according to these bureaucrats, Fidel Castro was so healthy that he found time to gift a child with a supposedly embargoed camera. See

    where a picture of the child and the camera is used to represent Castro. Actually illustrating the point that the Cuban government can trade all goods with almost all the world except the US firms which can only trade food and medicine for cash.

  8. Well ….! If the castroites are already negotiating with media vultures to assign each one its perch during the funeral, anyone have an idea which spot is reserved for the herald wolf pack?

  9. Val,
    On a speperate note, I used your donation button to make a donation a few days ago. I just got a note from paypal that it has not been picked up. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I want to express my appreciation to you for your great writing and work as castro winds down, and the liberation of Cuba grows closer.

  10. You can be assured that if the networks in the U.S. televise castro’s funeral, my family and I will be recording the event. I want to know who’s attending the funeral. Once Cuba is free, hopefully, these VOLTURES will NEVER set foot on Cuban soil again.

  11. Firefly: I think you and I are of the same mind on the subject of immigration in a Free Cuba. I’ve always thought that those foreigners who served, or benefitted from the dictatorship in any way, should be barred from entering Cuba for life. And if they are within the country, they should be deported.

  12. Firefly: I think you and I are of the same mind on the subject of immigration in a Free Cuba. I’ve always thought that those foreigners who served, or benefitted from the dictatorship in any way, should be barred from entering Cuba for life. And if they are within the country, they should be deported.

  13. Que Dios me perdone los malos pensamientos, but if there is going to be a gathering of degenerates at the maximum degenerate’s funeral, what a wonderful opportunity to clear the table, with some laser-guided missiles and smart bombs…then these degenerates can all be like che.

    If some chattering Hollow-woodies get taken down in the process, they will not be missed. Literally.

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