The left and its appalling whitewashing of the vile legacy Fidel Castro leaves behind in Cuba

As several people have mentioned, the death of Fidel Castro is sort of a Rorschach Test for the left. Their response to it tells you all you need to know about them.

Mike Gonzalez in The Stream:

The Left’s Appalling Whitewashing of Castro’s Legacy

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You will hear some people today excuse Fidel Castro’s crimes by begging that he accomplished social goals. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have already beclowned themselves on that front. They were merely the first.

Our own President Barack Obama opted for washing his hands, choosing to neither praise Castro after his death Friday, nor to condemn the tragedy his communist dictatorship has inflicted on the Cuban people for 57 years. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,” said Obama playing Pilate.

No social accomplishment, to be sure, could justify keeping an entire people hostage, denying them the right to elect their own leaders or exercise any human rights for half a century. But there weren’t any accomplishments.

On the contrary, Castro destroyed a thriving society and imposed penury, either out of Marxist dogma or out of resentment that his out-of-wedlock birth had left him with a stigma among Cuba’s middle classes.

Cuba had problems in 1958 as many societies do. But on a number of fronts it was the lead country in Latin America, or among the very top. Its social indicators were not just ahead of Asia and Africa, but also ahead of many European countries.

Many Europeans, including half of all my great-grandparents, immigrated to Cuba in the 20th century—barely a century ago—seeking to improve their lives economically. They did, and their grand-daughter, my mother, went to law school.

After 57 years of communism it is risible to think of a single European immigrating to Cuba to improve his fortunes. Risible in a dark, macabre way.

That’s anecdotal, but the numbers back up what two million Cuban-Americans today (i.e., Cuban-born people who can speak freely) know to be true.

A study by the State Department’s Hugo Llorens and Kirby Smith show, for example, that in infant mortality, literacy rates, per capita food consumption, passenger cars per capita, number of telephones, radios, televisions and many other indicators, Cuba led when Castro took over on New Year’s Eve 1958.

The United Nations statistics leave no doubt. In infant mortality, Cuba’s 32 deaths per 1,000 live births was well ahead of Japan, West Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain (40, 36, 39, 33, 34, 50, and 53 respectively) and many others.

In food consumption, in terms of calories per day, Cuba was ahead of all of Latin America except cattle-rich Argentina and Uruguay. In automobiles per 1,000 inhabitants, Cuba’s 24 was ahead over everyone in Latin America expect oil-producing Venezuela (27).

As for literacy rates, Cuba’s 76 percent in the late 1950s put it closely behind only Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica. Giant Brazil’s percentage, by comparison, was 49 percent.

And Cuba’s GDP per capita in 1959 was higher than those of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and most of Latin America, Asia. and Africa, again according to U.N.statistics.

In most vital statistics, therefore, Cuba was on a par with Mediterranean countries and southern U.S. states.

And today? Castro’s communism has not just left Cubans economically pauperized, but politically bereft, a situation that Obama’s unilateral concessions to Castro’s little brother, the 85-year-old Raul, Cuba’s present leader, has only made worse.

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