Sunday, 27 November 2016

Kyle W. Orton| Fidel Castro: A Life Spent in the Service of Tyranny

Kyle W. Orton| Fidel Castro: A Life Spent in the Service of Tyranny

"It is difficult to think of a dictator that has had more popular support in the West than Fidel Castro. The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn have all today expressed their admiration in one way or another for Castro. This support was never just personal: any number of “revolutionary” governments could vicariously earn themselves similar leniency for their practices via some kind of identification with Castro. This was especially useful for the Soviet Union and its clients during the Cold War, but continued long after. That all of these “experiments” ended in bloodshed and disaster never seemed to matter, so long as the flame of anti-Americanism remained lit. Now, finally, Castro is at an end, even if his ruinous legacy is not.

Castro seized power in Cuba on 1 January 1959. There is much debate about exactly what Castro believed and when. It is often said Castro was not a full-blown Communist at the time he became the Maximum Leader. It could even be true. But to the extent this is used to suggest that the U.S.—through actions like the farcical Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and the (much exaggerated though now legendary) efforts to assassinate Castro—forced him into alliance with the Soviet Union, this is false."

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