Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel Deals Himself Out

The 49-year reign of Fidel Castro is over. The Cuban strongman has advised his countrymen that he won't be returning as president or commander-in-chief of his country's armed forces.

Castro has had a remarkable half-century run, a mark not typical of strongman rule. His longevity likely owes a great deal to the memories of the tyrant he ousted, Fulgencio Batista. While some opponents claim Castro turned Cuba into a police state, they choose to overlook the tyranny and corruption of the Batista regime.

Those who praise Castro generally applaud his reforms in public education and health care.

There is no doubt that Castro brought good things to his people and there's no doubt that he also was a ruthless dictator. He is a nuanced character, a blend of good and bad, readily seen differently from differing vantage points.

Fidel is expected to be replaced by his brother, Raul, who, at 76, will probably be replaced himself before long.


900 ft Jesus said...

"a blend of good and bad..."

so true. I'm not sure how to feel about him.

The word “dictator” is not endearing, but Castro brought a lot of stability to his country. Not only did he save it from Batista, he prevented that horrible, bloody period of instability that many such countries experience as they strive for stability and are torn by one poor leader after another.

I can’t condone his methods of gaining and keeping power, but I think Castro was unusual as a dictator in that he truly loves his country and wasn’t simply using it as a personal cash cow or to provide him with a title for his own ego. I hope Cuba can now move to a more democratic system without self-serving figures bringing back the bloodshed.

LeDaro said...

Castro was good for Cuba. He made lot of reforms. Health system under him became one of the best in the world. He initially did not consider himself communist but U.S pushed him toward former Soviet.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think Castro was very much a man for his time but lacked the greatness to be able to see the need to prepare Cuba for the world that will await it when he's gone. I think the Cuban people through their energy and resiliance have clearly shown themselves ready for genuine democracy. It speaks highly for their character that they repeatedly rallied to Cuba when the US tried to intimidate them to create a factious society.

Johnathon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnathon said...

I wonder what the politcal prisoners in jail right now in Cuba would think after reading this post?

Maybe someone could let me know.

The Mound of Sound said...

Johnathon, I don't think anyone this side of Rush Limbaugh can tell you anything. Move along.

LeDaro said...

Johnathon, let us talk about prisoner in jails. I read that Andrew Young, a cabinet member in Jimmy Carter's administration, said that there were more political prisoners in US (refering to black men) than in USSR at the time. He was let go from his cabinet position. So much for democracy. In your book US is "pristine" when it comes to human rights and you want us to believe that.

The Mound of Sound said...

LD, I don't know why you waste keystrokes on Johnathon. Come to think of it, I can't come up with a good reason why I do that either.


Johnathon said...

Great answers!