Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator for half a century, died Friday night.
“Although Castro was beloved by a legion of followers,” The Washington Post acknowledged, “detractors saw him as a repressive leader who turned Cuba into a de facto gulag.”
Many on the American left — especially in Hollywood — have been surprisingly enamored of Castro, and the supposed “accomplishments” of better education and healthcare delivery in his socialist paradise.
I guess we must all weigh whatever policy advances were made against Mr. Castro’s faults.
As the New York Times detailed: “Foreign-born priests were exiled, and local clergy were harassed so much that many closed their churches. . . . a sinister system of local Committees for the Defense of the Revolution that set neighbors to informing on neighbors. Thousands of dissidents and homosexuals were rounded up and sentenced to either prison or forced labor. . . . jailing anyone who dared to call for free elections. . . . imprisoning or harassing Cuban reporters and editors.”
Fidel Castro’s death reminds me of Irving Berlin’s jazz tune about Adolf Hitler, When That Man is Dead and Gone:
What a day to wake up on
What a way to greet the dawn
Some fine day the news’ll flash
Satan with a small mustache
Is asleep beneath the lawn
When that man is dead and gone
Saturday morning, that news finally flashed for Cuban Americans in south Florida. Followed by jubilation. Horns honking. Smiles, cheers and songs. Jigs were danced.
For now, sadly, his brand of tyranny continues through brother, Raúl Castro. But its days, too, are numbered.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.