Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Man to Walk Through Fire For

The rancid orphan of wealth who is about to lead our country to new depths of depravity has put his venality on display once again with his coarse and ignorant comments about the death of Fidel Castro.

In the vastness of world leadership the Pussy-Grabber is to Castro as a flea is to an elephant.  In condemning Castro as “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades,"   he merely betrays his utter incapacity to deal with the complexities of a deeply troubled world.

A better understanding came from Deena Stryker, the Philadelphia-born journalist, author and cosmopolite.  She wrote: 

I contemplate with dismay what the world has become: a battlefield between a small group of Muslims that have taken the world's fastest growing religion hostage, globalization, led by my own country, a global left that no longer has the faith, and a rising right that looks different from its forerunners and whose impact will be felt worldwide. Few countries have had leaders so determined to lift their people out of poverty and those of us who witnessed his efforts, can only wonder how much longer it will be before the rest of the world's South catches up to Cuba. 

Anthony DePalma’s masterly obituary in the New York Times captured the man and his era:

He dominated his country with strength and symbolism from the day he triumphantly entered Havana on Jan. 8, 1959, and completed his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by delivering his first major speech in the capital before tens of thousands of admirers at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters.

A spotlight shone on him as he swaggered and spoke with passion until dawn. Finally, white doves were released to signal Cuba’s new peace. When one landed on Mr. Castro, perching on a shoulder, the crowd erupted, chanting: “Fidel! Fidel!” To the war-weary Cubans gathered there and those watching on television, it was an electrifying sign that their young, bearded guerrilla leader was destined to be their savior.

It was Batista who had been “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people.”  But he was our dictator.  American corporations fattened their profits on Cuba’s natural and agricultural resources even as their bribes fattened Batista’s bank accounts.

At first official Amerika welcomed Fidel as a colorful revolutionary who would restore democracy to Cuba. Henry M. Wriston, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations when Castro came to power, said he was “was everything a revolutionary should be.”  But when he began to nationalize  American businesses in Cuba, the U.S. turned on him and he turned toward the Soviet Union and a version of communism that was unique to his regime.

He ruled Cuba like a tyrant.  It was perhaps the tactic of necessity against the giant enemy 90 miles away, which tried over and over again to assassinate him and overturn his government. As the ruler of a tiny island nation  he became a figure of worldwide influence and importance. His efforts to eliminate poverty never entirely succeeded, yet the strides made in medical care, education and science were monumental.  

Expatriates in Miami hate him.  Freedom seekers throughout Latin America worship him. Yet everyone in the world — except possibly the Pussy-Grabber — recognizes that he was a giant.

I was a young journalist covering minor league baseball when his revolution began.  One spring the local team came out of spring training with a Cuban second baseman.  When I learned that he had operated a machine gun for Castro’s beleaguered guerrilla brigade in the Sierra Maestra, I asked him what it was like to fight for the charismatic rebel leader.

“I would walk through fire for that man,” he said.  “Because of him, today my family has food on the table, and I can come here to the USA and play ball.”

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to see what Cuban health services have done for Cubans and how it has been used in international diplomacy. Their health care is advanced not only in delivery of care but in research as well.  The attempts of CIA and criminal groups to terminate Castro will probably never be completely revealed.  Just as Stanton's involvement with tracking down and killing Booth still is an enigma.  —F.B., Yuma, AZ, retired physician and surgeon.