The real Fidel wasn't the kindly old "educator" Bernie Sanders admires despite all the evidence
Democrat Party presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has been caught numerous times the last few days praising the late Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, who died at the age of 90 in November 2016, thus giving the world and in particular the Cuban people an early Chrismas present.
Unfortunately for Cuba, his equally treacherous and cruel brother Raul had already replaced him as “dictator for life” when terminal cancer incapacitated Fidel two and half years earlier. Cuba continues to be a sewer of poverty and old-fashioned Communism. That disease dies slowly in Cuba.
Perhaps you remember the media coverage of Castro’s much desired death. The New York Times headline read, “Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90.” Al Jazeera’s headline read, “Castro: The Making of a Legend.” Others on Facebook and Twitter seemed saddened by the death of a “revolutionary.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's tweet called Castro a “remarkable leader.”
They as easily celebrated the murderous communist autocrat as Sanders continues to sing his praises today.
Sanders even defended his praise for the Castro regime's early literacy programs at Tuesday’s debate. He then tried to temper the obviously unpopular statement by adding he "happens to believe in democracy, not authoritarianism."
Anyone who has read of Sanders’ history knows that’s a bold-faced lie. The Vermont Senator, a deadbeat father and long-time welfare recipient who never held a real job for even one day of his life and never earned a paycheck until elected to public office, is himself an old-fashioned Communist.
So to counter Bernie’s admiration of the murderous old thief Fidel, it seems a good idea to actually take a look at this thug and his legacy.
Let’s be clear—Fidel Castro was not a good person.
His ideas were not good.
His policies destroyed the liberties of millions of Cubans.
His government is responsible for the murders of tens of thousands of people.
His “legacy” should be one of pure shame.
I won’t delve into the history of Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba — but those following Bernie and longing for the kind of “revolution” Castro brought to his long-tortured country by the “great leader” would do well to crack open a history book, or at least spend a solid 90 seconds reading Wikipedia. As opposed to restoring the freedoms lost under U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista that Castro ousted, he crushed them.
In his first decade in power, Castro’s government instituted a variety of “progressive” reforms. Sanders and his supporters point to programs aimed at literacy and equality. Filmmaker Michael Moore foolishly lauded Cuba’s medical system in the film Sicko. (For a discussion of how the Cuban healthcare system actually works, see here.)
What these individuals tend to ignore, however, is the cadre of human rights abuses inflicted by the hands of the Castro regime. Systematic mass executions of ex-government officials, the internment of homosexuals, and the implementation of mass government surveillance are all a part of the Castro story. This is not to mention the myriad of show trials, executions, and punishment of any dissent from average citizens, writers, academics, journalists, and artists.
Castro’s body count varies depending on who you ask. The Cuba Archive Project has one of the most reliable data sets. The group’s records cover a period from May 1952 to the present. In order to be counted, the stories of each victim must be verified by two independent sources. To date, the Archive attributes some 10,723 deaths to the regime. Including nearly 1,000 deaths linked to “disappearances,” more than 2,000 extrajudicial killings, and over 3,100 people killed by firing squad.
Some 100 minor children were murdered by the regime via beating, the withholding of medical attention, and other methods. If that sounds vaguely familiar, read about Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele. In addition to these killings, some 78,000 people are estimated to have died while trying to flee the country.
To those unconvinced by mass murder that Castro was a lamentable dictator, consider his government’s practice of forced blood donation. This can range from taking a person’s blood forcibly without their consent to coercing individuals to offer their blood.
The Cuba Archive has credible information on at least 11 cases of forced blood extraction prior to execution.
According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of States (OAS) 1967 report regarding the practice at Havana’s La Cabaña prison, an average of seven pints of blood were forcibly taken from prisoners on their way to be executed, causing “cerebral anemia and a state of unconscious paralysis.” (For perspective, the average adult has around 10 pints of blood in their body.) Victims would then be taken to the firing squad on a stretcher.
The Cuban government would then sell the blood to the North Vietnamese for around $50 a pint.
Today, Cubans are required to “donate” blood before even minor medical procedures. Year-round media campaigns encourage citizens to donate in an effort to “save lives.” In reality, the Cuban government has kept up with its history of exporting blood products.
According to Cuba’s Oficina Nacionel de Estadísticas (National Office of Statistics), the country exported some $622.5 million—an average of $31 million per year—of blood products between 1995 and 2014. (It’s worth noting that these numbers may very well be understated. Other products made from blood derivatives may not be classified as blood products when exported.)
In the event that mass murder and force blood donation don’t quite do the trick, see the following.
Click here for a general discussion of the regime’s atrocities.
Click here for information on the use of “Military Units to Aid Production”—forced labor camps for conscientious objectors, homosexuals, and other “enemies of the state.”
Click here to learn about the sinking of the 13 de Marzo tugboat, which killed 41 fleeing Cubans, including 10 children.
Click here for a breakdown of the murders committed by the Castro regime between 1959 and January 2012.
When celebrating “revolutionary” thinkers, we would do well to actually know what it is that we are discussing. When it comes to Castro, those who continue to mourn him reveal their complete and utter ignorance of history or show their total lack of appreciation for even the most basic human rights — including life.
Fidel Castro's personal wealth approached $1 billion while his people starved and suffered. He died peacefully as an old man. The same cannot be said for the thousands of Cubans who died violently and prematurely at the hands of his regime.