Castroballs

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I’m becoming increasingly annoyed by the absolute bollocks being spouted about the recently deceased Cuban president, Fidel Castro.

Firstly, there’s the ‘Cuban Americans’ in Miami prancing about in the streets celebrating the death of this terrible despot – which puts me in mind of the mindless lefty idiots who did the same when Thatcher died. What annoys me most about these idiots is the demographic. 90% plus of them know fuck all about Cuba. They’ve never been there – after all travel to Cuba was illegal for Americans for decades. Mind you, that didn’t stop a couple I met from Texas holidaying in Havana a couple of years back’ “Hey, Honey” drawled the wife, “y’all remember we’re from Canada”. Basically they caught a flight from the US to Mexico woth an ongoing connection. Bloody hypocrites!

But I digress. These young Cuban Americans don’t have any inkling of what it was like before Castro and even less of what it’s been like since. They weren’t even born FFS!

The there’s this idea of the poor downtrodden Cuban people under Castro’s ruthless boot. More bollocks! The Baptista regime was as corrupt as they come. The Yanks used Cuba as a money laundering site for the mob and for unbridled gambling and debauchery. The average Cuban was screwed far more by the Yanks than they ever have been since. The average Cuban was a poor as it’s possible to be. Nobody gave a shit about them. All the money went to the corrupt government officials and it’s even more corrupt ruler.

Castro overthrew the bastards. Good for him. They deserved it. The lot of the average Cuban improved immeasurable when he came to power. OK a few of the richer Cubans got caught in the purge of the corrupt, but were they really that innocent? Probably not, but they buggered off to Florida.

Meanwhile, Trump condemns Castro. Why? Not because he thinks the bloke was all bad, but because he knows that Florida is a key electoral state and there’s a lot of second and third generation Cubans there that have a vote. Yet another bloody hypocrite!

The death of Castro has been heralded by the Yanks as the dawning of a new era for the Cuban people. This is bollocks on two counts : firstly the system isn’t going to change as Castro’s successor has been in place for two years already. Secondly, most Cubans don’t want it to change – but you’d hardly expect the mainstream media to say so. Doesn’t make for a good story, does it?

Whether you liked Castro’s politics or not, he was a great man who changed the lives of the poor in Cuba. He’s not Pol Pot or Kim Wrong Un no matter what the media might have you believe.

But what really boils my piss about this is that the detractors have never spent any real time in Cuba if any at all. You can’t judge Cuba by a few big tourist hotels and watching CNN. You have to go there and spend time looking around and talking to the real people.

I have.

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25 responses to “Castroballs

  1. Seriously, you’ve lost the plot here. The man used force to maintain power. He executed and imprisoned political opponents. He operated a one-party state. He was prepared to house foreign nuclear weapons to be aimed at a neighbouring state, thereby risking dragging the world into a nuclear conflict.

    None of this is justifiable. None of it. The man was a nasty dictator. Trump is the only world leader to actually come out and say it. Good for him for doing so. And Miami has plenty of older Cubans who fled the regime – I’d suggest they had cause to celebrate when this nasty piece of work finally croaked.

    Then we have Jeremy Corbyn calming that he brought in social justice or some such bullshit. This tells us much about Corbyn. Indeed the sycophancy from the BBC and other news outlets along with state leaders tells us much about all of them. Apparently detractors “claimed” that he was a dictator. He fucking was a dictator. This is an objective fact. Evil doesn’t come close to describing him and his vile communist regime.

    • Perhaps he trampled on human rights but Castro must be revered for fearlessly poking a global Flashman in the eye.

      • Mass murder negates any right to be revered.

      • Or did Cuba have elections when I wasn’t looking?
        Yes, they did. I suppose you could argue the same about China and Russia?

        “Did the executions and imprisonments not happen?
        Remind me again who operates Guantanamo Bay – Cuba or America?

        “Cuban authorities are trampling on dissent by arresting and detaining anyone who dares to speak out
        Guess that makes them unique then? How about ‘not in the public interest’, ‘detained at her majesty’s pleasure’, d notices, the official secrets act. Wonder which country that’s in?

        “It’s a one-party communist state. That tells us all we need to know.” It might tell you all you need to know but I consider that to be rather narrow minded. I prefer to look at what’s in front of me and listen to what’s being said. But then, as I said, I have actually been to Cuba and I have actually spoken to ordinary Cubans. You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover.

        And most of the old people who fled to Florida were protecting their own ill gotten gains. The Baptista regime was every bit as bad as the Castro one you’re condemning. He was a dictator in the Ceaușescu mould and the majority who fled were lining their corrupt little pockets. Not all admittedly, but the vast majority…

    • At the risk of offending you, I’m afraid you’re swallowing the propaganda.

      As I’ve said before, have you actually been there? If so, you might think differently…

      • I haven’t swallowed anything. Everything I’ve stated is historical fact. I don’t need to go there to ascertain that. Or did Cuba have elections when I wasn’t looking? Did the executions and imprisonments not happen? Was the missile crisis a figment of my imagination?

        No, going there won’t make me feel differently. I despise communist dictators no matter what their achievements. I went to Hungary in the early eighties. The local people got by relatively well – much like the Cubans have, making the best of what was, by communist standards a relatively soft regime. It didn’t change my contempt for that regime one iota, because I value personal liberty and one-party states run by an unelected, unaccountable elite are the antithesis of that.

        Even now, the Cuban authorities are trampling on dissent by arresting and detaining anyone who dares to speak out. The Cuban authorities ostensibly recognise the concept of a free press but routinely censor any attempts to report unfavourable stories.

        It’s a one-party communist state. That tells us all we need to know.

      • BTW, you haven’t offended me. My skin is far too thick.

      • Wow! Seriously? Much of that is a Tu Quoqe – much like saying well, that old Mugabe fellow is just a bit misunderstood, or Pinochet wasn’t so bad after all. Seriously, Castro was a mass murderer, just like the other nasty dictators, Stalin, Pol Pot et al. Mass murderers are not great men, they are guilty of heinous crimes and should have been punished for them, not feted. You really disappoint me here – I thought you were one of the good guys who understood basic morality.

        Of course ordinary Cubans are going to appear content with their lot. They have lived with nothing else for the past half century or so, much like the Hungarians I met. Hungary, now freed from the grasp of communism is somewhat different – better, freer. That is how it should be.

        And most of the old people who fled to Florida were protecting their own ill gotten gains.

        You don’t know this. It merely suits your pro-Castro stance to say it. The man and his regime routinely executed and imprisoned dissidents. This is a matter of historical fact. That you are prepared to even think about stating support for such a regime is shameful.

        …but I consider that to be rather narrow minded.

        No, it isn’t. Communism is an evil scourge. Those who impose it on a population are, themselves evil. When they execute those who would rather not be forced, that evil is multiplied. So, yeah, that it is a communist state does tell me what I need to know. Just as it did with Hungary.

        The Baptista regime was every bit as bad as the Castro one you’re condemning.

        Tu Quoque. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Never did, never will. Castro was a vile brutal dictator. Revolutions have a habit of replacing one despot with another. This one was no different.

      • Yes, I do understand basic morality, but I also live in the real world. You can’t compare Pol Pot with your perception of Castro. That’s like comparing Harold Shipman to the Third Reich. There’s a massive difference in scale and where’s your evidence? Surely not what they broadcast on CNN?

        You seem to regard communism as totally evil regardless of its shape and form. There are different degrees of communism just as there are different degrees of capitalism. Communism – and incidentally no, I don’t like it as a political system – is not necessarily the same as dictatorship or totalitarianism.

        The EU isn’t a communist state but it sure as hell suppresses freedom of speech and is undemocratic – indeed anti-democratic. You condemn the one party state, but the EU is an unelected state. Castro stuck to his own country, the EU wants to rule mine. I dislike both, but I know which one I prefer.

        And I notice you were selective in which of my points you addressed. I think we’ll just agree to differ on this one because frankly, I find your arguments dogmatic and spurious…

  2. A little lesson for Mr Longrider. The placing of nukes in Cuba was in response to the US putting their nukes in Turkey. Cuba is 70 miles from the US…Turkey was 0 miles from the USSR. So can we cut it out with blaming the wrong people for the whole debacle. As in most instances where the US get involved in shit around the world..they started the shit in the first place.
    Also, it has been claimed that Castro was responsible for the deaths of up to 150 000 people….over 58 years. The number of people killed in Iraq since 2003 currently stands at about 251 000. Now tell me who are the real monsters of this world?

    • This is what is known as a Tu Quoqe argument. Deal with the facts as stated not “but he done it first, miss”.

      Also, it has been claimed that Castro was responsible for the deaths of up to 150 000 people….over 58 years. The number of people killed in Iraq since 2003 currently stands at about 251 000. Now tell me who are the real monsters of this world?

      Oh, well, that makes it all okay then. FFS! What an idiotic argument.

      Castro was a monster. This is an objective fact. The existence of other monsters doesn’t negate that. Jeebus!

  3. Mr Longrider, What you claim is the “You also” argument is not actually. The part about number of deaths caused could be, but it is really meant to show that the right has just as much of a habit of giving a pass to the monsters it likes as the left does. America it seems can get away with any number of atrocities because it has an elected government. If an unelected government does the same it is somehow deemed to be worse. That is hypocrisy.
    Now onto the meaty part. The fact that the US placed it’s nukes right next door to the USSR is not a tu quoque argument. It is an argument for self defence. If France decided to aim all their nukes at GB would you think the world would blame us for retaliating in the same way? Especially if France had also just carried out an actual attack on GB by say, invading the Isle of Wight and had other attacks in the pipeline.
    The US plans for Cuba after the Bay of Pigs failure came under the codename of Operation Mongoose. Look it up. Just how much interference should the Cubans have put up with? Frankly, I think they would have been justified to fire the damn nukes rather than just threaten them.

    • You appear to be labouring under the illusion that because I have not expressly criticised NATO actions at the time, that I am somehow not critical. I am. Therefore I am consistent and perfectly able to individually criticise any person or organisation – in this case the Soviets and Castro. I could, should I so wish, proffer condemnation of the USA and the UK, Italy and Turkey. However, they are not the subject of discussion. Castro is. And, Castro was an evil monster. Pointing out that others were flawed doesn’t excuse him and is merely a tu quoque argument, as I have already pointed out.

  4. And I notice you were selective in which of my points you addressed. I think we’ll just agree to differ on this one because frankly, I find your arguments dogmatic and spurious…

    Given that I’d write an essay, I have to be selective. I’d lose the will to live otherwise. So, yeah, I pick up salient points and leave others unremarked.

    No, I’m not dogmatic, nor are they spurious. I have this quaint old fashioned belief that murder is wrong and those who do it should be punished for their crimes. The difference between Castro and Pol Pot is one of degree, not principle. Likewise Shipman and the Third Reich, both were evil. So was Castro. One death, one thousand deaths, a million deaths; all are unforgivable.

    You condemn the one party state, but the EU is an unelected state.

    This is a non sequitur. You know full well what my opinion of the EU is; I condemn both. But, given the choice between that and Communism, I’ll take the EU and that really is saying something. Communism always involves some form of totalitarianism – or do those Communist states that have sham elections actually offer the voters alternative parties to choose from? No, of course not. It is an evil ideology and is responsible for the deaths of millions during the twentieth century. There are no shades of grey here.

    • I totally disagree with you for the reasons I’ve mentioned. You’re not debating, you’re lecturing – and selectively at that.

      Like I said, we’re to going to agree and you’re not listening so I’m not going to bother with this any further because there’s no point.

      • This is one of those irregular verbs… I argue, you lecture. I’m disappointed that you are so unable to cope with a dissenting argument with good grace.

      • Life is full of disappointments – especially when people ignore what you’re saying…

  5. Seriously Mr. Dioclese, Longrider is right, you are attempting to defend the indefensible. On the subject of communist regimes being totalitarian dictatorships, how could they be otherwise? Any communist regime that allowed the population a free vote would find itself voted out.

    • I’m not defending it, I’m just saying that it’s not black and white and that things could be and were actually worse pre Castro.
      Plus don’t believe everything you read in the media…especially the US media!

  6. …especially when people ignore what you’re saying…

    I haven’t ignored what you said. I rejected your arguments as they were fallacious. A series of Tu Quoques does not an argument make.

    ..things could be and were actually worse pre Castro.

    And there’s another one.

    I’m just saying that it’s not black and white

    Actually, it is. Murder is a crime. There are no shades of grey here.

    Plus don’t believe everything you read in the media…especially the US media!

    Nor should we necessarily believe someone who went there on holiday – the plural of anecdote is not data. I do, however, take seriously the likes of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. That, combined with just about every news agency saying the same thing about human rights abuses tends to convince me. As does the Cuban constitution, which regulates freedom of speech and assigns state ownership of the media. I also take seriously the testimony of survivors and family members of those murdered. The man was a monster. That he was not such an awful monster as Pol Pot is neither here nor there. He was a monster and nothing you have said here justifies or mitigates his crimes.

    Anyway, that’s me done. Your inability to take dissenting arguments without straying dangerously close to the Ad Hom means I’ll not bother you further.

    • “Your inability to take dissenting arguments”!?!
      Pot, kettle. black.

      “Amnesty International” – political pawns!

      No point in my even trying to point out where this comment of yours falls down. I listen to your arguments but don’t agree with them. You seem to consider surrender to your point of view the only acceptable outcome.

      I don’t do that. Consider yes, Debate, yes. Cave in, no.
      I suggested we agree to differ but you don’t seem to want to do that without getting the last word…

  7. Don’t just take my word for it – read the comments over at John Redwoods blog…
    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/11/28/cuba-and-the-usa/

  8. Surely they got the same can of soup, just changed the label. Not sure if that’s worth celebrating.

    • Not sure I’m suggesting celebration. Batista was a tyrant as much as Castro if you believe everything you read and hear. Things are changing in Cuba slowly now yanks have stopped blockading them. How much and how fast remains to be seen as does how Trump behaves towards them. That change started with Fidel not Raul.

      The dirt poor Cuban peasant fared better under Castro than his predecessor. And there’s an awful lot of propaganda against the guy. I’m just suggesting an open mind. He wasn’t just all bad as some people would make out…