In Re: Castro

No intelligent discussion can really begin without agreeing to the following: fundamentally, he beat the U.S. He outlasted ten presidents and nearly half a century’s embargo, and left office on his own terms–becoming, somewhere along the way, the longest serving de facto head of state (not counting constitutional monarchs like Rama IX of Thailand and Elizabeth II of the UK).

Let us also remember a few other facts: Castro wanted to deal with the US–his early contacts with the KGB for arms were not because he was a committed Communist, but because he was a committed nationalist and didn’t care where the weapons for his guerilla war came from: his next stop on his shopping circuit was the United States.

But ultimately, the Eisenhower administration shoved Castro in the direction of Krushchev by backing the corporations who had been so supportive of Batista and his thuggish rule rather than the people they’d run roughshod over.

And regardless of anything else, he outlasted us fair and square. This has nothing to do with rightness and wrongness, crimes real and imagined, it’s a simple statement of fact.

One wonders when, like Reagan before him with the Eastern Bloc, Dumbass will begin to claim victory simply as an accident of timing. Because nothing he—or any other US president—did moved Castro one millimeter closer to leaving. Barring any unexpected revelations, it’s clear he’s resigning because he just damn well wants to—interestingly, he’s surrendering at the same time the opportunity to die in office as a martyr to the needs of the state, “heroically guiding Cuba to his last breath” or some other propaganda fodder.

The real tragedy is that this is happening at a time when we have a (mal-)Administration which is intellectually and ideologically ill-equipped to take best advantage of the situation and offer the appropriate quid pro quos to guide Cuba to a more open society.

One hopes that the Cubans themselves will take matters into the future, and not the extremist exile community that retreated to America to damage our ability to rationally deal with an unpleasant neighbor on our border. Cuba does not need a return to the days of Batista, orchestrated by those who forgot the reasons why they overthrew him and then ran away rather than fight for their country further.

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2 comments so far

  1. thattallguy201 on

    > fundamentally, he beat the U.S. He outlasted ten presidents and nearly half a century’s embargo, and left office on his own terms

    True as far as it goes — and yet the real winners are Ozymandias and Ecclesiastes. He won by surviving, but his survival was always temporary.

    Moral: if you want something to last, do it for someone other than yourself.

    Sorry, just a little maudlin today. :)

  2. jayteeone on

    Reagan, that terrorist supporting democracy denying president, did not beat the commies into submission. And the contras lost their war too. That man did nothing good for this country, and should never have been president.

    George Bush has done far worse than Reagan did, he drove a wedge between this country and it’s allies. He has made the Middle East even more unstable than it was previously, and his lack of foresight as far as Putin is concerned has created a very dominate power in Moscow.

    This world is a more dangerous place than it was 8 years ago. And we now owe China $1.4 trillion for a war that should never have occurred all because he and his cronies wanted to dominate the world. Instead we are an even larger target without any cred to our names and a world poised to kick our asses politically and militarily. The next 10-20 years are going to be real iffy.


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