Castro – The marmite revolutionary

Castro the bearded revolutionary that defied 60 attempts by the CIA to kill him, has finally succumbed to what will get us all in the end, death. Some people are mourning, some are openly celebrating. Some no doubt ,will wonder what all the fuss is about.

Castro was a dictator. he had people killed without trial. He suppressed free speech, had people locked up. Many of his people lived in poverty, many fled to the United States.

But he also provided support in economic and military resources to African countries trying to find their own way on the road from independence and was instrumental in bringing about the downfall of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

He also raised literacy rates in Cuba and established a health service second to none.

But of course we have to see things in black and white. Castro was either an evil dictator, the scourge of the West, or a towering colossus, a beacon of revolutionary hope in a capitalist world.

History teaches us to look at the context behind the events and actions. Castro is largely hated by the establishment in the West because he was not “their dictator”. Pinochet a brutal military dictator who was put into power by a CIA sponsored coup to overthrow the democratically elected president of Chile, was feted by both the US and the UK, and Chile was used as a laboratory for the economic theories of Hayek and Friedman. To the right Pinochet was a hero, as Castro is to the left. Both skim over their failings, the horror of the things that they did, seeing them in the light of the struggle between the West and the USSR.

Both had their dark side. Both were the products of the cold war, superpower politics of the 20th century. They had some good points they had many bad points.

Both deserved to be tried at the bar of history by their own people.

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