28 Nov 16
Cuba’s Fidel Castro, dead at 90
Castro took over in Cuba in 1959. I was 14 at the time and a high-school freshmen.
I remember the “tractors-in-exchange-for-prisoners” movement after the ill-fated Bay of Pigs Invasion, with a tottering Eleanor Roosevelt leading the band.
I remember the missile crisis.
I remember “duck-and-cover” drills in elementary schools.
It was also the beginning of the armed highjackings of American passenger planes, which were more-or-less unheard of previously.
For the first half of the 20th Century, Cuba, particularly Havana, was an enormous, infamous, and widely-popular government-approved brothel, serving all of South America, and the USA, and Canada. Satisfied customers visited from everywhere! Sort of like Las Vegas, but with fewer rules.
The country was run entirely by business interests, including notorious American organized crime figures, with “President” Batista as the grandiose, but feeble, front-man.
Castro’s jungle-based resistance and ultimate revolution were glamorously popular among shallow, naive American journalists, before the link with Soviet Communists, and its abject brutality, finally saw the light of day, and exporting Communist revolution simmered the whole of South American and Central America. I remember when then vice-president Richard Nixon, along with his wife, almost got themselves overwhelmed and murdered while visiting Venezuela in 1958!
Nobody thought Castro, nor his regime, would be so durable! After many failed attempts to topple him, and more than a few to assassinate him, he emerged firmly in charge, although his country has degenerated into a third-world sewer.
The thousands who desperately fled to Florida over the past fifty years bear silent testimony to that!
In the minds of glib flower-children, like Jill Stein, Castro may be a romantic hero, but the fact is he was pretty ruthless and brutal, even by Latin American standards!
Batista, and his mob-run government, never rated much sympathy either, and, as noted above, Cuba was for many decades little more than a big, floating whorehouse. But, many made a nice living there, and most of them fled for their lives with scarcely more than what they were wearing. Many others didn’t and were murdered by the Castro regime.
I worked with a number of Cuban exiles in FL years ago, and while they had scant sympathy for Batista, their vile hatred for Castro was not hidden!
As noted above, Cuba today is an impoverished shit-hole! Castro’s successors will want desperately to restore the island’s formerly thriving tourist business, and I suspect, now that Fidel is finally gone, they’ll do what is necessary to bring it about!
“There is much to be learnt from ill-success, which is after all true ‘experience,’ than from victories, which are often attributable less to the excellence of the victor’s plans, than to the weakness or mistakes of his opponent.”
British history source