Thursday, February 21, 2008

An era ends

Farewell to an era. The last of the cold war communist heroes is standing down undefeated and unbowed by the ridiculous, vindictive economic embargo by the USA on his beloved country of Cuba.

Fidel Castro got many many things wrong. He has been a dictator (decide for yourself whether benign or not) and has suppressed democracy; it's not a regime I would have chosen to live under. Cuba's economy is not in good fettle. But we should look to what he achieved over and above nine (count 'em) hour televised speeches to his doubtless bored-rigid countrymen.

Alongside Che Guevara he toppled one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes (friends of the USA, incidentally) in the world: that of the hated and rapacious Fulgencio Batista (seen left). He has successfully rejected and kept at bay the ubiquitous US culture of rampant greed and consumerism which is rapidly leading to worldwide environmental disaster.

No one in Cuba has starved or gone without employment under Castro. The education and health service in Cuba is the envy of the Caribbean and much of the rest of the world. This is because the dreadful old windbag insisted on the best for his people and made it happen by whatever means he had at his disposal. Some of those means may have been questionable - but none of them were dishonest or corrupt (compare and contrast to market led economies and/or right wing dictatorships supported by the USA and Great Britain: Saudi anyone?)

The Daily(ish) Millbrook wishes Fidel a long and happy retirement, something so often denied to heroes of the revolution like his old friend Che.

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