Fidel Castro has been pronounced dead by his brother Raul Castro, on November 26th 2016. As Cuba once again takes stage on mainstream media, is the press doing justice to Castro’s legacy?
Fidel Castro was born on August 13th 1926, in the cuban province of Holguin. He was born to a wealthy farmer and saw the United States as an imperialist nation that threatened the people of Cuba. He graduated from the University of Havana with a law degree. Ultimately, he came to adopted far-left ideas and participated in several rebellions against right-wing governments both in Colombia and in the Dominican Republic. But Castro’s legacy comes not from his youth, or from his short interventionism in other nations, it comes from his reign as dictator of Cuba.
Castro lived as a dictator who harnessed his public appeal to manipulate and destroy the people of Cuba. His experiment in communism resulted in starvation and death. To put it bluntly, Castro was a disease to Central America. His death sends Cuba one step closer to freedom. During Castro’s reign, thousands of people were stripped of their civil liberties and forced to obey the rules of tyranny. He was the sole beneficiary of this immense power, and collected 20 properties including a chalet where he went duck hunting once a year.
While media has reported “mixed emotions” among cubans, the reality seems to be quite different. In little Havana, Cubans took to the streets in excitement over Castro’s death. The cheerful demonstrations were made up of several generations of Cubans who fled to Miami as a safe haven during the cold war.
President Obama released a statement that left many communist refugees in shock, as it showed condolences and prayers to the family of a tyrant. It’s politically correct to call North Korea a dictatorship, but less so with a dead Cuban dictator. The President’s statements could be seen as complacent, and far too kind for a man who has destroyed the lives of thousands.
“Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people.”
Senator Marco Rubio has a large constituency of Cuban migrants that escaped their homeland for the freedom of America. In a twitter post, Marco openly criticized Castro and his regime.
Ultimately, the Castro legacy falls upon the people of Cuba. While many have fallen to the regime’s propaganda machine and are deceived to think their government is working for their best interest, most are self thinkers. Cubans have always taken advantage of the resources at their disposal, and they make do with as little possible. Civil rights and freedom come with a new ruling government, it’s the responsibility of Cubans themselves to stand up to tyranny. Obama’s policies while intended to free up the cuban market, may actually be a form of acceptance to the regime of Cuba. By freeing up travel restrictions and some trade, it allows Raul Castro to continue to step on civil liberties with no recourse. Obama believes that opening the economic door also opens the societal door, it doesn’t.
Donald Trump’s administration will now have to deal with a decision that is yet to be seen as positive or negative. The greatest challenge lies in promoting freedom while maintaining larger economic openness.