Let’s not get our Knickers in a Twist about Castro

The death of Fidel Castro led, predictably, to dear old Ken Livingstone being invited on to the Today programme to tell us all what a wonderful chap the dead dictator was. Others followed. The point about Castro, we were endlessly told, was that he devised splendid state education and health systems for the people of Cuba. OK, maybe he also went in for imprisoning and executing people who opposed his policies, but that was all right because Cuba was a developing nation and, when a nation is developing, it has to imprison and execute opponents of its government. Just think of the Tudor monarchs in Britain.

Of course, it is irritating to have to listen to British “liberals” extolling the virtues of brutal Communist regimes in far away countries. But that is all it is. Even Mr Livingstone, I reckon, would not support a British government which indulged in Castro’s methods of suppressing free expression. He and his pals are doing no more than saying that countries living under Communist dictatorships are a little backward and should be given some slack by developed countries until, in a few hundred years’ time, they are able to join the civilised world.

There really is no need for us to get worked up about all this.


6 thoughts on “Let’s not get our Knickers in a Twist about Castro

  1. I suspect Castro acted as he did because he was convinced there were malevolent and powerful forces opposed to the success of the revolution. Which there were.

    Yes, his suppression of dissent was brutal and there is no excuse ever for imprisoning people for being homosexual (though we were still doing that for the first decade Castro was in charge) but by far his greatest ‘crime’ in the eyes of the right was to show that communism can work and create an equitable (if rather poor) society and provide universal healthcare and education for the people.

    Yes, his regime had its share of brutality, but so did Batista’s regime before him, and Pinochet, and Somoza, and the Juntas in Argentina and Brazil were equally repressive without providing anything for the ordinary people of those countries.

    So, Castro was a great leader, if not always a kind leader.


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