Fidel Castro 'Retires'

At this point, many of us may be harboring such unchristian and politically incorrect thoughts such as, "So why don't you just croak already?"

Fidel Castro announced his resignation as president of Cuba and commander in chief of Cuba's military Tuesday, according to a letter published in the state-run newspaper, Granma.

The resignation ends nearly a half-century of iron-fisted rule that inspired revolutionaries but frustrated 10 U.S. presidents.

Castro revealed his plans without notice by publishing a letter in the middle of the night in state-run newspaper Granma. "I will not aspire to, nor will I accept the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," Castro wrote. "I wish only to fight as a soldier of ideas. ... Perhaps my voice will be heard."

President Bush said Castro's decision ought to spark "a democratic transition" for Cuba. "The international community should work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions that are necessary for democracy and eventually this transition ought to lead to free and fair elections," Bush said Tuesday in Rwanda. "The United States will help the people of Cuba realize the blessings of liberty."
And the death watch begins.

Predictably, the liberal press just can't contain its admiration for this mass murderer. The BBC was especially effusive:
But Cuba under his rule has made impressive domestic strides.

Good medical care is freely available for all, there is 98% literacy, and Cuba's infant mortality rates compare favourably with Western nations.

Fidel Castro retains his ability to rattle and irritate the US, lately engaging in a diplomatic tussle with the US Interests Section over a propaganda display outside the building.

He has also engineered a rapprochement with oil-rich Venezuela, run by his great friend, Hugo Chavez.

While many Cubans undoubtedly detest Castro, others genuinely love him. He is the David who stood up to the Goliath of America.
Yes, yes, yes...and the trains run on time too, I'm sure. The worst the BBC will say about him is that he was a "divisive" figure. The estimated 80,000 Cubans who were executed for political crimes under his bloodthirsty rule may have a different word they would use to describe him -- unprintable to be sure.

It is a mystery to most of us who are rational why this man captured the souls of so many leftists in America and elsewhere all these years. Like most liberals, the guy could talk your ears off without saying much of anything. And perhaps Castro gave them a safe outlet for their anti-American feelings.

Whatever the reason, historians 100 years from now will look back and marvel at the left's utter moral bankruptcy and stupidity in placing Castro on such a pedestal.

Update -- Thomas Lifson writes:

I voiced my
skepticism on Castro being alive late last year. Totalitarian dictatorships do not handle succession well, so it may be that Castro already expired some time ago, and brother Raul and Communist Party officials have been scrambling to consolidate power and work out the new power structure. If this is the case, the announcement could indicate that most of the pieces are in place to ensure no rebellion over the next configuration of the hierarchy.
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