Reflections on the death of Castro

Few things separate us as much as our views of Castro.  To some, he is a great hero of socialism.  To others, he was a conqueror in his own country, a brutal dictator. Few will acknowledge that he might have been both.  Castro’s emergence as a revolutionary figure in the late 1950s was embellished with all sorts of romantic notions as the placid 1950s were already giving way to the turbulent and idealistic ’60s.  Castro was an early symbol of an era that was about to explode and shatter what had preceded it. Much is said of Castro’s tyranny, little of what let up to it.  This is reflection, not an excuse.  I have had a student who spent years in a Cuban prison for counterrevolutionary writing.  I have personally known people who climbed on unseaworthy vessels to risk all and escape his regime. Castro was not transformed into a communist, as some apologists would like us to believe.  But his antipathy toward America was...(Read Full Post)

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