Monday, November 28, 2016

Bruce Thornton, Frontpage Magazine: Good Riddance Fidel

To read the entire item, kindly click on this link:


http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264973/good-riddance-fidel-bruce-thornton

GOOD RIDDANCE FIDEL

The last of the Cold War Soviet stooges goes the way of his masters.

 

ABOUT BRUCE THORNTON

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase
To paraphrase the old VE jump-rope rhyme, “A-tisket, a-tasket, Castro’s in his casket.” The last of the Cold War Soviet stooges has gone the way of his communist masters.
To paraphrase the old VE jump-rope rhyme, “A-tisket, a-tasket, Castro’s in his casket.” The last of the Cold War Soviet stooges has gone the way of his communist masters.
Encomia from the usual useful idiots are lighting up the internet, but don’t mind them. Like tantrum-throwing college students and George Soros rent-a-protestors, they are a machine for producing Republican voters. The Dem-wits, on the other hand, should pay attention to the Cuban immigrants and expatriates celebrating in Miami. They might find there a clue to how they lost Florida and the whole government. Opening up trade, as their messiah Obama did, with a regime that pockets all the profits while it jails protestors, that gives workers eight cents of every starry-eyed tourist’s dollar, makes for bad optics. Canoodling with a brutal dictator who crushes dissent, persecutes homosexuals, excludes blacks from the government, abuses the church, monopolizes wealth, and tortures dissidents in his gulag is not the way to win American votes.
And discount the extravagant praise for Castro’s political genius. For all his Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and international fan-boys, Castro was a typical, but savvier, Latin American dictator––a cacique, caudillo, jefe, El Señor Presidente, El Gran Chingon, a glorified version of the General Mapache from The Wild Bunch. If not for the Cold War, he would long ago have met the same gruesome fate as those other strutting, bombastic oppressors. Only with billions of dollars in Soviet support and cash for overpriced sugar––and John Kennedy’s foreign policy bungling–– was he able to leverage being 90 miles from the U.S into a geopolitical significance far beyond his deserts, along the way almost igniting a nuclear war. He paid the Soviets back by letting them use his soldiers as imperialist mercenaries in Angola, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. After the USSR vanished like Trotsky from a May Day photo, oil and $18 billion in loans and grants from his fellow dictator Húgo Chavez, along with foreign investment from running-dog capitalists, kept Cuba from collapse. Castro repaid Húgo by skimming thousands of his doctors and other skilled professionals needed at home, and sending them to Venezuela.
More importantly, Castro, like many other Third-World communists or the PLO jihadists, was a genius at exploiting the romance of revolutionary violence and the radical chic endemic among Western bourgeois parlor pinks and caviar communists. For Europeans, Canadians, and a small number of Americans before Obama’s recent softening of travel restrictions, carefully orchestrated and surveilled tours of Cuba were like the hajj to Mecca for Western lefties. Like their political ancestors in the twenties and thirties gaping at the Soviet’s Potemkin economy, these rich, well-fed, politically free beneficiaries of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism ignored or rationalized away the poor, hungry, repressed Cubanos hidden behind the pastel-colored belle époque hotels and the restored ’57 Chevies.