Don’t glorify Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro has died, and the world is better off because of it. For over 50 years, Castro brutalized the Cuban people without a single hint of remorse.
Unfortunately, in the days following his death, many politicians and journalists memorialized Castro’s life as if he were some beloved martyr.
Jill Stein, the green party candidate for president, tweeted that, “Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire.”
Some journalists defended Castro for his alleged support of universal health care and education.
In defense of Castro, one writer from the South China Morning Post entered the realm of absurdity when he said that among Castro’s crowning achievements was the fact that he changed the flavor of children’s milk to chocolate.
Such thoughtless praises ignore the cruel reality of the Castro regime and its effect on the Cuban people.
Despite his many promises to restore justice and peace to Cuba, the young revolutionary proved to be an even more ruthless dictator than the one he overthrew.
Upon toppling the Batista government in 1959, Castro’s dictatorship took on an Orwellian complex.
He immediately crushed dissent by shutting down opposition newspapers, imprisoning political dissenters and sending thousands of Cuban citizens to the firing squad.
Droves of Cubans, including homosexuals, were sent to labor camps for “re-education.”
According to a Cuban-American author, “Castro jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror.” Castro also “murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six,” said Humberto Fontova.
While figures are hard to estimate, Castro killed at least 10,000 Cubans, but it is likely he killed upwards of 100,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Castro’s dictatorial rule led to the deterioration of Cuba’s economy, taking Cuba from one of the most advanced Latin American countries to one of the worst.
Due to the horrible political and economic conditions, Castro forced 20 percent of the Cuban population into exile. Many of the Cubans that tried to escape died.
Exploitation and oppression, not justice, defined Castro’s decades-long rule.
In the words of Marco Rubio, “history will not absolve Fidel Castro; it will remember him as an evil, murderous dictator who inflicted misery and suffering on his own people.”

Tyler Grudi is a staff writer for the Bona Venture. His email is
gruditj15@bonaventure.edu