Dennis Prager Discusses Fidel Castro’s Death

  • “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” (Two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Jesse Jackson, bellowed while arm in arm with Fidel Castro himself in 1984.)
  • “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, I frankly like him and regard him as a friend.” (Democratic presidential candidate, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and “Conscience of the Democratic party,” George Mc Govern.)
  • “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education…We greeted each other as old friends.”  (Former President of the United States and official “Elder Statesman” of the Democratic party, Jimmy Carter.)
  • “Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!” (NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.)
  • “Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis!” (Dan Rather)
  • “Castro’s personal magnetism is still powerful, his presence is still commanding. Cuba has very high literacy, and Castro has brought great health care to his country.” (Barbara Walters.)
  • “Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!” (CNN founder Ted Turner.)

(See More Below)

Here is the WALL STREET JOURNAL article Prager is reading from:

Fidel Castro’s legacy of 57 years in power is best understood by the fates of two groups of his countrymen—those who remained in Cuba and suffered impoverishment and dictatorship, and those who were lucky or brave enough to flee to America to make their way in freedom. No progressive nostalgia after his death Friday at age 90 should disguise this murderous and tragic record.

Castro took power on New Year’s Day in 1959 serenaded by the Western media for toppling dictator Fulgencio Batista and promising democracy. He soon revealed that his goal was to impose Communist rule. He exiled clergy, took over Catholic schools and expropriated businesses. Firing squads and dungeons eliminated rivals and dissenters.

The terror produced a mass exodus. An April 1961 attempt by the CIA and a small force of expatriate Cubans to overthrow Castro was crushed at the Bay of Pigs in a fiasco for the Kennedy Administration. Castro aligned himself with the Soviet Union, and their 1962 attempt to establish a Soviet missile base on Cuba nearly led to nuclear war. The crisis was averted after President Kennedy sent warships to intercept the missiles, but the Soviets extracted a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba again.

The Cuba that Castro inherited was developing but relatively prosperous. It ranked third in Latin America in doctors and dentists and daily calorie consumption per capita. Its infant-mortality rate was the lowest in the region and the 13th lowest in the world. Cubans were among the most literate Latins and had a vibrant civic life with private professional, commercial, religious and charitable organizations.

Castro destroyed all that. He ruined agriculture by imposing collective farms, making Cuba dependent first on the Soviets and later on oil from Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. In the past half century Cuba’s export growth has been less than Haiti’s, and now even doctors are scarce because so many are sent abroad to earn foreign currency. Hospitals lack sheets and aspirin. The average monthly income is $20 and government food rations are inadequate.

All the while Fidel and his brother Raúl sought to spread their Communist revolution throughout the world, especially in Latin America. They backed the FARC in Colombia, the Shining Path in Peru and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Their propaganda about peasant egalitarian movements beguiled thousands of Westerners, from celebrities likeSean Penn and Danny Glover to Secretary of State John Kerry, who on a visit to Havana called the U.S. and Cuba “prisoners of history.” The prisoners are in Cuban jails.

On this score, President Obama’s morally antiseptic statement Saturday on Castro is an insult to his victims. “We know that this moment fills Cubans—in Cuba and in the United States—with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation,” Mr. Obama said. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.” Donald Trump, by contrast, called Castro a “dictator” and expressed hope for a “free Cuba.”

Mr. Obama’s 2014 decision to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations has provided new business opportunities for the regime but has yielded nothing in additional freedom. Americans can now travel and make limited investment in Cuba but hard-currency wages for workers are confiscated by the government in return for nearly worthless pesos. In 2006 Forbes estimated Fidel’s net worth, based on his control of “a web of state-owned companies,” at $900 million.

[….]

Castro’s Cuba exists today as a reminder of the worst of the 20th century when dictators invoked socialist ideals to hammer human beings into nails for the state. Too many Western fellow-travelers indulged its fantasies as long as they didn’t have to live there. Perhaps the influence of Cuba’s exiles will be able, over time, to reseed the message of liberty on the island. But freedom starts by seeing clearly the human suffering that Fidel Castro wrought.

(Read more at WSJ Opinion)

Here are some Cuban-Americans Hearing the News of Fidel’s death (descriptions are via BREITBART):

Ninety-three-year-old Pablo Suarez, her husband, tells AmericaTeVe that Flora had made the decision to flee communist Cuba. “She said at night, ‘We’re going tonight,’” he recalls. “I said, ‘You’re crazy.’ ‘Well, if you’re not going, I’m taking the kids.”

Her family purchased the flag more than 20 years ago to celebrate Castro’s death.

Another video surfacing on social media shows an unnamed older Cuban gentleman as his children tell him that Fidel Castro has died. They tease him with good news from Cuba, to which he replies, “Good news from Cuba? I never expect any good news from Cuba.”

“It’s not freedom, but it’s something good: Fidel died,” a relative tells him.

In disbelief, the man tells her, “Fidel has died before,” before letting it sink in. He added, “He should have died 56 years ago”

Here is a Cuban refugee who has alzheimers being told Fidel Castro is dead…

Flora Suarez left Cuba in 1965 with her husband and children, never to return. Now 85 years old, Suarez suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, her family told the Miami-based AmericaTeVe. She does not remember her children’s names, but she understood when her daughter told her that Fidel Castro had died.

“I have the best news in the world for you. … What is this? It’s the flag,” her daughter says in the video, wrapping her in a large Cuban flag. “Fidel fell. He fell. … The day is here”


Another great article found over at FAITH WIRE:

Fidel Castro jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror. He murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six.

Fidel Castro shattered — through mass-executions, mass-jailings, mass larceny and exile — virtually every family on the island of Cuba. Many opponents of the Castro regime qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Fidel Castro’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s Gulag.

Fidel Castro and Che Guevara beat ISIS to the game by over half a century. As early as January 1959 they were filming their murders for the media-shock value.

Fidel Castro also came closest of anyone in history to (wantonly) starting a worldwide nuclear war.

In the above process Fidel Castro converted a highly-civilized nation with a higher standard of living than much of Europe and swamped with immigrants into a slum/sewer ravaged by tropical diseases and with  the highest suicide rate in the Western hemisphere.

Over TWENTY TIMES as many people (and counting) have died trying to escape Castro’s Cuba as died trying to escape East Germany. Yet prior to Castroism Cuba received more immigrants per-capita than almost any nation on earth—more than the U.S. did including the Ellis Island years, in fact.

Fidel Castro helped train and fund practically every terror group on earth, from the Weathermen to Puerto Rico’s Macheteros, from Argentina’s Montoneros, to Colombia’s FARC, from the Black Panthers to the IRA and from the PLO to AL Fatah.

Would anyone guess any of the above from reading or listening to the mainstream media recently?

[….]

But prior to the big news this week-end many of those same celebrants could be found with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes ambling amidst long rows of white crosses in Miami’s Cuban Memorial.  It’s a mini-Arlington cemetery of sorts, in honor of Fidel Castro’s murder victims.

The tombs are symbolic, however. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of the man whose family President Obama just consoled with an official note of condolence.

Some of those future celebrants were often found kneeling at the Cuban Memorial, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You might remember a similar scene from the opening frames of “Saving Private Ryan.” Many clutched rosaries. Many of the ladies would be pressing their faces into the breast of a young relative who drove them there, a relative who wrapped his arms around her spastically heaving shoulders.

Try as he might not to cry himself, this relative usually found that the sobs wracking his mother, grandmother or aunt were contagious. Yet he was often too young to remember the young face of his martyred father, grandfather, uncle, cousin -or even aunt, mother grandmother– the name they just recognized on the white cross.

Fusilado” (firing squad execution) it says below the name– one word, but for most visitors to the Cuban Memorial a word loaded with traumatizing flashbacks.

On Christmas Eve 1961, Juana Diaz Figueroa spat in the face of the Castroite executioners who were binding and gagging her. They’d found her guilty of feeding and hiding “bandits.” (Castro and Che’s term for Cuban peasants who took up arms to fight their theft of their land to create Stalinist kolkhozes.) Farm collectivization was no more voluntary in Cuba than in the Ukraine. And Cuba’s kulaks had guns–at first anyway. Then the Kennedy-Khrushchev pact left them defenseless against Soviet tanks, helicopters and flame-throwers. When the blast from Castro’s firing squad demolished Juana Diaz’ face and torso, she was six months pregnant.

Rigoberto Hernandez was 17 when Castro’s prison guards dragged him from his jail cell, jerked his head back to gag him and started dragging him to the stake. Little “Rigo” pleaded his innocence to the very bloody end. But his pleas were garbled and difficult to understand. His struggles while being gagged and bound to the stake were also awkward. The boy had been a janitor in a Havana high school and was mentally retarded. His single mother had pleaded his case with hysterical sobs. She had begged, beseeched and finally proven to his “prosecutors” that it was a case of mistaken identity. Her only son, a boy in such a condition, couldn’t possibly have been “a CIA agent planting bombs.”

Fuego!” and the firing squad volley riddled Rigo’s little bent body as he moaned and struggled awkwardly against his bounds, blindfold and gag. “We executive from Revolutionary conviction!” sneered the man whose peaceful death in bed President Obama seems to mourn.

Carlos Machado was 15 years old in 1963 when the bullets from the firing squad shattered his body. His twin brother and father collapsed beside Carlos from the same volley. All had resisted Castro’s theft of their humble family farm.

According to the scholars and researchers at the Cuba Archive, the Castro regime’s total death toll–from torture, prison beatings, firing squads, machine gunning of escapees, drownings, etc.–approaches 100,000. Cuba’s population in 1960 was 6.4 million. According to the human rights group Freedom House, 500,000 Cubans (young and old, male and female) have passed through Castro’s prison and forced-labor camps. This puts Fidel Castro political incarceration rate right up there with his hero Stalin’s.

It’s not enough that liberals refuse to acknowledge any justification for these Miami celebrations. No, on top of that here’s the type of thing the celebrants are accustomed to hearing from the media and famous Democrats:

  • “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” (Two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Jesse Jackson, bellowed while arm in arm with Fidel Castro himself in 1984.)
  • “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, I frankly like him and regard him as a friend.” (Democratic presidential candidate, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and “Conscience of the Democratic party,” George Mc Govern.)
  • “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education…We greeted each other as old friends.”  (Former President of the United States and official “Elder Statesman” of the Democratic party, Jimmy Carter.)
  • “Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!” (NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.)
  • “Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis!” (Dan Rather)
  • “Castro’s personal magnetism is still powerful, his presence is still commanding. Cuba has very high literacy, and Castro has brought great health care to his country.” (Barbara Walters.)
  • “Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!” (CNN founder Ted Turner.)

(Read It All)

`The Morning Answer` (Radio Program-870am) Memorializes a Dictator ~ Chavez

From video description:

Ben, Heidi, and Brian talk about the death of Chavez and the confused reaction by the left and the press. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk) A very small portion of Celsius 41.11’s opener (http://tinyurl.com/cwhd22p) is inserted after the audio of the NYT’s reporter.

And a small paragraph from The End of Venezuela As I Know It:

Chavez died today…. When I heard the news, these past fourteen years passed by me in an instant. My adolescence, my youth, all that fear, all that disappointment, all those street demonstrations, all those stories, all those lives that were lost in the way not by cancer but by the sound of a trigger. I wrote to my friends, to all those people who accompanied me during all those years when everything was about Chavez. All those people with frustrated dreams and hopes. Everyone who saw in this fourteen years a definite ruin of what we once called home. Pain, that is Hugo Chavez legacy.

Here is some words from the New York Times:

…Dr. Edmundo Chirinos, a psychiatrist who got to know Mr. Chávez as a patient, described him in a profile in The New Yorker in 2001 as “a hyperkinetic and imprudent man, unpunctual, someone who overreacts to criticism, harbors grudges, is politically astute and manipulative, and possesses tremendous stamina, never sleeping more than two or three hours a night.”

Mr. Chávez would delight in angering his critics in rich countries. He heaped praise, for instance, on Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the Venezuelan terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal, with whom he corresponded.

“I defend him,” Mr. Chávez said of his friend, who was jailed in France on charges of murdering two French police agents and a Lebanese informer in Paris in 1975. “I don’t care what they say tomorrow in Europe.”

No mentor was more supportive than Mr. Castro, who well understood how important Venezuela’s subsidized oil shipments were to Cuba’s fragile economy. An ally from the start of Mr. Chávez’s presidency in 1999, he offered help in one of Mr. Chávez’s most difficult moments, a coup d’état that removed him from office for 48 hours in April 2002. Mr. Castro telephoned Venezuela’s top military officials, pressing them to assist in returning Mr. Chávez to office.

The collapse of the coup, which received tacit support from the Bush administration, and Mr. Chávez’s swift return to power signaled a shift in his presidency. Seemingly chastened, Mr. Chávez promised compromise and harmony in the future. But instead of reconciliation, his response was retaliation.

He began describing his critics as “golpistas,” or putschists, while recasting his own failed 1992 coup as a patriotic uprising. He purged opponents from the national oil company, expropriated the land of others and imprisoned retired military officials who had dared to stand against him. The country’s political debate became increasingly poisonous, and it took its toll on the country.

Private investors, unhinged over Mr. Chávez’s nationalizations and expropriation threats, halted projects. Hundreds of thousands of scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and others in the middle class left Venezuela, even as large numbers of immigrants from Haiti, China and Lebanon put down stakes here.

The homicide rate soared under his rule, turning Caracas into one of the world’s most dangerous cities. Armed gangs lorded over prisons, as they did in previous governments, challenging the state’s authority. Simple tasks, like transferring the title of a car, remained nightmarish odysseys eased only by paying bribes to churlish bureaucrats.

Other branches of government often bent to his will. He fired about 19,000 employees of Petróleos de Venezuela, the national oil company, in response to a strike in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, he stripped the Supreme Court of its autonomy. In legislative elections in 2010, his supporters preserved a majority in the National Assembly by gerrymandering.

All the while, Mr. Chávez rewrote the rule book on using the media to enhance his power. With “Aló Presidente” (“Hello, President”), his Sunday television program, he would speak to viewers in his booming voice for hours on end. His government ordered privately controlled television stations to broadcast his speeches. While initially skeptical of social media, he came to embrace Twitter, attracting millions of followers.

He also basked in the comforts allowed him as head of state in a nation with some of the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East. He traveled in a luxurious Airbus A-319. In one jaunt around Venezuela in 2007 with the actor Sean Penn, he roamed the plane regaling foreign journalists with tales from his days as a soldier…

I celebrate with others their happiness of Hugo’s loss.

Communism Fail!