Now, granted, I’m on a cruise ship in Mexico right now and I’ve been working my ass off trying to get shows to work right, attending meetings, and presenting a polished image for Stiletto all week. That said, has anyone else noticed that the news media is finally telling stories of displaced Cubans and putting Fidel Castro’s political legacy into a proper frame? The man entered his “presidency” (are you a president if you can’t be fired by the people you’re supposed to be serving, your word is law and you rule until you die… or are you a king?) through a military coup. He’s exiled thousands of people, killed thousands of people – many of which personally. And for my entire life, major media outlets in the US have treated him as somehow misunderstood and a benevolent leader. The man is a thug and a murderer people! He always has been. His grand vision of socialism has turned into what ALL visions of socialism lead to – utter decay, famine, disease, stagnant development, and abject poverty (real poverty… children being required to work so that a family can split one loaf of moldy bread a day… unlike what the poor in America experience) for the vast majority.
Castro, meanwhile, is doing fine! He’s got access to all the food and all the wealth produced by his people. He’s also got rich asshole supporters around the world because he continues to be a communist when all other communist nations have crumbled (USSR) or moved towards a free-er market approach (China). He has the best doctors, the best nurses, and the ability to leave the country. He even has people who step in the line of fire for him time and time again apologizing for his murderous, tyrannical government, lobbing him softball, puff-questions in interviews and even touting his hospitals! This is the portrait of a man who has never had to be truly accountable for his actions… Life has been good to Fidel.
His people, on the other hand, have this:
Now, before I get the blatherings on of my more leftist friends (who tend to always find a way to bring any issue around to being Bush’s fault), let me just point out that Bush actually has had to be accountable for his decisions for the most part. More importantly, there is a systemized way for us as Americans to hold him accountable. A number of ways in fact. We can (and do) speak out regularly against his policies – and for some of the more vitriolic of us, him personally. We can write articles and produce movies. We can move if we wish. We can vote him out of office. We can vote for people in the other branches of government who will move the opposite direction philosophically… We can do all these things without fear of being tortured, killed or exiled. We can do all these things without fearing that our family will be tortured or killed. The fact that we haven’t really held our government accountable on the whole for protecting our freedoms is another issue entirely.
The point is, people living under the rule of dictators like Castro don’t have those luxuries.
So suddenly, the news has decided to be more critical of a man responsible for great evil in the world… Great. Where were they the past 60 years!? The media always does such a fabulous job of dropping the ball on giving people real information that I don’t hold out much hope for a massive cultural re-education in the 2 weeks that Castro’s retirement will be a news-worthy issue, but perhaps we can all stop for a minute and at least do our best to think about this ourselves.
…and the next time you see Michael Moore – please kick him square in the nuuutz for me.