Well, I had no sooner posted my long commentary on the statists seeking the presidential nomination of the organized crime family of the false opposite of the naturalist "left" when I saw a news story about an interview Bernard John Sanders had given on the Columbia Broadcasting System television network's 60 Minutes disinformation program, which has been on the air since Tuesday, September 24, 1968, in which he reiterated his praise for the mass murderer by the name of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. I suppose this means that Bernard John Sanders has written off the electoral vote of the State of Florida, but he is nothing other than a committed Marxist revolutionary who has never met a Communist dictator whose crimes he could not overlook and whose "accomplishments," if they can be called that, were purchased on the blood of over one hundred million people worldwide since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia on November 7, 1917.
Here is what the atheist Jew from Vermont by way of Brooklyn said on 60 Minutes last night, Quinquagesima Sunday, February 23, 2020:
Back in the 1980s, Sanders had some positive things to say about the former Soviet Union and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
Here he is explaining why the Cuban people didn't rise up and help the U.S. overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro: "…he educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society, you know?"
Bernie Sanders: We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?
Anderson Cooper: A lot of p-- dissidents imprisoned in-- in Cuba.
Bernie Sanders: That's right. And we condemn that. Unlike Donald Trump, let's be clear, you want to-- I do not think that Kim Jong Un is a good friend. I don't trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine. (Bernard John Sanders on 60 Minutes, Sunday, February 23, 2020.)
Stop the presses.
This is truly demagogic.
Although I disagree with President Donald John Trump's praise of Kim Jong Un and believe that his policy toward the so-called Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) is mistaken, it is the height of demagoguery to compare President Trump's efforts to pacify the brutal Stalnist of Pyongyang with Bernard John Sanders having traveled to Cuba to praise a mass murderer to his very face without saying one single, solitary word of rebuke to him. Bernard John Sanders will feel the "burn" for all eternity with the man he so admires, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz if he does not convert to the Catholic Faith and repent of his despicable and reprehensible rhetorical sleights of hand to try to make others guilty of things that they have not done in order to provide himself cover for the aid and comfort he has given to one mudering Communist dicatator after another.
One of vilest things that American apologists for murderous Communist dictatorships do is to praise the state of "healthcare" and "education" in Cuba even though such "healthcare" is very poor by contemporary standards and that Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz wanted to increase literacy in Cuba so as to "convert" those Cubans who could not flee his prison island to the ways of Marxism-Leninism. "Education" in Cuba is nothing other than mass indoctrination in atheistic Communism, and it has served as a model in so many ways for the "modernization" of public indoctrination program here in the United States of America.
United States Senator Rafael Edward (Ted) Cruz (R-Texas), "tweeted" the following about Bernard John Sanders' praise of the Cuban "educational" system:
“It really makes a difference when those you murder at the firing squad can read & write,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted.
In a resurfaced speech given at the University of Vermont in 1986, Sanders praised the socialist policies implemented in Cuba by the Castro regime and criticized bipartisan efforts in the US to tamp down on Castro’s spread of communism. (Sanders Defends Castro's Socialist Cuba.)
Yes, Bernie Sanders, everything about Castro's Cuba was and remains bad as what does it matter to serve various material needs when the lords of the civil state butcher souls as well as bodies by spreading the lies of atheism and by making it clear in its very Constitution children belong to the Communist state, not to their parents.
A careful look at the Communist Cuban constitution of 1992 will reveal that its “educational” program has great similarity to that desired by professional “educators” in the United States of America, including many of my one-time colleagues of college teaching in institutions that are, for all intents and purposes, instruments of indoctrination and brainwashing:
a) the state bases its educational and cultural policy on the progress made in science and technology, the ideology of Marx and Martí, and universal and Cuban progressive pedagogical tradition;
b) education is a function of the state and is free of charge. It is based on the conclusions and contributions made by science and on the close relationship between study and life, work and production.
The state maintains a broad scholarship system for students and provides the workers with multiple opportunities to study to be able to attain the highest possible of knowledge and skills.
The law established the integration and structure of the national system of education and the extent of compulsory education and defines the minimum level of general education that every citizen should acquire;
c) the state promotes the patriotic and communist education of the new generations and the training of children, young people and adults for social life.
In order to make this principle a reality, general education and specialized scientific, technical or artistic education are combined with work, development research, physical education, sports, participation in political and social activities and military training;
d) there is freedom of artistic creation as long as its content is not contrary to the Revolution. There is freedom of artistic expression;
e) in order to raise the level of culture of the people, the state foments and develops artistic education, the vocation for creation and the cultivation and appreciation of art;
f) there is freedom of creation and research in science. The state encourages and facilitates research and gives priority to that which is aimed at solving the problems related to the interests of society and the well-being of the people;
g) the state makes it possible for the workers to engage in scientific work and to contribute to the development of science;
h) the state promotes, foments and develops all forms of physical education and sports as a means of education and of contribution to the integral development of citizens;
i) the state defends Cuban culture’s identity and sees to the conservation of the nation’s cultural heritage and artistic and historic wealth. The state protects national monuments and places known for their natural beauty or their artistic or historic values;
j) the state promotes the participation of the citizens, through the country’s social and mass organizations, in the development of its educational and cultural policy.
ARTICLE 40. The state and society give special protection to children and young people.
It is the duty of the family, the schools, the state agencies and the social and mass organizations to pay special attention to the integral development of children and young people. (1992 Communist Cuban Constitution.)
This reads like a curriculum manifesto issued by a state board of “education” in the United States of America, and it has a whole lot in “common” with “common core” as well, and the goal of “integral development of children” has a great deal in common with Jacques Maritain’s “integral human development” that has become one of the great building blocks of conciliar “theology.”
Indeed, the administration of Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro tried its very best to mandate a “national curriculum” by means of the aforementioned “Common Core,” something that prompted columnist George Will, who does not understand ultimate root causes, of course, in 2012:
Meanwhile, the Education Department is pretending that three laws do not mean what they clearly say. This is documented in the Pioneer Institute’s report “The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers” by Robert S. Eitel, Kent D. Talbert and Williamson M. Evers, all former senior officials in the Education Department.
The 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) — No Child Left Behind is its ninth iteration — intruded the federal government into this traditionally state and local responsibility. It said that “nothing in this act” shall authorize any federal official to “mandate, direct, or control” a state’s, local educational agency’s or school’s curriculum. The General Education Provisions Act of 1970, which supposedly controls federal education programs, stipulates that “no provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize” any federal agency or official “to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction” or selection of “instructional materials” by “any educational institution or school system.”
The 1979 law establishing the Education Department forbids it from exercising “any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum” or “program of instruction” of any school or school system. The ESEA as amended goes further: No funds provided to the Education Department “may be used . . .. to endorse, approve, or sanction any curriculum designed to be used in” kindergarten through 12th grade.
However . . . .
What authors Eitel, Talbert and Evers call the Education Department’s “incremental march down the road to a national curriculum” begins with the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS). It is an initiative not of any state legislature but of a governors association, state school officials and private foundations. This push advanced when the Race to the Top Fund (RTTT, part of the 2009 stimulus) said that peer reviewers of applications for money should favor those states that join a majority of states in developing and adopting common standards. The 11 states and the District of Columbia that won Race to the Top funding had adopted or indicated an intention to adopt the CCSS, which will require changes in curricula.
An Education Department synopsis of discussions with members of the public about priorities in competition for RTTT money says “the goal of common K-12 standards is to replace the existing patchwork of state standards.” Progressives celebrate diversity in everything but thought.
The Obama administration is granting conditional waivers to states chafing under No Child Left Behind’s unrealistic accountability requirements. The waivers are contingent on each state adopting certain standards “that are common to a significant number of states,” or the state may adopt standards endorsed by its institutions of higher education — if those standards are consistent with the Education Department’s guidelines.
We have been warned. Joseph Califano, secretary of health, education and welfare in the Carter administration, noted that “in its most extreme form, national control of curriculum is a form of national control of ideas.” (George Will, Those Pesky Things Called Laws.)
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz received the cooperation of the administration of William Jefferson Blythe Clinton and Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., to send Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba after he had fled with his mother, who drowned during their escape. Elian Gonzalez hyas since become a committed Communist as a result of the "good" "educational" system in Cuba (see Elian Gonzalez Returns to Public Eye to Praise Fidel Castro).
Here is a refresher about Elian Gonzalez that was written by a columnist in 2016:
Unlike Bernard John Sanders, who gave praise to an "educational" system that he wants to impose here in the United States of America in those places where local school boards are controlled by "counter-revolutionaries," Pope Pius XI was unstinting in his criticism of the Communist system of education. Here is what our second-to-last true pope thus far wrote in Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937:
Refusing to human life any sacred or spiritual character, such a doctrine logically makes of marriage and the family a purely artificial and civil institution, the outcome of a specific economic system. There exists no matrimonial bond of a juridico-moral nature that is not subject to the whim of the individual or of the collectivity. Naturally, therefore, the notion of an indissoluble marriage-tie is scouted. Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity. Finally, the right of education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community, in whose name and by whose mandate alone parents may exercise this right. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.)
Anyone who calls Fidel Castro an “esteemed dignitary” and who can ignore the facts of the indoctrination of children in Communism, no less the repressive nature of the Castro regime, while in Cuba from Saturday, September 19, 2015, the Feast of Saint Januarius, to Tuesday, September 22, 2015, the Feast of Saint Thomas Villanova, is an enabler of an ideology that was condemned as follows by Pope Pius XI in Divini Redemptoris:
See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.)
This condemnation of any kind of cooperation with Communism was reinterred by the Holy Office on July 1, 1949, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, under the pontificate of our last true pope, Pope Pius XII:
This Sacred Supreme Congregation has been asked:
1. whether it is lawful to join Communist Parties or to favour them;
2. whether it is lawful to publish, disseminate, or read books, periodicals, newspapers or leaflets which support the teaching or action of Communists, or to write in them;
3. whether the faithful who knowingly and freely perform the acts specified in questions 1 and 2 may be admitted to the Sacraments;
4. whether the faithful who profess the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of the Communists, and particularly those who defend or propagate this doctrine, contract ipso facto excommunication specially reserved to the Apostolic See as apostates from the Catholic faith.
The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Fathers entrusted with the supervision of matters concerning the safeguarding of Faith and morals, having previously heard the opinion of the Reverend Lords Consultors, decreed in the plenary session held on Tuesday (instead of Wednesday), June 28, 1949, that the answers should be as follows:
To 1. in the negative: because Communism is materialistic and anti-Christian; and the leaders of the Communists, although they sometimes profess in words that they do not oppose religion, do in fact show themselves, both in their teaching and in their actions, to be the enemies of God, of the true religion and of the Church of Christ; to 2. in the negative: they are prohibited ipso iure (cf. Can. 1399 of the Codex Iuris Canonici); to 3. in the negative, in accordance with the ordinary principles concerning the refusal of the Sacraments to those who are not disposed; to 4. in the affirmative.
And the following Thursday, on the 30th day of the same month and year, Our Most Holy Lord Pius XII, Pope by the Divine Providence, in the ordinary audience, granted to the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Assessor of the Sacred Office, approved of the decision of the Most Eminent Fathers which had been reported to Him, and ordered the same to be promulgated officially in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given at Rome, on July 1st, 1949. (As found at Decree Against Communism.)
As noted earlier in this unexpected complement to Naturally Absurd, part one, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a mass murderer. No amount of Bernie Reivsionism can change Castro's his gruesome legacy, which was recognized as such by an unlikely source, the editorial board of the Washington Post after Castro's death on November 25, 2016, the Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria:
Consider this retrospective on the death of the the mass murdering tyrant as found in yesterday's Washington Post, of all places:
One of the most brutal dictators in modern history has just died. Oddly enough, some will mourn his passing, and many an obituary will praise him. Millions of Cubans who have been waiting impatiently for this moment for more than half a century will simply ponder his crimes and recall the pain and suffering he caused.
Many intellectuals, journalists and educated people in the First World fell for this myth, too — though they would have been among the first to be jailed or killed by Castro in his own realm — and their assumptions acquired an intensity similar to that of religious convictions. Pointing out to such believers that Castro imprisoned, tortured and murdered thousands more of his own people than any other Latin American dictator was usually futile. His well-documented cruelty made little difference, even when acknowledged, for he was judged according to some aberrant ethical code that defied logic.
Leaving aside the commentator’s obvious support of the lavender agenda, this is quite a thorough summary of Castro’s bloody legacy that the false “pontiff” should not be discussed given how much supposed “good” that the monstrous Communist dictator did for his country.
Here is yet another commentator’s assessment of the “good” that Castro did:
Although the writer’s glee at the death of the monster named Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was understandable, nothing has changed in Cuba as the Castro brothers have helped to “educate” most Cubans in the ways of Marxism-Leninism.
Bernard John Sanders, who was made millions of dollars here in the United States of America as he has drunk from the public trough in order to reach the position that he is in at this time, is just the latest species of American Marxists, Socialists and "lefitists" who were characterized as follows by the late Dr. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn in his famous June 6, 1978, commencement address at Harvard University, "A World Split Apart":
The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism's crimes. And when they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them. (A World Split Apart.)
Perhaps Bernard John Sanders wants to be appointed as a consultant to Jorge Mario Bergoglio's Commissars so that he can advise him on how to complete the sellout of the underground Catholics in Red China to their Chicom persecutors. Sanders and Bergoglio are in complete agreement about Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, and it must be remembered that Bergoglio said the following after he had met Castro on September 20, 2015, in Havanna:
Silvia Poggioli, NPR: I would like to ask you, in the decades of the power of the state of Fidel Castro, the Church in Cuba has suffered much. In your meeting with Fidel, did you get the impression that [he] may be a bit regretful?
Pope Francis: Regret is a very intimate thing, and it’s a thing of conscience. I, in the meeting with Fidel, I spoke of the stories of known Jesuits, because in the meeting I brought a gift of a book, from Fr. Llorente, also a good friend of his, who is also a Jesuit. And also a CD with the conferences of Fr. Llorente and I also gave him two books from Fr. Pronzato [sic] which I’m sure he’ll also appreciate. And we talked about these things. We spoke a lot about the encyclical, Laudato si'. He’s very interested in the issue of ecology. It was a not-so-formal, rather spontaneous meeting. Also his family was present there. Also those who accompanied me, my driver, were present there. But, we were a bit separated from his wife. They couldn’t hear, but they were in the same place. But we spoke a lot on the encyclical because he is very concerned about this. About the past, we didn’t speak.
(inaudible question from Poggioli)
Pope Francis: Yes! About the past, the Jesuit college. And how the Jesuits were and how they made him work. All of that, yes.
“About the past, we did not speak.” (Full Transcript of Bergoglio's Inflight Interview from Cuba to the United States of America.)
The “past” to which Bergoglio referred is very much the present of Cuba in its Communist captivity as the dissidents who wanted to meet with him were rounded up while he remained silent about the Castro regime’s brutality during his visit or to denounce the arrests of the dissidents thereafter.
I wrote the following over fourteen months to provide my own belief about Bergoglio's behavior in Cuba:
I believe that there is a reason for this that transcends Bergoglio’s personal support for the way in which Communist regimes have provided “social justice,” including universal health care supposed “income equality,” to the masses: he wants to make it clear to the murderers of Beijing that they can invite him to Red China and be assured of the fact that he will validate the so-called Catholic Chinese Patriotic Association, thus putting the final nail in the coffin of the brave underground Catholics who have suffered so much for the past sixty-five years. Although the Chicom leadership is a wary bunch of murderers and spies, they might just take the chance of inviting the lay Jesuit to do for them with their dissidents what he did for those in Cuba (and what he has done for those who oppose the unconstitutional, immoral, illegal and unjust policies of Obama/Soetoro in the United States of America).
It did not take any kind of particular expertise to believe that this was the case as, despite the advancing years, my memory is still decent (although not as good as once was, especially when it comes to short-term memory), and I have followed and written about the conciliar Vatican's plan to sell out the suffering underground Catholics in Red China for over twenty years now. This sell out is almost complete, and it will be the coup de grace of Bergoglio's embrace of the most monstrous regime on the face of this earth at this time (see Still Selling the Rope After All These Years, part two, Bergoglio the Red Surrenders Faithful Catholics to Their Persecutors and Neville Bergoglio's Appeasement of the Chicom Monsters).
Fidelity to Communism does not make one an infidel in the eyes of the conciliar revolutionaries. It is thus only natural for Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz's fidelity to Communism while demonstrating infidelity to the Catholic Faith should not matter to a Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is the most notorious infidel on the face of the earth, and it obviously does not matter to the atheist Bernard John Sanders.
Although I am not a mystic and do not know for certainty the sentence that Christ the King pronounced upon the soul of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz upon his death thirty-nine months ago tomorrow, I think that it is safe to safe that he is feeling the "burn" now and for all eternity in hell, a place to which Bernard John Sanders, whose own immortal soul has been made in the image and likeness of God and has been redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ during His Passion and Death on the wood of the Holy Cross on Good Friday even though he, Sanders, does not know about this. Worse yet, Bernard John Sanders does not want to know about this. One cannot be a Socialist and a sincere Catholic at the time same time.
The Castros are the greatest scourges that Cuba, which had been evangelized by Our Lady of Guadalupe herself, has known. They are the very fulfillment of Saint Anthony Mary Claret's prophetic warning to the people of Cuba as to what would happen in they persisted in the sort of wanton immorality that Jorge Mario Bergoglio just shrugs off as meaning nothing as long as one “serves the poor":
On Christmas Day God infused into me the love of persecution and calumnies. . . . I dreamed I was imprisoned for a crime of which I was innocent. . . . To one who would have defended me, as St. Peter wished to defend Our Savior, I said: 'Shall I not drink the chalice my Father has given me?'
"On January 6, 1859, Our Lord made known to me that I am like the earth . . . which is trampled upon, yet doesn't speak. I, too, must be trodden underfoot and say nothing. The earth suffers cultivation. I must suffer mortification. Finally, to produce anything, the earth needs water; I, for the performance of good works, divine grace."
How consoling it must have been to hear Jesus promise him divine love, while tenderly addressing him as: "My little Anthony"--on April 27, 1859! And how he strove, ever harder, to obey his Redeemer's injunction, given at 4:25 a.m., on September 4, of that same year: "You have to teach your missionaries mortification, Anthony," to which, a few moments later, Our Lady added, "Thus will you reap fruit in souls, Anthony!"
And, now conditioned to receive supernatural messages in precise words and audible tones, and when they were precepts, to obey perfectly, he was ready for the most glorious promise and the most portentous revelation of all. "At 7:30 on the morning of September 23, Our Lord told me: 'You will fly across the earth . . . to preach of the immense chastisements soon to come to pass.' And He gave me to understand those words of the Apocalypse: 'And I behold and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth; by reason of the rest of the voices of the three angels who are yet to sound the trumpet.' this meant that the three great judgments of God that are going to fall upon the world are: 1) Protestantism and Communism; 2) the four archdemons who will,in a truly frightful manner, incite all to the love of pleasure, money, reason and independence of will; 3) the great wars with their horrible consequences."
Can we read this prophecy, set down for us a century ago, just when our world was entering upon the "golden age" of industry and commerce, of the scientific achievement that our grandfathers were assured was destined to create a life so good for all peoples that war would be banished forever, and doubt from whence it came? And do we dare to trace it from the Protestant Reformation to the curse of Communism; from the conquest of materialism to the deification of poor weak human reason and self-determination into "the great wars and their horrible consequences"! Upon the clean tablet of Anthony Claret's selfless spirit Our Lord engraved the warning His servant was to spell out for us" the incredible but inevitable graph of the "progress" of one century--our century! (Franchon Royer, The Life of St. Anthony Mary Claret, published originally in 1957 by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1985, pp. 211-213.)
Americans brought Protestantism with them in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War in 1898 and thereafter. Communism followed in its wake sixty and one-half years later.
Oh, and just by the way, Saint Anthony Mary Claret received Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's promises as to what would happen to Cuba and the rest of the world took place in 1859, precisely one hundred years prior to the infidel Castro's bloody takeover of Cuba, noting that "soft" Communism exists in this country as well, which was founded upon Protestant and Judeo-Masonic principles and whose politics and social life are defined by "love of pleasure, money, reason and independencce of will." This characterizes both major organized crime families of naturalism that are called "political parties" but are really agents of Judeo-Masonic naturalism, and that is the antihesis of the Catholic Faith and the Social Reign of Christ the King.
Our Lady herself called upon Saint Anthony Mary Claret to be the new Saint Dominic of his time in order to spread devotion to her Most Holy Rosary:
On various other occasions during that perplexing year  which had brought him home to Spain, he had been blessed by direct messages--in words--from the Blessed Mother. In October: "Now you know; be sorry for the sins of your pat life, and watchful in the future. . . . Do you hear me, Anthony? Be watchful in the future. This is what I have to say to you." And later: "You must be the Dominic of these times in propagating devotion to the Rosary." (Franchon Royer, The Life of St. Anthony Mary Claret, published originally in 1957 by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1985, p. 211.)
To the Immaculate Heart of Mary we turn in these trying times as we keep close to this Heart from which the very Sacred Heart of Jesus was formed by means of praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medeal, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Mattias, pray for us.
More Documentation on Castro's Crimes
Consider just a brief excerpt from a very fine scholarly essay on the subject of a man named "Faithful" (Fidel)'s murderous, repressive ways:
From 1898 until the 1930’s, the U.S., to the discomfort of Cuba’s independent-minded nationalists, exercised strong political and economic control over Havana. Cuba’s economy – heavily reliant on sugar, foreign companies, and tourism – was closely linked to the U.S. market. Experiments in Cuban democracy deteriorated into dictatorships such as that of Gerardo Machado (1925-1933) and Fulgencio Batista (1952-1959). Cubans tended to blame the U.S. for the failures of their democracy and for U.S. willingness to “prefer” the stability of a strong man over the disorder and uncertainty of democracy. Nevertheless, by 1959, Cuba was one of Latin America’s best educated, most prosperous nations.
Credit for the success of the revolutionary movement and building Cuban communism belongs to Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. Son of a Spanish immigrant who owned 10,000 acres and employed 500, Castro was born in 1926 and was educated in Cuba’s elite schools. As a law student in the 1940’s, Fidel demonstrated a restless intellect coupled with the instincts of a strategist and a street fighter. At an early age, he discovered radical politics and the utility of political violence.
On July 26, 1952, Fidel helped lead a bloody, unsuccessful assault on Batista’s troops garrisoned in the Moncada Barracks in Santiago. Captured after the attack, Castro converted his trial into a propaganda victory. After less than two years in prison, Castro received an amnesty and traveled to Mexico where he recruited a small revolutionary army. Founding members included brother Raúl (b. 1931) and the Argentine doctor, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, (1928-1967). The guerrilla band landed in Cuba on the yacht Granma in December 1956. After several bloody clashes a handful of survivors disappeared into the Sierra Maestra Mountains.
Like many other Communist leaders, a ruthless but pragmatic Castro set as his primary objective the overthrow of the Batista regime and the armed seizure of power. Putting aside divisions over ideology, he forged broad alliances with historic opposition parties, organized labor and radical elements in the cities.
The press often portrayed Fidel and his band as young idealists fighting a corrupt, unpopular tyranny. Castro promised a “democratic Cuba,” restoration of the Cuban constitution, free elections, and claimed to harbor “no animosity toward the U.S.” A positive image of the rebels coupled with repugnance for Batista’s strong-arm methods, led the U.S. to impose an arms embargo on the Batista regime.
By late 1958, the Batista government began to crumple. On New Year’s Eve, Batista escaped to the Dominican Republic. On January 9, 1959, Fidel Castro arrived in Havana to tumultuous acclaim. Within weeks, Castro commenced maneuvering against liberals and democrats, breaking alliances and power sharing deals to solidify personal power and set Cuba on the path to communist dictatorship.
Frictions swiftly developed between the U.S. and Fidel. The U.S. challenged the use of summary “people’s courts” proceedings and firing squads that executed hundreds of former Batista officials and soldiers. Fidel defended “revolutionary justice,” explaining that moral conviction had replaced legal precepts as a guiding rationale. A system of prisons expanded as Fidel took over Batista’s old prisons and built new ones. Thousands passed into Fidel’s “tropical Gulag.” In the coming years, millions of Cubans believed themselves to be trapped in an immense, open air prison.
To try to leave the island without government permission became a criminal offense. Nonetheless a massive diaspora of Cubans was underway by 1960 to the benefit of the U.S. It is estimated that more Cubans were killed by fellow Cubans while trying to escape than the number of Germans killed by East German border guards manning the Berlin Wall.
Although Castro promised democratic elections, none were ever held. The free press was muzzled; judicial independence was lost. Nationalization and confiscation of foreign and domestically-owned property shifted wealth and power from the city and the middle class to the peasants and the working class. Agrarian reforms targeted large private and foreign-owned estates, paving the way for the creation of cooperatives. State planning and bureaucratic controls became omnipresent in all aspects of economic life.
Starting from a relatively advantaged position, the Cuban revolution sought to combat illiteracy, broaden health care coverage, and reduce extreme want. The key debate to this day focuses on the terrible costs paid in the curtailment of individual freedoms and the regimentation of daily life, especially when one recalls that Cuba in 1959 stood on an economic par with a Portugal or Spain.
The utopian aspirations of Cuba’s revolution reflected a promise to establish a just society on earth and create what “Che” Guevara called a New Man, a politically-conscious individual free from the taint of bourgeois materialism and personal ambition. Foreign policy would put Cuba at the service of anti-imperialism and anti-Americanism throughout the world, which meant close collaboration with the Kremlin leadership. While experts quibbled whether socialism or communism was practiced on the island, Fidel left no doubt that he was committed to the same trail blazed by Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.
With the U.S. always just over the horizon, Fidel gambled on replacing ties with the U.S. with a new geopolitical protector, the Soviet Union. In February 1960, Cuba and the Soviet Union signed a multi-year contract for the purchase of Cuban sugar and massive credit. In the next two decades, Soviet military trainers and equipment converted Cuba’s military into a formidable expeditionary force. Economic dependency on the U.S. yielded to economic vassalage to the Soviet Union.
In 1961, the U.S. backed an ill-fated attempt by Cuban exiles to overthrow the new Castro regime. The Bay of Pigs was a major foreign policy fiasco for President John F. Kennedy and allowed Fidel to crack down on all internal opposition. Henceforth fear of invasion and equating opposition to Cuban communism with acts of treason were essential weapons in Castro’s political arsenal. They remain so today. On May 1, 1960, Fidel proclaimed Cuba a socialist state; less than a year later, he swore allegiance to Marxism-Leninism, forever.
Under Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviets gambled in 1962 on a shift in the correlation of international power as they attempted to station nuclear missiles and 22,000 Russian troops in Cuba. The missile crisis of October 1962 carried the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict. Fidel urged a preemptive strike against the U.S. and announced he was ready to sacrifice Cuba for the global triumph of socialism. Khrushchev did not give Fidel a chance for nuclear self-immolation. The U.S.-Soviet deal resulted in the removal of Soviet missiles in exchange for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba.
While his leadership style blended elements of nationalism, utopianism, and anti-Americanism, Fidel constructed a Leninist-style dictatorship. The central institutional pillars include the Cuban Communist Party, serving as the vanguard of the people; the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, which embody a commitment to defend and advance the revolution; and a world-class intelligence and security service able to protect the leadership from all enemies and ferret out any organized opposition. Mass organizations such as the Committees for Defense of the Revolution (CDR) served as conduits for top-down leadership and a means to preserve revolutionary consciousness within the masses.
For decades, Fidel relied heavily upon creating conditions of psychological bondage, where the highest social values are political conformity, loyalty to the system, the denial of individualism, and the rejection of critical or independent thought. (History | Cuba Exhibit | Global Museum on Communism.)
Former news reporter Bonnie Anderson, who worked for the National Broadcasting Company television network's news dvision and for the Cable News Network, provided her own personal testimony of the murderous ways of the man chosen by God to be an instrument of "peace" and "justice on earth, the "greatest Latin-American of all time, Fidel Castro:
It is deeply wrenching to witness a week of lavish celebrations honoring Fidel Castro's birth when most likely every day, somewhere in the world, anguished families quietly mourn the death of a loved one at the hands of this heartless, evil man. That Fidel, himself, may be dying is not much comfort to me. I believe in justice and while he will be judged by God when he dies, he has yet to be judged on Earth for his crimes against humanity.
My father, Howard F. Anderson, was only one of 20,000 people tortured and executed by Fidel Castro. Before my Dad's execution by firing squad, he had most of his blood drained from his body to be used for transfusions for the revolutionary troops. Other political prisoners who watched the execution from their cells told me years later that my father refused a blindfold. And he whistled as the bullets tore into his body. One of the few memories I have, since I was only 5 years old at the time, was that my Dad whistled when he was angry. With the ''ready, aim, fire'' order, I, too, was wounded forever more. This ruthless dictator robbed me of a lifetime with my father, a lifetime of fatherly advice, a lifetime of memories.
So no, I don't want to see him die this way, of natural causes, or at this time. I have always hoped the world would recognize him for what he is and that Fidel Castro would be judged, convicted and sentenced for his crimes against humanity in an international court of law. A death from old age is far, far too lenient a punishment for a man who has killed so many people, destroyed the lives of literally millions.
As a journalist, I refrain from generalities. But I do believe there are few Cubans on the island and even fewer Cuban exiles who have not had a family member either executed or imprisoned by this megalomaniac. What I fail to understand is why there seems to be little national compassion for the pain that Cuban exiles have experienced. Americans show compassion for cancer survivors, for DUI and rape victims, for people suffering from depression, physical and mental abuse. We show compassion for famine victims in Africa; as an NBC news correspondent, I broke stories about genocide in Ethiopia, and the world -- but especially the United States -- responded with millions of dollars of money, but most important, with compassion. Organizations have sprung up to defend and champion the victims of all these issues, and rightly so. There is public acceptance that these people have suffered and have been wronged. It is morally right. So why, I ask, are Cuban exiles not afforded the same support and compassion?
I was a CNN network executive when the Elián González issue was a major story. I was horrified by the coverage by my network and all others. It pained me deeply to see sound-bites by people who said about the Cuban-Americans in this country, ''Why don't they just get over it? It happened so long ago.'' I spoke up to my superiors at CNN. And I'm no longer there. What I told them was this: Would anyone dare tell a Holocaust survivor, or the sons, daughters and grandchildren of the Holocaust to ''just forget about it'' because it happened so long ago? Of course not. Castro did not kill as many as Hitler did, and I would never diminish the horror and huge dimensions of the Holocaust, but Castro was -- and is -- our Hitler in Latin America.
BORN IN CUBA
Despite my Anglo name, I was born in Cuba. My mother was born there. Her parents are buried there. My father was buried there until Castro was so ticked off by an article I wrote in 1978 as a Miami Herald reporter that he had my father's remains dug up and thrown out. I am most proud of being Cuban American. And I want the rest of the world to understand our pain. It is part of our daily lives, no matt er where we live. It is the ache of losing a country, but it is more than that, too. It is a loss we feel in our blood and in our bones. It is also clearly an emotional demise in many ways -- a void in our pasts which continues to the present and will continue through the future. You can't make up for years of lost family experiences -- normal, human experiences that most other people enjoy. These are memories that have been stolen for all time. For myself, I have only two memories of my father and what saddens me is that I can't be absolutely certain that they truly are recollections or whether I've simply grasped onto scenes from the few home movies we managed to smuggle out of Cuba and morphed them into memories. When I think of this, it provokes a deep, dark cutting sadness in me.
Cuban exiles can't expect others who have not experienced what we have to actually know our pain and understand our passion for wanting to address the wrongs done us. Rape victims can't expect that. Neither can the parents of children who have been killed by drunk drivers, or family members who have lost loved ones in the current Iraq conflict. Or family members of the victims of Columbine, or 9/11. The people who survived the genocide in Ethiopia and in so many other places can't expect anyone to truly know their pain. Our pain is part of our spirit. The most we can hope for is compassion. The day that Castro's illness was first reported, I woke up very early and was watching CBS. On their early morning shows, they repeatedly said that ''Castro is considered a ruthless dictator by some in Miami.''
I fired off an e-mail to CBS President Sean McManus. What I wrote, in short, was this: If a man who murdered 20,000 people, imprisoned for decades hundreds of thousands of others, caused countless hundreds of thousands to flee the country (many losing their lives in desperate attempts to reach freedom on flimsy rafts) and has repressed a nation for nearly five decades - - denying them the most basic of human rights -- is not considered a ruthless dictator by all, who the hell is? I haven't heard back from him. I don't expect I will. In fact, I suspect he, and other network executives, will continue to cozy up to the Cuban government (whoever leads it) in order to make sure that when Castro dies, their networks have access to the coverage. That's the way it is in the corporate news world. But I have faith in my fellow American citizens. And I know, in my heart and spirit, that when the truth is known, those of us who have suffered at the hands of Fidel Castro will finally receive the compassion we are due.
While Fidel is celebrating a birthday, my brothers, sister and I are mourning the death not only of our father but also of our mother, Dorothy Stauber Anderson McCarthy, who died less than two months ago. She was 39 years old when Fidel made her a widow. She struggled to raise us and give us a new life, and she was most successful. But her greatest triumph was to instill a sense of right and honor in us, to teach us strength and morality. A month after her death, a New York judge ruled that we should receive millions of dollars of the frozen Cuban assets held in this country because of Fidel Castro's murder of my father. It is a very welcome decision but very bittersweet. Fidel Castro is alive and he knows he has been tried, convicted and sentenced to pay for his heinous act. But the fact that my mother isn't alive to see this final measure of justice is a soul-deep wound that I will live with for the rest of my life. I weep for her. I weep for us, and I weep for all who have been the victims of Fidel Castro. Happy Birthday? Please.
Bonnie M. Anderson is a 27-year veteran of print, radio, Internet and television journalism in English and in Spanish. She has worked on camera for local, national and international news organizations, including two decades with NBC News and CNN. Anderson won se ven Emmy Awards, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has been nominated for the María Coors Cabot Lifetime Achievement Award, which is sponsored by Columbia University. Capt. Anderson is now following a family tradition and is running a charter fishing operation out of Culebra, Puerto Rico. (Fidel Castro has yet to face justice )
Droleskey postcript: Fidel Alejandro Casto Ruz has faced Divine Justice.
To quote Sergeant Preston, "King, this case is closed."
Fidel Castro shed blood on a scale unimaginable in American terms. His butchers executed perhaps 15,000 prisoners, according to academic estimates cited by Wikipedia:
British historian Hugh Thomas, in his study Cuba or the pursuit of freedom stated that "perhaps" 5,000 executions had taken place by 1970, while The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators ascertained that there had been 2,113 political executions between the years of 1958–67.
That was in a country of 7 million. In per capita terms, that's the equivalent of about 680,000 executions in the United States of America with our population of 318 million. What's 680,000? The entire population of Denver or Seattle. Imagine taking every man, woman, and child of a major American city and murdering them. That's the scale of Fidel Castro's crimes.
680,000 is a bit less than the standard estimate for total military deaths in the American Civil War. Imagine standing 680,000 soldiers against a wall -- all the dead of Antietam, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor Chickamauga and every other battle of the Civil War -- and shooting them dead in cold blood. That's the equivalent of Fidel Castro's mass murder.