The left allows itself any number of rhetorical excesses about Donald Trump. He is a “fascist,” a dangerous “strongman,” a “tyrant” in waiting, and so forth. But when an actual tyrant dies such as Fidel Castro the left quickly adopts more measured rhetoric. Its hysterical editorialists suddenly turn sedate. They urge people to see a reviled figure in perspective. Castro’s legacy is “divisive,” as the New Yorker hesitantly put it. “Cuba today is a dilapidated country, but its social and economic indicators are the envy of many of its neighbors.”
Casting about for a circumspect word to describe a mass murderer, Barack Obama hit upon “singular.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered the slightly more daring description “remarkable.” Pope Francis called him a “deceased dignitary,” in a telegram that the Vatican normally doesn’t send (it typically only sends telegrams for leaders who die while still in office, according to the Catholic press).
Careful not to mourn his death too obviously, the press peppered its stories with similarly evasive and hedging language: Castro was a “controversial” and “charismatic” figure who, in the laughably neutral words of the New York Times, “transformed Cuba.” Many newspapers made reference to his repression but didn’t want their readers to forget his “achievements” either, as if “free” access to crumbling hospitals balanced out his slaughtering of tens of thousands of people and displacing more than a million people. Under Castro, said the BBC, “Cuba registered some impressive domestic achievements. Good medical care was freely available for all, and Cuba’s infant mortality rates compared favorably with the most sophisticated societies on earth.”
The nods to his monstrous crimes by leftist pols, to the extent any came, were quick and breezy. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn deserves first prize in this category: “For all his flaws, Castro’s support for Angola played a crucial role in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and he will be remembered both as an internationalist and a champion of social justice.” In that “for all his flaws” lie how many murders?
Naturally, Donald Trump’s honest reaction to Castro’s death generated criticism for its “tone.” In the Washington Post, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers called it “highly problematic.” This, of course, comes from the same media that now openly congratulates itself for its lack of balance in covering Trump. The other day, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour was pleading with her fellow journalists to abandon the sham pretense of objectivity and adopt the “Edward R. Murrow standard” for Trump. She believes in “being truthful, not neutral.” She will not stand idle during this “post-truth,” “post-values” age. She will “fight against normalization of the unacceptable.”
She conceives of journalism as a high priesthood that defines good and evil for the unenlightened masses. But not long after cheering her comments, journalists returned to their keyboards to normalize the evil of Castro with evasive pieces on his passing. Even Amanpour got into the act, interviewing international figures about the “unclear” legacy of Castro. She can find nuance in Castro but not in Trump.
Journalists who wouldn’t have survived a day in Castro’s Cuba treat Trump as an enemy of press freedom (for such grave offenses as not informing his press pool that he was going out to dinner). They gasp at Trump’s health care plans, while praising Castro’s hospitals. They freak out over Trump’s “Muslim ban,” while minimizing Castro’s suppression of religious freedom. They couldn’t have voted in Castro’s Cuba but demand a recount in America (Jill Stein called Castro a “symbol of the struggle for justice”).
After Trump won, the New Yorker’s David Remnick nearly fainted from fear. It was a “sickening event,” a “tragedy for the American republic,” and a victory for “authoritarianism” at home and abroad, he wrote. But Castro never elicited such breathless denunciations from his magazine. Castro was merely a “controversial” figure. His totalitarianism generated less outrage from it than Trump’s tweets.
Now the media, never too worried about the jingoism of Castro, is harrumphing over Trump’s flag-burning comments. It can forgive nationalism in foreign leaders but not its own.
Meanwhile, the press continues to push the storyline that Trump’s coming administration is causing the great and good of the world to tremble, a claim to which the American people rightly shrug, especially since many of these international luminaries appalled by Trump’s inauguration will soon turn up at Castro’s funeral
The idiots who praised Castro need to read Humberto Fontova:
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? …
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.)
Whatever else you might say about Fidel Castro, nobody ever accused him of misreading the U.S. mainstream media.
“Much more valuable to us than military recruits for our guerrilla army were recruiting American reporters to export our propaganda.” (Fidel Castro’s sidekick Che Guevara, 1959.)
“Without the help of the New York Times, the Revolution in Cuba would never have been.” (Fidel Castro while pinning a medal on NYTimes reporter Herbert Matthews, April, 1959.)
As seen from the quotes above, the propaganda services by much of the mainstream media for the Castro regime continues apace—despite half a century of terror-sponsorship, mass-murder, and mass-torture by the object of their adulation.