My old friend Reuben Chapple, makes me look like a hand wringing pinko.
Below is a recent letter he sent to the Listener. I don’t know if they’ll print it, but I thought it was too good to risk wasting.
Given the recent outpouring of sympathy in the Western media for ailing Cuban President, Fidel Castro, it seems appropriate to consider what kind of legacy he will leave behind on his eventual demise. His Western apologists make much of the fact that the Fidelistas have eradicated illiteracy in Cuba. But what benefit is there in being able to read if you’re only allowed to read what the government says you can read?
Another achievement for which we’re asked to give Castro a free pass is his regime’s provision of free medical care to even the poorest Cubanos. Dr Jorge Pérez, an emigre Cuban physician and AIDS specialist, reports that as part of its “medical ” programme, the Cuban government ran advertisements on national television seeking volunteers for government experiments with AIDS vaccines. Any successful vaccines discovered as a result would translate into a massive foreign currency earner for Castro.
Widespread poverty, ignorance about AIDS, and the regime’s promise of several years under observation in plush surroundings made the response to the advertisements overwhelming. The volunteers were then interned in a special sanatorium where they were inoculated with the AIDS virus. Dr. Pérez reports that the strain used was particularly strong and ninety percent of the volunteers died the typically agonising and prolonged AIDS death within two years.
The “literacy and free medical care defence” is morally equivalent to saying Hitler was a good guy because under the Nazis all school children were taught to sing (even though they were only allowed to sing Deutschland Uber Alles), and every patient experimented upon by Dr Mengele received free medical attention. In fact, both Castro and his revolutionary colleague Che Guevara (whose likeness still plasters the T-shirts of aging campus radicals and young socialist wannabes throughout the Western world) were not “humanitarians” but ruthless killers.
According to emigre Cuban historian, Humberto Fontova, one of Castro’s first actions on gaining power in 1959 was to abolish due process and appoint Che Guevara his main executioner. “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary,” Guevara declared. “These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the paredon [execution wall ].” Hundred of thousand of Cubans met their maker in this way.
In 1961, the Soviets installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. The Societ Union’s then Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, documents in his memoirs how Castro pleaded with him in October 1962 to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States. The telegram making the plea sits in the Kennedy Library today. Khrushchev’s fear of Castro’s regime somehow getting hold of the nuclear launch buttons was a probably bigger factor in his decision to remove the missiles than the Kennedy administration’s shipping blockade of Cuban ports.
The prudence of Khrushchev’s decision was revealed the following month by Castro’s second-in-command, Che Guevara. “If the missiles had remained,” he told The London Daily Worker in November 1962, “we would have used them against the very heart of the US, including New York. We must never establish peaceful co-existence. In this struggle to the death between two systems we must gain the ultimate victory. We must walk the path of liberation even if it costs millions of atomic victims.”
This just goes to show what good Communists Castro and Guevara are. As their mentor, Lenin once said: “We’ll ask the man where he stands on the question of revolution. If he’s against it, we’ll stand him up against a wall.” Or as his political successor Stalin more baldly put it on the way to killing upwards of 30 million people: “A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths are a statistic.”
The continuing love affair on the part of the West’s media and many of its intellectuals with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara has effectively whitewashed these mass murderers making them look to the uninitiated like men of honour and decency. Lenin aptly described such blinkered enablers of the socialist project as “useful idiots.”
Repeat after me, ding-bats: Commies are not cool.