Ever since news broke late Friday on Cuban state media that the country’s former dictator Fidel Castro had died, the left and its media allies have been engaged in a complete rewriting of history and of Cuban society over the past 60 years. Ever since coming to power in the Cuban Revolution of 1959 Fidel Castro established a one party state, exiled, imprisioned and executed his opponents and impoverished his people through his implementation of a full scale centrally planned socialist economic system.
But the story that has been told by the media in the past few days is he liberated the Cuban people from an oppressive regime, freed them from imperialistic influences and provided universal healthcare and education to all Cubans. The lionizing of Castro hasn’t just been confined to posts on social media or from socialist blogs, but from the mainstream media and even more disturbingly from many Western leaders.
The Guardian called him a ‘Charismatic leader of the revolution’, Australia’s state owned broadcaster the ABC tweeted about him as ‘Cuba’s beared, cigar smoking romantic revolutionary’. Among the world leaders Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released an official statement calling Castro ‘a legendary revolutionary and orator’, the UK Labour Opposition Jeremy Corbyn called him “champion of social justice” however did admit he had flaws. The President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in statement and on Twitter “With the death of Fidel Castro the world has lost a man who was a hero for many”. In Australia, unrepentant Stalinist, former Communist Party member and current Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon tweeted “Fidel Castro liberated Cuba from corruption, exploitation’’.
It has been correctly pointed out that most of the people who are mourning Castro’s death are from free and democratic countries who never had to live under his dictatorship. Meanwhile those Cubans who managed to escape Castro’s regime, many of whom now reside in Miami’s Little Havana are on the streets celebrating his death. Those Cubans who are free to have their own opinion of Castro (remember Cuba has no free speech or press) openly express their relief that he can no longer bring anymore suffering to their people.
This outpouring of grief for a despot who brought such misery to a once prosperous country by so many people throughout the western world proves the philosophy of communism has not been defeated. Given that we saw a self-described Socialist Bernie Sanders almost win a major party’s nomination (there is actually large evidence that he should have won) for President of United States demonstrated a resurgence of the appeal of socialism and communist ideas even in a country which was founded on capitalism and liberty.
The return of appeal of communism can be put down to three factors. The first is the natural hatred the left has for humanity, industrialisation, technological progress and the western way of life. They see the destruction of human progress that Castro brought to Cuba, not to mention the way he tormented the United States over the years, as something to be admired. This is demonstrated by the leftist line about wanting to visit decedent Cuba before it’s ruined (by economic progress it should be noted). This is the more dark and sinister reason for the appeal of communism.
The second factor is that it has been now 27 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall which triggered the end of communism in Europe and also at the same time saw most Asian communist countries embrace free market reforms. The youth of today have been brought up in a world where the horrors and poverty of communism are no longer on display. They completely forget that they are fortunate enough to be brought up in a time where standards of living have never been higher and it is thanks to the free market, the very system that they now rail against that is to thank for this.
Even though communism has been proven to be a complete failure in every country it has been tried, and responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths, famine and cannibalism, these facts are a distant memory in the minds of today’s youth. The state of our education system (and the fact that many educators advocate for communism) results in today’s youth not being told the truth about communism. It is not an extension of social justice or bringing about equality and raising living standards but complete control over the lives of every citizen and punishment for anyone who dares to object to the will of the state or pursue their goals in life. Individual liberty and freedom cannot be tolerated.
The third factor is the emphasis placed on intention, rather than results, by humans in general. Humans admire a person who appears to have good intentions with a rebellious attitude, instead of a realist guided by morals and an understanding of the importance of outcomes. Thus this results in the irrational idealist being overrated and the hard-eyed truthful realist being frowned upon. It has to be admitted that Castro was a symbol of hope for many people at first due to his idealism and rebellious personality, which is especially true when considering the youth. This aspect of human nature is also linked to the fact that many people in West ignore the results of Communism in favour of its intentions.
Although many advocates of freedom and liberty are celebrating his demise it has been correctly stated that Castro was lucky to die in peace, unlike many of his victims. Cubans are still trapped in an oppressive dictatorship, his brother Raul Castro is still the President. Opinion is divided about the impact of the relaxation of economic sanctions and re-establishing of diplomatic relations that the Obama Administration agreed upon in 2015, on the current regime. Only time will tell but most people in the United States government at least agree on one thing: to see a free and democratic Cuba. This of course can only legitimately emerge through an uprising of the Cuban people.
But here in the west the pathetic reaction to Castro’s death by our leaders demonstrates that the fight against communism is not over. Just because it was defeated once does not mean it can never return, the complete economic collapse of Venezuela thanks to two decades of socialist rule is evidence of that. We must be constantly vigilant in the west of the type of people we elect to our governments, question what the media tells us and most of all educate people especially the youth about the destructiveness of communism and socialism. There are still plenty of survivors of communism in the world who will gladly tell their stories as a word of warning. Freedom must always be defended, sadly the battle of ideas never ends.