Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro Is Dead And I'm Supposed To Care

    Thing is, I don't. Yeah, yeah, the dude handed the former USSR their very own version of Airstrip One and together, they and JFK cruised to the brink of nuclear war, along about the time I lay in bed with rheumatic fever clawing at my joints, shrieking in pain any time footsteps made the floor move even a little (and what a treat that must have been for my parents, an annoyingly-sick kid plus the possibility of atomic annihilation. Or maybe Khrushchev dangling that sword overhead helped make it bearable: at least if the commies started WW III, my parents and pre-teen sister wouldn't have had to tiptoe every time they went down the hall).

     Thing is, civilization blundered through and past that and Cuba settled down to a long, hungry stretch of irrelevance.  Sure, there was the occasional airliner hijacking, misfit revolutionaries trying to export themselves to a country that had already had its revolution and didn't want any more, no thank you Mister yanqui.  And there was the far larger flow of people headed the other way on whatever they could manage to get floating or, tragically, not quite.

     But that was it.  Cuba was no worker's paradise, but then, it never had been.  Poor as it was, the inadequate provisions of a communist regime were still more than the majority of Cubans had known.  Propped up by Soviet largess, exporting sugar and a few luxury consumables to the Warsaw pact, Cuba tottered on.  Michael Moore praised Potemkin-villiage hospitals and missed the struggling, undersupplied health-care providers serving the vast majority of Cubans; the country exported doctors and revolutionaries wholesale and retail, and it still never much mattered.  Castro handed off the reins to his slightly younger brother and so what?

     Castro's dead and so what?

     The TV is treating him like a movie star.  It wasn't a movie, people.  It was real and it still is.  You want to know the truth about economic systems?  Compare Florida and Cuba, 90 miles apart at their closest approach.  90 years and a century of progress; the difference between the poorest Cuban and the poorest Floridian can be measured by the dumpsters they dive into seeking dinner -- well, the Floridian does; Cubans still can't afford to throw edible food away.

     Capitalism, much like democracy, sucks; but in practice, it sucks way less than any other economic system the human race has devised.

     Castro's dead.  The only-slightly-better-off-than-before Cuba he built remains.  Talk about that, TV.  Even just a little.

12 comments:

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Well, at least the worms will get a feast out of it. Cuba, the benighted country, will struggle on.

Joseph said...

A quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government,except for all the rest"

rickn8or said...

Mama always said "If you can't say something good about someone, then don't say anything at all."

Well "Castro's dead and that's good."

Robert Fowler said...

He is now a good communist. That's what I learned in the Marines.

Old NFO said...

Nothing will change. Raul is worse than Fidel was...

Merle Morrison said...

Can we say "ding dong the witch is dead"? What the hell, I alrady did! :)

Merle

Raz Raxxaffian said...

One threat has died, his brother remains... I don't see anything changing except the first name of the dictator.

Move on folks, nothing to see here.

Raz

pigpen51 said...

The USSR did indeed prop the Cuban dictator up. But I think that Venezuela also had a hand in Cuba, until Venezuela sunk under it's own weight. I might be wrong, but the problem is, I am too lazy tonight to look for the information. Maybe tomorrow. I wonder if somewhere a capitalistic left winger( talk about a contradiction of terms) is designing a T-Shirt with some kind of picture of Castro and Che together at the river styx or something?

Guffaw in AZ said...

He and Generalissimo Francisco Franco are still dead!

Thank God!

gfa

Mike V. said...

By all accounts, he left his country in worse shape than he found it. A dubious legacy.

Anonymous said...

One can respond anonymously? Hmm... interesting.

I'd offer one different angle: Castro's legacy is very complicated. Undoubtedly, some parts most troubling. But, like any of us, he was capable of great good.

Healthcare was excellent, as was the training of physicians. Many say far better than the U.S.

Roberta X said...

"Far better?" Not for the majority of Cubans. They trained plenty of physicians but hospital supplies were very scarce and many facilities were abysmal.

The quality of life for most Cubans (in Cuba) is much worse than the quality of life for most Americans. --See any boatloads of U.S. refugees fleeing to Cuba, ever?