Maybe It’s The Start of Something Good! Farewell Fidel

() HareYes, it was very good new to wake up Saturday morning and to hear that a man who was as bad as Joe Stalin had finally gone to his reward. It is amazing how long evil can exist. Uncle Joe made it to 74 years and Evil Fidel made it to 90. As they say the good die young.

It will be interesting to see how the liberal press treats the tyrant who imprisoned his people since he took power back in 1959. There is an article here  the puts his actions into their proper perspective.

Yet in America, and other places of the world, there were individuals who thought he was a good leader. Agh! It makes one sick. But then again there were people who were very happy with Joe Stalin; one person once said to me that all his evil actions were good because he helped develop Russia into a strong state.

With Fidel, a guy I worked for found nothing wrong with him which always struck me as odd. How is it in America with all our freedoms we had some politicians who could look upon Castro who took all the freedoms away from Cubans with favor. They’d justify his murders, imprisonments and tortures saying he had a good educational program and health care program; the former was no more than North Korean type indoctrination; the latter a two tiered system that offered nothing for most of his people but a lot for those on top.

I had three instances in my life which I connect with Castro. The first was back in 1959 when he came to Boston to give a talk at Harvard. I was able to secure a press pass through a connection. I was part of the press contingent that met him at a Boston hotel and traveled with him and others up to his room in the hotel where he was interviewed. I have some photo’s I took of him sitting on a couch talking.

The second time was when we were planning our spring break in our senior year at college. We were looking for a warm place to travel to. Everyone was heading to Florida but five or six of us thought we would like to go to Cuba. The only way that would have been possible would have been if we could have Castro pick up some of the tab since none of us was rolling in dough.

I wrote to him using the fraternity stationary I belonged to. I told him how much we admired his revolution and would like to come and see his island. The truth was we were looking for an inexpensive vacation. Off went the letter and a bit later I was called into the dean of students’ office. He had found out that a reply had come back from Cuba saying it would be all right to go there. That was during the day when the FBI was illegally opening mail. Apparently some agent did and he or someone else in the FBI notified the dean.

The dean in as abrupt manner as possible told me if I and any of my classmates went to Cuba we would be expelled from the college. The sting of that was lessened when I finally did get the reply and nothing in it indicated willingness by Castro to pick up the costs of our trip. No matter, in the spring of my senior year with a military commission awaiting me on graduation I had become a captive of the dean’s whims.

The last encounter was when I was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in the fall of 1962. We were in a dispute with Russia over the placing of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba. Castro we would later learn had urged Russia to attack America with them.

I knew a little more than the average person. When I read in the NY Times that the First Marine Division stationed on the West Coast was packing up to go to the East Coast for maneuvers I figured we were in deep trouble. Next day as I headed for my office I saw that all the Marine attack and fighter squadrons assigned to Beaufort had left the base. At noon the sky seemed full of military planes heading south. That night I learned many of the guys at the BOQ had already received orders to head to places in Florida.

I had not received them because I had already been assigned to a Marine Expeditionary Unit scheduled to go to the Caribbean in December. Headquarters intended to keep that unit together in reserve to meet any contingency that arose after the first invasion. Fortunately Kennedy cut a deal; the situation returned to normal; my MEU went out as scheduled and our first stop was a Guantanamo Bay.

Castro’s passing brings back those memories; it brings back no tears. As we used to say as kids: “good riddance to bad rubbish.” Now we can only hope that his departure will be the first of many evil doers like the elderly members of the Winter Hill gang and their associates.

15 thoughts on “Maybe It’s The Start of Something Good! Farewell Fidel

    1. Cogent, Comprehensive, Committed and Combative analysis by Jon … A dismissive …BP … by the wily radical, does not cut the sugar cane .

      Madame Bovary … Flaubert … Long time ago, but I remember enough to paraphrase Homais, the chemist, the guy who emerged with all the Humanist laurels at the end : The ” Bourgeoisie ” was an invention of the French middle class, designed to make the sort of invidious distinction between them and the lower class, that they experienced in their own envy of the upper class!

      Always liked that one ; The usual ” Class Envy ”

      Nice writing, Jon . Khalid, I did get a kick out of your deft, if philosophically impoverished, retort. 🙂

      1. Thank you John King MacDonald. I just try to focus on facts. I get a bit impassioned on the subject of Fidel because I’ve spent several years studying him and his regime, and find his outright incompetence and ruthlessness to be staggering. All at the expense of the Cuban people.

      2. ‘A dismissive …BP … by the wily radical, does not cut the sugar cane’ — great line, John King McDonald.

    2. Yeah ok, Khalid. Go drink some more of your Castro Kool-Aid. And while you’re at it, look up Huber Matos, Felipe Pazos, Jose Antonio Echevarria, and any number of other Cubans who could have had a much more positive impact on Cuba than the megalomaniac who just, thankfully, died and hopefully went straight to hell.

      And while you’re at it, why not apply for Cuban citizenship and move there. Then let me know what you think of the quality of schools, hospitals, and just about anything that the state runs (which is just about everything except for the black market activities that gives at least some life to the Cuban economy). Oh, and let me know if you can find anything to read other than state-run media or state-approved books.

  1. Khalid,

    Please, enough of the Castro talking points. Yes egalitarianism is established in Cuba, where everyone is equally miserable. Literacy is at 99 percent, but one has to wonder what literacy means in a country without a functioning economy. Can everyone recite their ABCs? Read at a 3rd grade level? 5th grade? High school? Does it mean they go to school and learn to read, pass a test, and then go back to being illiterate because, well, ‘use it or lose it’ and it’s hard to use it in an economy with little opportunity. And even if they can still read, being able to read doesn’t mean you can think, especially if all you do all day is read Jose Marti and how great the revolution is. It’s like programming millions of people to read the same propaganda.

    Yes, Cuba has all these doctors to send around the world for propaganda purposes, but then they come back to Cuba to earn a pittance and work in hospitals with supply shortages. Sure, universal health care, but the quality of health care sucks.

    When Castro took over, literacy was already in the 80s, so hardly an accomplishment, especially considering the damage he did over half a century. But that’s what happens when you run a country on rhetoric and ideology, and everything bad is caused by the Yankee imperialists and everything good is because Fidel and his white dove saved the fatherland. Yet when a competent and highly respected economist named Felipe Pazos, originally appointed to head the National Bank, expresses concern about the direction of the new regime, he is sacked and replaced by Che Guevara, who has no training in economics other than his readings in Marx (which is not economics), and so it is no surprise when the Cuban currency collapses, production drops under his idiotic ‘new man’ incentive program, and whole sugar crops are ruined because the moron decides to import snowblowers to cut sugar cane. This was only the beginning of the monumental stupidity of Castro’s administrative regime. Everything from collectivization, to lack of diversification, to the great super cow campaign, to the great sugar campaign of the late 60s, to Che’s firing of the Coca-Cola plant managers. Ha! Che fires the managers, and then gets pissed off because the new cola produced by the proletarian-run plant tastes like shit. That’s called a ‘brain drain’ not an exodus of ‘gusanos’.

    The economic mismanagement of the ‘revolution’ was staggering, and Fidel was too blinded by his megalomania and ideology and power-obsession to ever acknowledge that he never had a plan. Blame the US was his plan, even though it was the US that imposed an arms embargo on Batista in March 1958 that proved critical to the revolution, even though it was on US soil that Cuban opposition groups thrived and helped Castro come to power, even though it was under US occupation following the Spanish-American war that the modern education system was first established.

    I could go on and on, because I’ve spent years studying the utter incompetence and arrogance of the Castro regime. Please, no talking points.

    I will go ahead and smoke the first cigar of my life, because no man deserved to die more than Fidel Castro. Good riddance. The Cuban people have suffered for too long.

  2. It’s the gusanos who wrote the book on Cuba that folks read here. The bourgeois elements (worms) who fled Cuba after the revolution, control the way Cuba is seen in the USA. Delighted with Fidel’s death, and, they believe they’ll get all their expropriated ranches, cigar factories, Havana mansions, etc., back. In fact, wealthy Cuban expatriates believe they will return to rule Cuba, and, take what they consider is their rightful place at the top of the social pyramid. Fortunately, the socialist revolution is solidly established in Cuba. The gusanos won’t get a penny of the wealth, they, and, their ancestors, squeezed out of Cuban workers, and, campesinos. Its gone, all gone, wasted on hospitals and schools, squandered on the egalitarian dreams of Fidel Castro. If possession is nine tenths of the law, the Cuban people hold clear title to the land. The aging remnants of the Cuban bourgeoisie have nothing coming.

  3. Guantanamo Bay? Then you did finally make it to Cuba with most expenses paid by your Uncle Sam. Must have been a wonderful view of the mine fields…

  4. “That was during the day when the FBI was illegally opening mail.” LOL. Are suggesting it is not done today? Because of the law or that Obama’s promises extend to the actions of the bureaucracy?

    Back several decades I corresponded with a friend in Morocco. The envelopes were always tampered with and never delivered on Monday. The Post Office unit in charge did not work on Saturday or Sunday. When asking around about it I was given to believe that the personnel doing the work were PO employees. They may have have passed it on to the Dean or had the FBI do it. Maybe the FBI had full time workers assigned to the Post Office. Do not know.

  5. … the Fraternity stationary was a very nice touch btw … I’m Justice kidding with you here of course 🙂

  6. …. Senator McCarthy …. I am going to invoke my Fifth Amendment rights at this point and only repeat that I simply wanted a vacation in a nice sunny spot! ….

    NEXXXXXXXTTTT! !!!!!!!!! 🙂

  7. WHO ARE YOU, BATMAN ??? … Dear Fidel, Me and ma’ friends find you a 24k sob, but do you remember the lanky fellow with the Savin Hill Platoon Leader baseball cap that night in Boston …..Memba? … You was sitting on the couch and I asked about Havana Ovals …..

    Made my Day !!! Matthew … You is a verry funny Guy. 🙂

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