So Fidel Castro has gone, if not yet physically then politically.
As you would expect, mouthpieces of the far left have trotted out to praise this dictator and his failed state that has endured nearly fifty years of dictatorship. Somehow the lack of democracy, human rights abuses and widespread poverty are always offset against the observation that Cuba supposedly has an excellent health and education system. We’re compelled to believe that this qualifies as a ‘success’ over half a century of autocracy.
Dependable as ever, George Galloway was invited to debate Castro’s legacy on Newsnight. With a predictability you could set Greenwich Mean Time to, he proclaimed Castro as a hero to all of Latin America, compared George Bush to Hitler and argued that the communist revolution in Cuba would have been a success were it not for that nasty, bullying USA and their trade embargo.
And there lies the almost beautiful contradiction inherent in the arguments set out by those sympathetic to the Castro regime. On the one hand they admire a state that refuses to bend with the winds of global capitalism, yet on the other they blame the United States for condemning Cuba to poverty by refusing to trade with it.
In other words, the communist revolution in Cuba would have been a great success if only they had been able to engage economically with the world’s most powerful capitalist nation.
Joseph Heller could not have come up with a more perfect piece of circular reasoning.