Corruption, Crime, Issues, Socialism

Castro: A “Towering Historic Figure?”


A couple of years ago I gave a speech in the Cayman Islands and my son accompanied me on the trip. On the day of our arrival, we had lunch at the hotel’s outside café, and it was especially enjoyable because our waitress was an intelligent, pretty young lady with an engaging personality.

She introduced herself as Solana, and because she was so nice and outgoing, we hit it off with her right away. She explained that she was a Cuban citizen and that she was in the Caymans on a work visa. That surprised me because, at the time, I had no idea that Cuba allowed any of its citizens to work in foreign countries.

Image Credit: Roberto Di Fede CC by SA 2.0

Image Credit: Roberto Di Fede CC by SA 2.0

Without giving it a thought, I jokingly asked her, “Gosh, you’re not a communist, are you?” Instantly, her beautiful smile turned to a cold, somber expression and she replied in a terse tone, “I don’t like to discuss politics.” Her response took me aback. Just like that, this charming, vivacious young lady turned into a foreign agent right out of a James Bond movie.

Over the next few days, my son talked to Solana quite a bit, and I was hopeful that something serious might come of it. Unfortunately, it was not to be. But in their first conversation, she apologized for being rude to his father (I didn’t consider it to be rude, just interesting) and reiterated that she just didn’t like to get involved in political discussions.

Unfortunately, my son finally lost touch with her, but I’ve never forgotten that tense exchange during our initial meeting at the hotel in Grand Cayman. To me, it underscored what it must be like to live in Cuba.

About a year and a half after that encounter in the Caymans, Fidel mercifully took his last breath, and as soon as I heard the good news, Solana came to mind. I had to believe she was smiling, at least on the inside. But to the extent she heard left-wing apologists praise Castro, she must have been saddened.

Geraldo Rivera is a good example of what the Radical Left’s useful idiots had to say about Castro’s death. Though I admit to having gone out of my way to avoid watching him over the years, I’ve seen enough of him to be able to say that the man never ceases to amaze me with his indefensibly ignorant comments.

Thus, it didn’t surprise me when, on Hannity, he described Fidel Castro as a “towering historic figure.” At one point, Geraldo emphasized that it was beyond dispute that Castro was a charismatic leader. I can’t disagree with him on that. Oh, and by the way, so was Adolf Hitler. In fact, Hitler was the most charismatic leader of the 20th century. The man was absolutely mesmerizing, but in between his wild rants, he found time to slaughter millions of innocent people.

My point is that Castro’s charisma is irrelevant. The man was a mass murderer, a kleptomaniac, and an unabashed suppressor of human rights, and that’s how he should be remembered. How well I remember him having Cuban citizens whom he judged to be enemies of the revolution tied to trees and murdered in cold blood by revolutionary firing squads. I wonder if Geraldo found those images to be “charismatic.”

In trying to make the case that Castro was sadly misunderstood, Geraldo went on to say, “I think it’s very easy to have a simplistic view that he was all awful for Cuba and the world and I just don’t think that’s accurate. I think the Cubans have a tremendous sense of pride over his legacy.” He went on to say that “I think he will be remembered fondly. … There are aspects of what he left behind that I think will be remembered.”

The one thing I can’t argue with is that there are aspects of what he left behind that will be remembered. Just ask any of the more than 1.5 million Cuban-Americans who live in South Florida. These are people who saw their friends and relatives imprisoned, tortured, and executed … saw their family businesses stolen by the Cuban government … and who escaped their island prison in dangerous, makeshift boats, leaving most of their possessions behind, in an effort to reach Florida and start a new life in a foreign country. Sadly, many never made it.

Geraldo’s opinions don’t mean much, as he’s finally on his way out at Fox News, where he has long been relegated to token appearances. But what is now a fixture in our wannabe socialist culture are millions of college students who buy into the absurd fiction that communist dictatorships are utopias.

If I were a Cuban-American who lost family members — or most of my possessions — during Castro’s reign of terror, I would be very angry at apologists like Geraldo. After more than sixty years of oppressing an entire nation, Fidel is glorified as a “towering figure” in world history?

These left-wing apologists seem to have no concern at all for the family members who were lost and the wealth that was stolen from millions of Cubans. Nor do they have any feelings for the lost years of those who have lived under Castro’s oppressive regime for more than sixty years.

With Geraldo’s glowing praise of the deceased Cuban tyrant, he fell right into line with Comrade Obama and his socialist allies throughout Europe and around the world, most of whom had nothing but kind words for the Western Hemisphere’s most notorious mass murderer. In some cases, the words of journalists and foreign leaders were nothing short of outright gushing praise for the leader who brought mass poverty and tyranny to his country.

The reason every communist regime in history has brought death, enslavement, and economic disaster to its people is because communism is a political and economic system that was conceived in failure. Plain and simple, it defies human nature. People — all people — seek to better their existence, and it takes the brute force of a Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, or Fidel Castro to suppress that instinct.

When people are punished for producing, they simply stop producing. It’s not at all complicated. Russians discovered this simple truth the hard way. Within a few years after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, conditions were so bad in Russia that Lenin was on the verge of being confronted with a counter-revolution.

To ward it off, he invited Western capitalists in to help industrialize the Soviet Union. And, sadly, many major U.S. corporations played the role of useful idiots and accommodated Lenin, thus saving him from his own communist system.

Like other communist countries, it’s a virtual certainty that Cuba will increasingly implement reforms that will move it more and more in the direction of freedom and free markets. And, as in most other communist countries that have collapsed under the weight of an unworkable system, Raul, like big brother Fidel, will quietly die and be praised by socialist dictators and liberal heads of state around the world.

Once Cuba embraces capitalism and a democratic political system, I’d love to have the opportunity to ask Solana the same question, and I’ll bet this time she would smile instead of frown and be perfectly willing to give her opinion of communism. Having worked at a beautiful resort hotel in the Caribbean and grown up in a prison-state like Cuba, you can bet she knows full well that communism is an anti-liberty system.

This is a guest post by Robert Ringer an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.
  • Kevin

    In a deeply appropriate symbol of Cuban economic health, I heard that Castro’s funeral procession broke down (the flatbed jeep Castro’s ashes were being carried on – I guess they couldn’t find an actual hearse), and had to be towed by human muscle power (until such time as the jeep could be repaired – right). The worker’s paradise… (!)

  • Robert

    You have never been to Cuba so how do you know what it was like there. I do know my house keeper in England was from Cuba, she married a English man in 1985 and went to England with him after his death she could not wait to go back to Cuba, according to her the only people who did like Castro was the crooks.
    I told her we had the same thing here only we called them Politicians.
    I have no idea because I was not allowed to travel to Cuba being n American citizen, but it does raise logical questions about the country, If Castro was as the US Government portrays him why did Castro not live a life of Opulence. he lived in a modest house and rarely dressed in anything but Military clothes, ate just like everyone else and his only opulence according to the CIA was his cigars.
    The picture does not match what the propaganda line says about him.

    • Chief741A

      “I do know my house keeper in England was from Cuba”

      Now, that remark is hilarious on SO many levels, especially coming from Bobby-Poo.

      Have a sparkly day, Snowflake.

      • Robert

        Want o know where my house in England is, Cavendish, Suffolk England,on Water Lane.
        I also have on in Guetenberg, Germany, where my daughter lives and works, l will give you a int it is part of Berlin.
        Now you have nice day
        You must be one of those fake wanabee,Indian’s calling himself Chief .

        • Chief741A

          Nope, I don’t call myself Chief, that was a rank, a title, that I earned. It’s printed in nice big letters on my commissioning documents. Came with a nice stipend, too.

          You really need to slow down a tad. You missed “(t)o”, “(o)ne”, “(h)int”… Typing too fast, or is it the booze?

          You would think that a “17th richest in it’s state” person would put a little more effort into proofreading.

          Have a sparkly day, Snowflake.

          • Robert

            I suppose they must have done things different in the Military than when i entered, Chief was an enlisted rank and you do not get commissioned, you are referred o as a non-Commissionsed officer, now mine when i retired after 26 years was Colonel, I was on the nomination list for General.
            With 40 to 50 lies or half truths to blog back about I do not care about the spelling, because half of the people on here are so uneducated as to know the difference any way.
            HAVE A NICE DAY

          • Chief741A

            Chief Warrant Officers have always been Officers, and if you ever served, let alone ever been a “Colonel”, you would know that. Any officer at the level of O6 in any service, even the Air Force (which did away with their Warrant Officer program in the early 1960’s), would know what a Warrant Officer is. Why don’t you?

            I was appointed directly to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2 in 1984. The Army decided to commission Chief Warrant Officers of all grades in 1987 (the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps had done so much earlier) and I took the oath of commissioning in Weisbaden Air Base, Germany, where I was stationed at the time. Army Chief Warrant Officers have been called “Chief” since the Warrant Officer Corps was formally created in the runup to WWII – which any real “Colonel” would know.

            For a “Colonel”, and a “17th richest in my state”, you can be remarkably dense. You are starting to sound like a teenager with a vivid imagination.

            “40 to 50 lies or half truths”? Point out one. I could claim to be a “Colonel”, too, but I don’t because my posts are truthful – whether you like it or believe it.

            Have a sparkly day, “Colonel” Snowflake, sir!

          • Robert

            I know about warrant officers, even had some work for us as Crypto Techs at one time but they were never referred to as Chief, they were referred to as Warrant Officer Owen and Warrant officer Powell, never chief.
            Maybe you should ask this proposed new Department of Defense if he ever hear of Big Red, and that is what i was called from the time I was a 1st Loui. I had contact with him when i was still in.he was an ass hole then and i am sure he still is, a hateful biased person.
            I received my Commission at Fort Holabird, in or near Baltimore Maryland I just know it was a 3 1/2 hour bus ride to the place which we stayed for 10 days before we were Commissioned and sworn in there, then shipped to Lackland AFB, Texas,for training and indoctrination. then some of us were then shipped to Parks AFB for further training and then me and my room mate were shipped to the Philippines Clark AFB, then reassigned to Thailand for support of the operations in Vietnam flying old stripped down, B17 on bombing runs, before we even entered the war, after that all my assignment were classified, because I worked in intelligence.
            Ever hear of DigiTech Electronics well 6 of us started it 6 years before my retirement,once retired I went into it full force and several years later and 700 employees, when we sold it my part was $93+ million and since my investments have paid off well it keeps me in pocket change. I hope you have done as well.
            I can guarantee you No one ever considered me a snowflake because i was a hard nosed facts only person.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Chief741A

            Well, now, that explains why you have so much time on your hands, Mr Colonel Snowflake, Sir. You appear to have a lot more money than sense.

            Sorry I took so long to respond. My estate, near the hamlet of Holopaw, County Osceola, Florida Commonwealth, is nearly an hour’s travel to anything I would call “civilization”, and I found it necessary to travel much of the last few days, what with the servants being on holiday and all. Hell, it’s a mile to the nearest DIRT road, don’t you know, and I like it that way. I am so seldom bothered by Colonels and other vermin here. My estate borders a hunting preserve, and the local deer, pheasant, and turkey frequent the grounds. Even the occasional eagle, alligator, and rattlesnake. I walk the border fence daily, as instructed by my physician, of course, and…

            See? I can be as pretentious as you! That is the literal truth, by the way, just written in your language.

            I find it odd that you don’t remember that the proper form of address for Warrant Officers of any grade is Mister. Even female Warrant Officers, technically, but few are. Most Warrant Officers are/were either called Mister Smith, or Chief (if appropriate), or by their first name. Well, the Marines called me “Gunner” for reasons known only to them. That was somewhat confusing, given that they had called me “Gunny” when I was a Sergeant First Class (Master Sergeant to you). Only Lieutenants with delusions of adequacy refer to us as Warrant Officer Smith in any but formal contact. Even the General Officers who knew me – and there were several, given that I worked General Staff more than half of my career, called me by my first name or called me Chief.

            Apparently all you dealt with were Warrant Officers Junior Grade (prior to 1954) or Warrant Officers W1 (post 1954). Otherwise, you would have dealt with Chief Warrant Officers (1954). Oh – there is a CW5 now… created some time after I retired. Chief Warrant Officers have been called Chief since, like I said, the runup to WWII. My father was appointed WOJG in 1942 and promoted to CWO in 1944 and was always addressed as Chief. I was appointed (directly to CW2 – like if you had been commissioned as a 1LT) in one of his uniforms, and pinned with one of his WWII CWO bars. And, like I said, COMMISSIONED 3 years later.

            I had the opportunity to attend OCS when I left the Pentagon, since I had earned my Bachelor’s in Computer Science from UMCP, but I turned it down. I was a damned fine technician and that’s what I wanted to be, so I waited until the General Officer du jour, one MG(P) Arthur E. Brown, recommended my appointment. His reserve counterpart, MG Emory Parrish, recommended my appointment, too, without me asking. I attended WOCS (WOCMDC) at Fort Rucker with the first 180A Special Forces Warrant Officers, and when I retired from HQ USASOC, one of my WOCS classmates was a coworker.

            Even your Air Force had Warrant Officers until they shed them in their constant effort to remove any trace of having been part of the Army. Funny thing: the Navy, Marines, and even the Coast Guard kept the Warrant Officer program.

            I am sure nobody ever called you snowflake to your face, Colonel Snowflake, Sir. I knew self-righteous Colonels – mercifully few, only 2 actually, and I never had to work directly for them – who were known as the local vernacular equivalent of “Snowflake”, people who truly believed they shat diamonds and whizzed Perrier. Stupid people never make it that high, but a few self propelled embodiments of the Peter Principle do make it, as well as the occasional brilliant jackass who never learned to treat the lesser beings as people.

            My home is paid for, my car is paid for, my riding mower – actually a diesel farm tractor with a 5′ bush hog – is paid for. I don’t have to pay anybody to fix anything because I pretty much built this place. I have more money coming in than I need to live on. I work when I want to, on whatever I want to work on – I rebuilt the alternator on a neighbor’s 8N Ford tractor for the fun of it last week. I am known locally as the guy who can fix anything – if you don’t mind waiting until I get around to it. I took my wife to Hawai’i for 2 weeks for our 30th anniversary and paid cash a couple years back.

            No, I don’t have your alleged $$ millions, but I have everything I need.

            Do you, Colonel Snowflake, Sir?

            Have a sparkly day.

          • Robert

            I will make this very short..Personnel who worked for me never want ed to leave, I look out for mine, and defended them from BS all the way, Most still contact me and are close acquantances. Friends is a word i seldom use.
            I live in a 2700 sq ft house on 3 acres, in the middle of farm land I have a swine farm on the South and a Chicken growing operation just East of me, I drive a 1999 GMC 4 wheel drive pickup, m7yn only vehicle, I spend most of my time in a self Financed charity which costs me about $1 million annually and i help anyone who needs food clothing and sometimes shelter, I limit my family expenses to $60,000 yearly, all my other money goes into a family trust. for the future, my kids 44 of them live and work in Europe because there is much better chance for success there than here. In 10 years working in Norway my son already made enough money to buy his Girl friends Fathers Ranch in Oklahoma, her father got really ill and could not run the ranch,It is .supposed to be 3 section and I understand section is 1 square mile.
            I give my children nothing but an education because no one ever gave me anything.
            Those that have t revert to name calling must not think much of them selves, because in Psychology, they say that is why other be little others because it makes them have a better feeling of them selves.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Chief741A

            I will make this very short..

            “my kids 44 of them”? Oddly enough, I managed to limit myself to 2.

            By the way, I drive a 1998 GMC Jimmy 4WD with 266,000 miles on the odometer and I live on five and a half acres. I bought it with a 15 year loan that I paid off in 12. My south property line is a wildlife management area fence. The nearest maintained dirt road is 6080 feet north of here – yes, I measured it. I have owned exactly 1 new car in my entire life, a 1982 Camaro that I special ordered – a mistake I chose not to repeat.

            My children live and work in the United States, and I am rather proud of that. Apparently, they find ample chances for success here. They are both self supporting and raising families, one in San Diego and one in Seattle.

            I was born in Germany and lived there for 8 years spread over 3 tours of duty. I am quite familiar with Europe, which is one of many reasons I don’t live there.

            And I minored in Psychology at UMCP. Actually, I had the upper and lower division hours for a double major, CS and Psych, using each as the other’s electives, but I would have had to waste another year taking random basket weaving elective courses in order to do that, something about minimum resident hours required for double majors. I earned that degree in 4 years while working full time in the Puzzle Palace and raising a family. I was being transferred from HQDA to CINCPAC J2 and decided I would rather start graduate school. As it happened, I dropped out of USC’s IFSM Master’s program, bought a motorcycle, and just enjoyed living in Hawai’i for another 3 years. Oops – I bought that Yamaha 650 new, too. Guess makes it 2 new vehicles in a lifetime.

            Here’s a funny for ya – at my next duty station, which became HQ 2USA in Atlanta GA, it was my distinct pleasure to help a NG Colonel, O6, apply for appointment as a CWO in the Guard. I had already been selected and was waiting for my school date at Fort Rucker, so I was what passed for “subject matter expert” regarding WO accessions, then and there. Seems that he had reached his retention limit as an O6 in the Guard and WO’s had no such limits (beyond the mandatory retirement thingy we all face). My first wife had worked for him in DCSLOG, we had known each other for nearly 10 years and, due to his disdain for formality, were on a first name basis. All he wanted to do was continue to serve until pension time – think that was 62. He got his appointment, by the way. Thanks for reminding me of him – need to look the man up on facebook or something.

            Hmmmm – not so short after all – but then neither was yours.

            Have a sparkly day, Mr Colonel, Sir.

          • Robert

            I do suppose we have both done something with our lives, which a lot could do but choose the easy street, and never push themselves to what they are capable of, I had a luie in my outfit that thought just because he was educated with a degree that made him special,After a few drinks at the Club and a little talk on the way to the base bus stop he had a different point of view the next day anyone who did not push 110% in my team did not stay.
            My children going to England, Germany, and Norway was their own decision, because I was gone so much their mother had a lot more influence than me. When they Graduated College, all had their Masters, and sent out resumes and they made their own decisions, one ask me what I thought and i told them “You are over 21 make you own decisions, and make sure you can live with them.”

            HAVE A GOOD DAY

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