Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is now dead – at age 90. You can tell a lot about the guy when you consider how the lunar left media and political elites are carrying on about him. They are singing his praises as some great hero, when the reality is, he was a cruel tyrant who killed, tortured and enslaved tens of thousands of his own people.
Consider some of the moonbeams and what they have said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this: “We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader”. Former UK Labour MP George Galloway actually said this: “You were the greatest man I ever met Comandante Fidel. You were the man of the century”. And UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “a champion of social justice”!
Thankfully not everyone was so blinded by this communist tyrant. U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence said on Twitter: “The tyrant Castro is dead. New hope dawns. We will stand with the oppressed Cuban people for a free and democratic Cuba. Viva Cuba Libre!”
And an official Trump statement said this: “Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”
Senator Ted Cruz made this remark: “Fidel Castro’s death cannot bring back his thousands of victims, nor can it bring comfort to their families. Today we remember them and honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the brutal Communist dictatorship he imposed on Cuba.”
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott put it this way: “There’s no doubt that Castro has been an enemy of the United States, an enemy of Western values and he’s been an enemy of human decency.”
And Cuban American US Senator Marco Rubio said: “Fidel Castro seized power promising to bring freedom and prosperity to Cuba, but his communist regime turned it into an impoverished island prison. Over six decades, millions of Cubans were forced to flee their own country, and those accused of opposing the regime were routinely jailed and even killed.”
Castro and communist Cuba have been bad news indeed. As I wrote 8 years ago:
The “people’s paradise” was in fact one large prison, displaying all the hallmarks of totalitarian Marxism. The fact that people have been attempting to flee Cuba for the past half century should be evidence enough of this place of misery. People were not dying to get into Cuba, but many thousands died trying to get out. It has been all one-way traffic.
But many on the left, and even the religious left, have sought to rewrite history and turn Cuba into some sort of worker’s paradise. They were quite happy to ignore all the political prisoners, the lack of basic human rights and freedoms, and the state-sponsored repression of any dissent.
Others have written about the hellhole that Castro’s Cuba was. William Doino wrote last year on “Remembering Castro’s Crimes”. He said in part:
As Georgie Anne Geyer reveals in her biography, Guerilla Prince: The Untold Storey of Fidel Castro, Fidel has always been a deceiver, an egoist and a thug. From his earliest days as a radical university student, Castro had an attraction to violence and totalitarianism (modeling himself after Mussolini), and once his ambitions to take over Cuba came true, he put his beliefs into practice.
The first to fall victim to his violent impulses were his political opponents, who were executed en masse, after show trials, by Nazi-like firing squads. But Castro’s long-time allies also became targets. Huber Matos, Manuel Urrutia and Carlos Franqui—who all worked with Castro to overthrow Batista—were soon demonized, jailed or exiled because they opposed Communism and envisioned an independent Cuba. Castro, who had assured the world in 1959 that he was not a Communist, immediately proved he was exactly that, suddenly announcing he was a Marxist-Leninist and would be till his dying day.
The consequences for Cuba and the world have been profound. Once in power, Castro banned the democratic elections he once promised, expropriated private property, created a one-party Communist state, and ruthlessly suppressed all forms of dissent and opposition. He dismantled the once thriving Catholic Church, crushing its educational system, expelling hundreds of priests, and forcibly indoctrinating baptized believers with atheism and Marxism. It is this fractured and persecuted Church that Pope Francis is now trying to revive, against huge obstacles in a police state.
Having willfully turned the island into a Soviet satellite (and well before America’s ill-advised Bay of Pigs invasion), Castro welcomed the shipment of Soviet nuclear missiles there, provoking a crisis that nearly incinerated the world. He sent his troops to fight—and needlessly to die—for tyrannies abroad, and supported anti-American terrorist and revolutionary movements across the globe. He allowed desperate Cubans to drown at sea, rather than allow them to properly emigrate. And all the while, he lived a life of luxury, even as he bragged about being a champion of Cuba’s poor. The number of deaths attributable to Castro’s regime is thought to be in the tens of thousands, though some say that is a conservative estimate.
But let me record what those have actually been there have stated. A Facebook friend of mine, Nino, writes from firsthand experience:
I will never allow any stupid American who has lived in his glories here being fed by the left to tell me that Socialism is the solution for our problems. Many voted for Bernie Sanders who praises Fidel Castro and his regime, others voted for Trump who appointed a socialist to a NY political position, others support Obama and Hillary, others try to convince me Cuba’s socialist country is a paradise. Well, I lived in Cuba for 30 years and all I know the 98% of the people had to suffer is dictatorial persecution, hunger and misery of all types, lack of medicine and hospital attention, lack of freedom of conscience, religion and expression. And I have seen with my own eyes hundreds of thousands of Cubans late at night by the several beaches of Havana waiting for a miracle to be picked up by American ships to flee Cuba in 1995. After the great historical exodus of Mariel in 1980 and many other exodus in which the government sunk ships full of Cubans trying to leave the country. And many other histories of horror hard to believe. There are some who are send here by the Cuban government to deny this reality and tell us LIES about how successful and good is Cuba’s socialist regime, and others who are plainly stupid to believe it. But for the much I suffered and saw others suffering, I will never deny the truth and I will not keep silent about this sad reality that all of us need to know.
It hurts me to remember that since I was 6 years old I was hated by Cuban teachers for not wearing the Revolutionary red neckerchief and refuse to be a “socialist pioneer” My childhood and my Christian beliefs were attacked in many ways and the physical and psychological abuse got to the point where I had to be put out of the school for an entire year to cope with crying and allow my fellow students to listen to the classes without hearing my weeping. When I was in 5th grade I won the “Best student of the school award” and they denied it to me for refusing to wear the same red neckerchief and renounce my beliefs, but at 8th grade they made an example of me by showing me the worse student of the school only for wanting to leave Cuba and being a Christian. We endured bullying for years, threats of violence and rocks thrown to us, persecution and discrimination of my parents and brothers as many other families in the country. The story is long and cruel, I could be days talking about it.
My father lost employment several times. The first time they tried to fire him by several dishonest means for having a Christian family, that time he didn’t lose it. The second time, after using the vehicle he drove for his job to transport a Christian family to church only out of route for about a mile he lost his job “for that reason”, but the real reason was that he did not support the socialist system. The third time he lost a different job in a mysterious way, it seems they planned a good reason that was never verified. The fourth time he refused to applaud Fidel Castro (Cuban president) when in person he gave a speech to the workers of his job, then they asked him why he did not applaud and he said he had nothing to be thankful for to the Cuban revolution and that he would first had his hand rotten than to applaud Fidel. So, they started to persecute him and to put secret tape recorders in conversations with his boss, he had to quit this way for his safety. Then he started a small self-employed business and it was also a problem with the authorities. So he was forced by the system to make a living by administering clandestine prohibited gambling to bring food to his wife and four children. That was my father. I have other families like uncles with their unimaginable stories. My grandfather was a political prisoner whom they wanted to kill. He was tortured several times, he came to the USA because he had a certificate of being in prison for political reasons. He was the one that opened the way for us to come here too. Out of 30 years that they wanted in jail, he only was 6. Our story is too long to tell here.
Yet some believers are squeamish about celebrating his death. But Scripture speaks often about rejoicing when evil is defeated and God’s enemies are justly judged. I have written about this often before: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/01/19/divine-justice-overcoming-evil-is-good-news/
And here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/09/05/jesus-justice-and-vindication/
Briefly, the Bible speaks to this often. A key text is Proverbs 11:10: “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” We see this time and time again in Scripture. When the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, an entire song of praise was offered. See Exodus 15 and the Song of Moses.
When David’s enemies were defeated he offered a song of praise for this – see 2 Samuel 22. When the enemies of the Jews were defeated and Haman was hung in the Book of Esther we had more praise celebrating the death of God’s enemies and the initiation of the feast of Purim: see Esther 8:11-17.
When God’s enemies are defeated as we read in the book of Revelation, there is celebration and joy in the heavenlies – see Rev 18:20 eg. Throughout the Bible we read about praise to God when evil is dealt with and the enemies of God are subdued. So in this case, the evil pagan dictator Castro is no more, and we can indeed celebrate the end of this great evil.
Maybe now there might be some hope for the Cuban masses who have suffered so greatly and so long under Castro. At least we can pray toward that end.