A mass murderer typically idolized by the Left 4

It’s not easy to find obituaries of Fidel Castro that do not include some praise of the monster. Such is the parlous condition of the Fourth Estate. He deserves only excoriating condemnation.

We did, however, find this just assessment at Investor’s Business Daily:

With Fidel Castro’s death at 90, the encomiums are rolling in, especially from what remains of the American Big Media. But in fact, Castro during his 58 years of dictatorship was an evil man, a communist who tortured, killed and imprisoned with no remorse, a tyrant who tore a once-beautiful country apart and sent its finest citizens into exile.

Yet, the media might as well have been going around with black arm bands following Castro’s death.

He was the “George Washington of his country,” said Jim Avila of ABC’s “Nightline”. He “will be revered” for bringing education, social services and health care to Cubans, gushed MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. CNN’s Martin Savidge hailed Castro for “racial integration”. 

Elsewhere, in print, The New York Times recounted how he “dominated his country with strength and symbolism” — another way of saying he ruled through oppression and relentless propaganda.

Of course, all of these things are the kinds of lies and euphemisms used by left-leaning journalists to cover up for Castro’s many crimes against humanity. And it’s not limited to these few recent examples.

ABC’s talk-queen Barbara Walters had what amounted to a middle-aged school-girl crush on Fidel. Film maker Oliver Stone … revered Fidel’s macho swagger and made a much-derided documentary about him, Comandante. And Michael Moore, in his film Sicko, swallowed Cuba’s propaganda about its health care system hook, line and sinker.

We could go on. The list is long.

What you won’t hear from any of these media mavens is that, at his death, Fidel Castro leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost [?] every way than the one he took over in 1958.  His brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. Cuba has improved under him, but not much.

After taking power in 1958, the then-youthful revolutionary Fidel vowed that no Cuban mother would “shed a tear” over violence from then on. But once he consolidated power after defeating Cuba’s then-leader Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro set out on a course of extraordinary revolutionary violence.

He murdered thousands upon thousands. The late R.J. Rummel, a University of Hawaii professor who tracked mass-killings by governments around the world, estimated as many as 141,000 people were murdered by the Castro regime. And that was  just through 1987. Since then, of course, thousands more have been killed.

Genocide Watch says it “holds the Castro regime responsible for the death of thousands of people (executed and died trying to flee the regime).” Both Belgium and Castro’s homeland, Spain, have leveled genocide charges against the Jefe Maximo.

Sadly, Castro’s Cuba isn’t at all unusual for Communist regimes, as noted by Rummel. “Clearly, of all regimes, communist ones have been by far the greatest killer,” he said.

What’s especially galling is the suggestion — present in almost every story on Castro’s demise — that he took an impoverished, oppressed nation and turned it into a kind of socialist paradise, with education, social services and health care for all.

This is an utter and complete lie. …

Cuba has the worst economy in Latin America, outside Haiti and Nicaragua. …

[It depended on] massive subsidies from the former Soviet Union, which traded badly needed oil to Cuba for sugar at highly favorable exchange rates. …

Before the revolution, Cuba had the 13th-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. It was lower than France, Belgium and West Germany. Today, it ranks about 40th. That still looks respectable, until you consider how it was accomplished: Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. At the first sign of any trouble when a woman is carrying a baby, it is aborted – regardless of the parents’ wishes.

That’s why their infant mortality rate isn’t even worse.

But surely health care for all is a major accomplishment, right?

No. As has been noted in many other places, Cuba has three separate health care systems. One for paying customers from places like the U.S., who go to Cuba for discount treatments of cosmetic surgery and the like.

There’s another for Cuba’s ruling Communist elite, also a good system. This is the health care system visiting journalists are taken to see, and that they later glowingly report on.

But there’s still another system for the rest — the average Cubans. It is abysmal, and even that might understate how bad it is.

“Cubans are not even allowed to visit those (elite) facilities,” according to the Web site The Real Cuba. “Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.”

It goes on: “In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”

As for doctors, well, they make an average of about $25 to $35 a month. Many have to work second jobs to make ends meet, using substandard equipment. Drug shortages are rife. As a result, one of Cuba’s ongoing problems is that doctors leave as soon as they can for other countries, where they can make a decent living.

The country has over 30,000 doctors working overseas officially. Why? Out of kindness? No. The Castro regime earns an estimated $2.5 billion a year in hard currency from doctors working elsewhere, which means Cuba’s poor must go without decent care or access to doctors.

As for “universal literacy,” please. Primary and secondary schools are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, where students are taught only what the state wants them to know. That’s how they keep people quiet.

As for Cuba’s higher education, “universities are training centers for bureaucrats, totally disconnected from the needs of today’s world. To enter the best careers and the best universities, people must be related to the bureaucratic elites, and also demonstrate a deep ideological conviction,” notes Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo, of the PanAm Post, a Latin American news site.

Nor is it “free.” In fact, those who graduate from college must work for a number of years for the government at a substandard wage of $9 a month. They are in effect slave labor. As with most “free” things the socialists offer, the price is very high and nonnegotiable.

In sum, Castro took a healthy country and made it sick. Those who glorify him deserve the scorn they get for propagating such a longstanding lie.

“A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered (Cuba’s pre-revolution economy) a golden goose landing in his lap,” wrote Humberto Fontova, a Cuban exile and author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. “But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy.”

How about race relations? By Cuba’s own estimates, roughly 36% of the country is black or “mixed.” Other estimates put it much higher, as high as 50%.

Nonetheless, a study five years ago by the online journal Socialism and Democracy found “black and mixed populations, on average, are concentrated in the worst housing conditions” and tend to work in lower-paying, manual-labor jobs.

We’ll save for a later date Castro’s many crimes and 58 years of silent war against the U.S.,  his allowing Soviet nuclear missiles on his soil in order to threaten the U.S., his repeated intervention in other countries, his assassinations, and his obscene theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of Cubans’ wealth to line his own pockets.

Suffice it to say, as Castro departs the scene for the last time,  he leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost every way than the one he took over in 1958.

Donald Trump, with his impeccable anti-PC skills, summed it up about right, calling Castro a “brutal dictator”. 

“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said in the statement. Exactly right.

Fidel’s brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. He’s done little better.

So, for now, though Fidel is dead, there is little hope of change.

Torture and death in Cuba 3

What weak or absurd comment might someone like Michael Moore, maker of the movie Sicko which is full of admiration for the way he imagines the Cuban despots take care of their people, offer on hearing this story?

That it is untrue?

That the victim deserved such treatment because he was a rebel?

Or, hater of his own country as he seems to be, would Michael Moore evade the issue by claiming that America “tortures prisoners too”?

From Heritage Online:

Dissidents in Cuba are predicting that the death of Orlanda Zapata Tamayo will galvanize the pro-democracy movement on the Communist-governed island. Tamayo, 42, had been imprisoned since 2003 because of his membership in groups calling for democracy in Cuba. He died Thursday while on a hunger strike protesting his treatment by prison authorities. Cuba Archive reports:

“In early December, Zapata went on hunger strike to demand proper treatment. Prison authorities refused him water for 18 days, leading to kidney failure. He was then held naked over a powerful air conditioner and developed pneumonia. Earlier today [Thursday] and already in critical condition, he was admitted to Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital in Havana and began receiving fluids intravenously. He died hours later. The Cuban government never responded to his demands.”

We watch hopefully to see if Tamayo’s death really will “galvanize the pro-democracy movement”, and if it does, to what result.

Posted under communism, Latin America, News, Socialism, Totalitarianism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 27, 2010

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The liar is rewarded, the truth-teller punished 0

Michael Moore was much praised and rewarded for his movie Sicko, praising medical services in Cuba, and comparing it to health care in the US  to the detriment of the latter.

A Cuban exile, George Utstet has this on his website The Real Cuba:

Those of you who saw Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko,” would remember the scene where Moore and his guests walked into a Cuban pharmacy and asked for an asthma medication, Salbutemol, and immediately the clerk opens a drawer and gives it to one of the guests, a woman from New York, who then begins to cry when she learns that in Cuba that medicine costs only a fraction of what it costs in New York. According to Moore, his guests received the “the same care” that any regular Cuban would receive, “no more, no less.”

But the scene at the Cuban pharmacy, as the whole portion of Sicko filmed in Cuba, was a fallacy conceived, scripted, staged and rehearsed by the Cuban regime with Moore’s acting the part of the useful idiot.

In an article titled “Catching a cold in Cuba,” Sally Melcher Jarvis, a correspondent for a Pennsylvanian newspaper who went to Cuba in November of 2007 accompanying a humanitarian mission organized by a local museum, found out about the apartheid that regular Cubans are suffering since Castro turned them into second class citizens in their own country.

Here is part of what she wrote: “It wasn’t much of a cold; just the kind that would get better by itself in a week. In the meantime it was a nuisance with a cough and stuffy nose. A little over-the-counter remedy would help…..There were no over-the-counter remedies to be had. I asked the guide what Cubans did if they had a cold. The guide said that a Cuban would go to the doctor — a visit free of charge — who would write a prescription for aspirin. However, there would be no way to fill the prescription. We visited a pharmacy later in the trip. Behind the counter five well-dressed Cuban women waited to serve, but the shelves were empty.

For more on the subject, the whole of this Townhall article by Humberto Fontova is worth reading. It convincingly dispels the myth that Cuba has a low infant mortality rate. There are links to informative video footage.

A taste of it:

The Castroite propaganda in Sicko so outraged people cursed by fate to live in Castro’s fiefdom that they risked their lives by using hidden cameras to film conditions in genuine Cuban hospitals, hoping they could alert the world to Moore’s swinishness as a propaganda operative for a Stalinist regime.

At enormous risk, two hours of shocking, often revolting, footage was obtained with tiny hidden cameras and smuggled out of Cuba to Cuban-exile George Utset, who runs the superb and revelatory website The Real Cuba. The man who assumed most of the risk during the filming and smuggling was Cuban dissident — a medical doctor himself – Dr. Darsi Ferrer, who was also willing to talk on camera, narrating much of the video’s revelations. Dr Ferrer worked in these genuinely Cuban hospitals daily, witnessing the truth. More importantly, he wasn’t cowed from revealing this truth to America and the world. (A recent samizdat reports that the black Dr. Ferrer is currently languishing in a Cuban prison cell –not far from Gitmo, by the way– undergoing frequent beatings.)

The anti-intellectualism of the left 1

 Timothy Sandefur writes:

Liberals have lately been making much of the purported anti-intellectualism of conservatives in the late election. No doubt they’re right. But I must say I find it laughable that this charge would come from liberals of all people. The left in this country has had a long and dismal history of embracing a wide variety of anti-intellectual credos.

Start with the most obvious: the left has long been the welcoming home of fashionable postmodern nonsense like deconstructivism and moral and cultural relativism. Under these doctrines there are supposed to be different kinds of “logics” (male logic, female logic, &c.) and none is more valid than the other. All of them are simply clever masks for a brutal competition for wealth and power. This is a profoundly anti-intellectual strain of pseudo-thought which avoids the need to take any arguments seriously, because such ideas can simply be accused of corruption. When Sandra Harding called Newton’s Principia a “rape manual,” she did so from the left, not from the right. And the cultural relativists who demand that we treat the dismal productions of barbaric cultures as the intellectual equivalents of Shakespeare and Homer—and tars as “racist” anyone who suggests that some cultures and their mores are better than others—are fundamentally, even proudly anti-intellectual.

These ideologies masquerade, unconvincingly, as intellectual movements, but they are simply attempts to ignore ideas, or to shoot them down with reactionary appeals to political dogmas. They treat the world of thought with the same contempt as a street thug, except that they phrase his appeal to violence in more clever terminology. In the end it is the same: power over thought, force over reason…

“Radical chic” is a leftist phenomenon, not a conservative one. It was, and is, liberals who accord street thugs and petty vandals the respectability of academic honors. The terrorist Bill Ayers? Or the terrorist Angela Davis, winner of the Lenin Peace Prize of the U.S.S.R.? She’s presidential chair at U.C. Santa Cruz. It was liberals who not only gave the anti-intellectual thug Norman Mailer pop icon status, but handed him the mantle of a respectable intellectual. The Jack Abbott case was a curiosity to them, and a source of gossip. When he stabbed his wife with a penknife at a dinner party, almost killing her in 1960, was that the end of his run as a leftist intellectual? Hardly. The left respects its anti-intellectual thugs.

Very similar to their awe for ideological violence is the liberal respect for consistently leftist liars like Michael Moore. Moore was made of, by, and for liberals, and he remains a celebrity to liberals despite the fact that there is probably no more recklessly anti-intellectual a figure in America today (with the possible exception of the moronic liberal darling Cornell West). He has contempt for anything approaching a truthful description of reality or a reasonable theory of politics or economics. His work is a set of cheap thrills for those with a knee-jerk hostility to the free market. Yet those thrills don’t even add up to anything like a sensible plot. His lies and distortions are well documented, and even turn off some thoughtful liberals. Yet he is still admired by a great many others, who are more committed to the party than to the basic facts. If that isn’t anti-intellectualism, I don’t know what is.

What about the “Bush lied, people died” meme? No serious person can believe that the Bush Administration consciously lied about the intelligence on Iraq in order to trump up a war to seize Iraqi oil. Yet tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people believe this, and proudly say so on the bumpers of their cars. Is this the intellectualism of the Democratic party?

Many rank and file liberals believe a whole host of basic untruths, and do not bother themselves with examining their beliefs any farther than their emotional prejudices allow them. Consider the environmentalists, who believe in a wide variety of panicky flasehoods about the state of the earth. Al Gore made a film riddled with misleading or half-true claims. Did the left correct him or urge him to be more intellectually honest? No, they gave him an Oscar.

It doesn’t get much better when you move to the more moderate liberals, either. Liberals believe that government can efficiently allocate resources, and run, say, a health care system for hundreds of millions of people, despite the basic failures of such systems in other countries. And they believe this, not because they disagree with the discoveries of economists like Friedrich Hayek, or have an answer to the problem of rent-seeking, a term which most Democrats have probably never heard. No, they believe this because of their emotional commitment to wealth-redistribution, a commitment based on a moral premise—that the wealthy should pay the bills of the poor because poverty is “unfair”—which they rarely even bother to defend. Ask why your earnings should be taken from you by the state and given to someone else, and you will rarely get an intellectual answer. I’ve certainly never been given one. I’ve heard a lot of emoting, and a lot of accusations of nefarious corporate meanness, and a lot of heart-rending stories about how hard it is to be poor. But an intellectual defense of redistributive government? That’s a rarity.

The leadership of the American left appeals not to ideas but to emotion—envy, usually, or panic—to move party members to embrace empty promises of material prosperity through government manipulation, promises no competent economist can fail to see through. The left is fond of violence and power, and the romanticism and iconography of thugs who are transformed into celebrities among leftist intellectuals. Liberals are this country’s leading practitioners of race and gender politics. Barack Obama exploits the power of crowds to chant empty slogans promising that the laws of economics can be magically suspended if we just have enough faith (“Yes, we can!”)…. And yet this is not the party of anti-intellectuals and populists?

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 17, 2008

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