At long last, Fidel Castro died a peaceful death at age 90. He died like the head of a mafia family with his lifetime of wealth, women and adoration. Mafia boss is a great description for him and far more realistic than revolutionary leader. Cuba was run into the ground, acting as a living museum for the failures of communism ninety miles from American shores. This did not stop the applause from the American media, academia or foot soldier leftists in your social circle.
Did you see the other reactions though? On social media and even on television, reactions from Cuban-Americans were intense. Video of cheering in the streets with simultaneous Trump and Cuba Libre were still strong in the wake of President Obama thawing relations last year with Cuba as "let bygones be bygones" was stated. There were media essays on how the Cuba issue was no longer a thing in Florida. Once again, that is some fake news.
The interesting reactions were the tears of the elderly. These were people who escaped. These were people who fled a dictator. If Assad died today, do you think the supposed refugees would weep? No, God no, and that is because the tears Cuban-Americans shed were over what they lost. Castro's Cuba, in effect, performed what California is still in the process of doing (America and the EU as well). They squeezed their white middle out and created a duskier underclass to be ruled by white commies that are untouchable. I dated two Cubans in college (one had blonde hair and freckles), and both had incredibly middle class and professional lineages. One had an architect for a grandfather that escaped with his family, and the other had an accountant for a grandfather who left the island with family in tow. Sounds like white Californians leaving in the '90s for Colorado.
Castro was a tinpot dictator that lucked out after the end of the Cold War by not being near Israel. Castro killed tens of thousands, and ruined the lives of millions. It is an island of 11 million that has lagged growth and human development around the Caribbean. Free health care! Ah yes, the liberals are loving that, but want to tour ALL of their facilities and render a verdict? Praising Castro's health care is like praising Hitler's highways. I do not hear liberals singing those praises. The praise is disgusting to read, but should not overshadow the individuals crying for joy.
I will take a moment to note that Castro's long life and peaceful death as an old man hints that history favors the bold. Yes, there were many elements above Castro that helped his rise and securing of the island. Recall that he was just one group of a set of rebels on the island. The NY Times talked the State Department into backing him, but it was Castro that cleverly tricked the naïve reporter about his numbers and power. There was something about the man's style and charisma that seduced many. In an interesting Janus like situation, Castro was a cruel, tyrannical dictator and the charismatic face of opposition to the US global empire for decades.
Is it an end to Castro style communism on the island? Probably not, but never doubt a ruling communist clique's ability to switch to a mixed market, the China model or some other pro-capitalism stance once the big jefe is dead. The ruling clique has been planning for this for years, and Castro's longevity gave them time to organize given the loss of their old patron in the '90s. Cuba would be a huge investment opportunity at a completely ruined low for money to pour into and rehabilitate. I bet the oligarchs on the island make some phone calls. Could this allow for families to reunite without fear of punishment on the island? Hopefully.
There was something else to the tears and other emotional responses in the Cuban-American community. It made the faux tears of liberals after the election look as pathetic and fake as a toddler's temper tantrum. Castro was a legitimate dictator that punished any dissident. Election 2016 was just an election. If one truly feared a Hitler, and we can all agree that Hitler caused orders of magnitude more damage than Castro, would not these liberals be leaving now as those Cubans did decades ago? They are not because it is all an act to them.
Castro is dead. Let us all take a moment to celebrate that, but to recognize the failure in humanity that allowed him not only to rise to power but inspire other murderous revolutions elsewhere.