Chris Bertram on Cuba and Castro (entire post):
I haven’t looked yet, but I’ve no doubt that there’ll be lots of posts in the blogosphere saying “good riddance” to Fidel Castro (especially from “left” US bloggers like Brad DeLong who never miss the chance to distance themselves). And, of course, Castro ran a dictatorship that has, since 1959, committed its fair share of crimes, repressions, denials of democratic rights etc. Still, I’m reminded of A.J.P. Taylor writing somewhere or other (reference please, dear readers?) that what the capitalists and their lackeys really really hated about Soviet Russia was not its tyrannical nature but the fact that there was a whole chunk of the earthâ€™s surface where they were no longer able to operate. Ditto Cuba, for a much smaller chunk. So letâ€™s hear it for universal literacy and decent standards of health care. Letâ€™s hear it for the Cubans who help defeat the South Africans and their allies in Angola and thereby prepared the end of apartheid. Letâ€™s hear it for the middle-aged Cuban construction workers who held off the US forces for a while on Grenada. Letâ€™s hear it for Elian Gonzalez. Letâ€™s hear it for 49 years of defiance in the face of the US blockade. Hasta la victoria siempre!
You know that whole thing about the values of the Left having eroded into simple anti-Western Imperialism? There may be something to that, you know…
…and that’s a Left I’m happy never to have been a part of, and never to be a part of. If the price of universal literacy is prison camps for writers, count me out. If the price of “decent standards of health care” is lavish living for the Party cadres and grinding poverty for everyone else, count me out. If the price of resisting apartheid is brutalizing and murdering your own citizenry – in essence creating a contest between two brutally repressive governments – count me out.
How, exactly, does Bertram keep any claim to moral authority after writing this?
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