Death of a dictator


Cuban Leader, Fidel Castro, 1926-2016 (90 years old)

Fidel Castro, one of the most evil and corrupt dictators of all time has died. The fear and panic he laid upon the people of Cuba was absolutely unbelievable.

Castro ruled Cuba from 1959-2006, and his brother, Raul Castro, took over the role of leader in 2008, and is still leading the island country.

During Castro’s reign, he converted Cuba into a pro-Soviet, one-party, socialist state under Communist Party rule, the first and only in the Western Hemisphere. Policies introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent.

The United States, clearly opposed Castro, and had many attempts to assassinate him, but failed miserably every time. Most memorably, was the ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion, which was an awful defeat for the United States.

I caught up with a couple Elder students, Tyler Durr and Lou Langen,  who gave me their opinions on the Communist leader. Tyler Durr told me, “I think the death of Fidel Castro will just be another step on the road to worldwide democracy, getting rid of one of the most powerful dictators of our time.”

Durr continued, “I think that Fidel Castro’s death should be remembered, but solemnly. Even though he killed many of his own people he did stand up to imperial power, similar to what we did in the American Revolution. I imagine he is similar to our founding fathers in that they killed many natives in order to get what they wanted.”

Tyler also told me, “I believe Castro did what he felt he had to do. Not saying that he did have to, but many dictators see their people as potential problems.  Many of them benefited from US tyranny which may have led to rebellion.”

older Fidel Casttro
© AP
older Fidel Casttro

Durr also said, “I believe that Castro tore down US and Cuban relations because America was upset they were losing a modern day colony and the materials in Cuba were no longer there. However, Castro did pave the way as a country, and in the future we may be able to open up trade relations and even use them as an ally depending on the future leaders of both countries.”

Durr concluded, “I’m not sure if relations will be healed, but I know they need to. In this time of transition for both countries, Trump will need to reach out Cuban leadership and build that relationship or else we could be in some trouble, if they become friends with on of our enemies, specifically Russia.”

I caught up with the Junior class president, Lou Langen, who gave me some wonderful insight; he told me, “The death of Fidel Castro probably does not do much, though he probably swayed some policies, considering his brother now runs the country.”

Lou also told me, “I think its good to respect the dead, but you can’t deny everything this guy did. Thousands of people died at his hands, many were tortured. I would have liked to have seen those in America now, celebrating his death, try and push their representatives to do something about he guy while he was doing all these things.”

young Fidel Castro
young Fidel Castro

Langen continued, “I think many of those he killed were political enemies, so he got rid of them so he could stay in power. But he did do terrible things to those who voiced their opposition. He destroyed a growing economy and impoverished his people. He really did not care, so long as he could live a plush, comfortable life.”

Lou said, “He asked Russia to launch the missiles that caused the Cuban missile crisis. The problem I would guess is probably just between the small rich group that runs the country, and the leaders in our country; if the rulers in Cuba quit the communism we would be okay.”

Lou concluded, “Hearts can be healed. After all, Bill and Hillary resolved their issues. so did the US and Britain. If Ross and Rachel could make up, so can the US and Cuba.”

Pullquote Photo

A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.”

— Fidel Castro