En­co­mia for Fidel

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY - Garth A. Rat­tray is a med­i­cal doc­tor with a fam­ily prac­tice. Email feed­back to columns@glean­erjm.com and garthrat­tray@gmail.com Ewin James Guest Colum­nist Ewin James is a free­lance jour­nal­ist liv­ing in Long­wood Florida. Email feed­back to columns@glean­erj

In­ter­est­ingly, there is even a negative calo­rie con­cept. If some­one only eats cel­ery (a very fi­brous and wa­tery veg­etable), when di­gested it pro­vides less en­ergy than the amount of en­ergy our bod­ies use up pro­cess­ing it and ab­sorb­ing the sugar from it. Other veg­eta­bles are not as un­yield­ing but eat­ing them works in our favour since they all pro­vide a lot of roughage, vi­ta­mins (if not over­cooked), min­er­als and not that much glu­cose.

The body needs in­sulin to al­low the glu­cose from the blood stream to pass into the cells. As stated be­fore, in di­a­betes, the en­tire sys­tem fails and this leads to very se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

A lot of peo­ple are walk­ing around with no symp­toms and no idea that they al­ready have di­a­betes. It is there­fore wise to check for it in­ter­mit­tently. Preven­ta­tive ac­tion in­cludes high-fi­bre diet with re­duced sim­ple su­gars, weight con­trol and in­creased phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. If di­ag­nosed, in ad­di­tion to proper diet and reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, med­i­ca­tions play an es­sen­tial role in con­trol­ling this in­cur­able dis­ease.

Di­a­bet­ics must ad­here to life­style mod­i­fi­ca­tions and take what­ever treat­ment is pre­scribed to fully con­trol their blood glu­cose. Many pa­tients hate tak­ing tablets and are ter­ri­fied of us­ing in­sulin in­jec­tions (if needed). The very sad fact is that, if not prop­erly treated, di­a­betes will cause ma­jor suf­fer­ing and an early death.

IAMID PROPER re­joic­ing over the death of Fidel Castro and hope for surcease from tyranny for the Cuban peo­ple, en­co­mia are com­ing thick and fast for the dic­ta­tor. Many are for his de­fi­ance of the mighty United States. Which prompts me to ask: is it a great achieve­ment to defy the US and out­live 11 of its pres­i­dents as Castro did? Fur­ther, is de­fi­ance ex­erted to pro­mote op­pres­sion and tyranny some­thing to praise? Sadly, many per­sons prais­ing Castro are cit­i­zens of the US.

Why would you want to praise some­one who de­fied your coun­try – the bas­tion of eco­nomic pros­per­ity and free­dom – for re­sist­ing giv­ing what you en­joy to peo­ple who de­serve it?

Many of those heap­ing en­co­mia on Fidel will deny that they hate Amer­ica and love the tyranny of Fidel, but what else can ra­tio­nal per­sons con­clude?

Let us re­mind our­selves of the man many are prais­ing. In 1959, he over­threw the gov­ern­ment of his coun­try led by Ful­gen­cio Batista; he didn’t wait for elec­tions or work for the sys­tem to change so there could be a peace­ful trans­fer of power – he sim­ply took things in his own hands and killed scores of his coun­try­men in armed re­bel­lion.

Then he be­gan to re­duce Cuba to a so­cial­ist dystopia. He slaugh­tered and im­pris­oned those who had sup­ported Batista and who were against his revo­lu­tion; and he ex­pro­pri­ated prop­erty, caus­ing many in­vestors to flee the coun­try.

So as a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple, the United States be­gan to re­sist him and he turned to the Soviet Union, which was only too happy to em­brace him not only to es­tab­lish com­mu­nism in Cuba, but also to do so in the wider Car­ib­bean, on the doorstep of Amer­ica.

Fidel be­gan to con­trol ev­ery de­tail of Cuban life. He dic­tated where Cubans lived, what they ate, where they stud­ied and what they stud­ied; who dared to re­sist were killed or im­pris­oned. He did so while liv­ing an ex­trav­a­gant life­style.

He had an es­ti­mated net worth of nearly a bil­lion US dol­lars. A former body­guard of his, Juan Sanchez, who pub­lished a book in 2014 ti­tled Castro’s Hid­den Life, said Fidel had his own pri­vate yacht, a lux­ury pri­vate is­land and en­joyed top-of the-line Mercedes-Ben­zes sent di­rectly from Ger­many. All this while Cubans can’t get ba­sic food sup­plies and drive cars made in the 1950’s .

IM­POSED SANC­TIONS

In1961, Pres­i­dent Dwight Eisen­hower broke off diplo­matic re­la­tions with Cuba and be­gan to im­pose sanc­tions. His suc­ces­sor, John Kennedy, ex­tended the em­bargo to al­most all goods to the is­land in 1962. This was done not to pun­ish the Cuban peo­ple, as many crit­ics of the US and sup­port­ers of Castro in­sist, but to force Castro to re­lax op­pres­sion. It was to no avail. If any­thing, he in­creased op­pres­sion at home and spread com­mu­nism abroad in many coun­tries in Latin and as far away as Africa.

Amer­i­can pres­i­dents since Kennedy have rightly stood on prin­ci­ple, re­fus­ing to end the em­bargo and re­store re­la­tions with the regime. But then came the un­prin­ci­pled, naïve and de­luded Barack Obama, who thinks his de­sires can be­come re­al­ity. He has tried to re­store re­la­tions with the regime with­out Raúl, the brother of Fidel, lift­ing a fin­ger to end the suf­fer­ing of the Cuban peo­ple.

Obama has re­scinded the des­ig­na­tion of Cuba as a ter­ror­ist coun­try, re­opened the US Em­bassy in Ha­vana, in­creased travel from the US to the is­land, and will in­crease trade.

What has Amer­ica and suf­fer­ing Cubans got in re­turn? Next to noth­ing. A few days af­ter Obama’s visit to Cuba, a frail Fidel den­i­grated Obama’s ef­forts at mak­ing peace and said Cuba didn’t need any­thing the US was of­fer­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the New York Times, in April Fidel made his last pub­lic ap­pear­ance and said, “Soon I will be like ev­ery­body else. Our turn comes to us all, but the ideas of Cuban com­mu­nism will en­dure.”

It is this de­fi­ance that peo­ple are prais­ing – the wicked de­ter­mi­na­tion to deny peo­ple their God-given free­doms while as­sert­ing a right to en­joy yours in an ex­trav­a­gant life­style pro­vided by the very peo­ple whom you op­press. They’re prais­ing the re­sis­tance to all ef­forts to al­low a peo­ple to choose to de­ter­mine their own des­tiny by ex­er­cis­ing their fran­chise at the bal­lot box. They’re prais­ing de­fi­ance com­ing from a man who has sent his be­nighted votaries abroad to na­tions to crush the ef­forts of peo­ple to live as God in­tended all of us to live.

Sadly, many of those prais­ing Fidel, who over­stayed his wel­come among us, do so while liv­ing a life the Cuban peo­ple can only dream of, for Fidel de­stroyed the pos­si­bil­ity of such a life ever be­com­ing re­al­ity.

Par­don me, but they don’t give a damn about what is right or the suf­fer­ing of the Cuban peo­ple.

I

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