DEATH OF FIDEL CASTRO
Readers weigh in on Cuban leader
Re: “Leader Castro has died,” Nov. 26 news story.
I arrived in the United States from my native Cuba in 1961, and in 1974 became a naturalized American citizen. I lived through Fidel Castro’s Revolution, and was a witness to his tyranny, abuse of human rights, complete disregard for human life, and all the unspeakable horrors that he inflicted upon Cuba and its citizens. I am grateful that I am still around to be a witness to his death.
When I left Cuba and the plane took off, I looked out the window and saw the lights of Havana, and I knew that perhaps this was the last time I would see the country where I was born. I pray that the new administration will not undo the efforts of President Obama, and continue to pursue the end of the embargo, which, as we all know, has not achieved anything, and will never achieve anything positive for the people of Cuba.
I do not know how much change Fidel’s death will bring, but it is my hope and prayer that I will live long enough to see my country free again and that democracy and justice will return.
Carmen C. Gorgas, Denver
Adios, Fidel! Your “La Revolution” has been a total failure. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of the end of 57 years of brutal oppression of the Cuban people and your successor, brother Raul Castro, will soon follow you. Your Marxist ideology exemplified another failure of a “social order” as we continually have seen everywhere it’s been tried. Example: Currently Venezuela is only held together by iron-fisted oppressive dictatorships who gain power on false promises and by brute force take away the people’s God-given rights and make them slaves of the state. It’s frightening to see there are individuals who still adhere to even modified versions of socialism here in the U.S. and spread the propaganda. For state handouts, they give away their freedoms. When will they ever learn?
Peter Bruno, Arvada
When Fidel Castro overthrew the corrupt Batista dictatorship that had impoverished the Cuban people, he was hailed as a modern hero by the media. As it became apparent that he intended to build an egalitarian society that directed the labor and resources of the island for the benefit of all Cubans rather than for the profit of an elitist few, this initial praise turned into alarm. American sugar conglomerates, oil refineries, and mob-run casinos no longer had an open access. This was clearly an un-American, Marxist development in the Western Hemisphere which could not be tolerated. For nearly 60 years, against all odds, the Castro government has survived trade embargoes, assassination attempts, a bungled CIA-backed military invasion, and the collapse of support from the Soviet Union and Venezuelan oil. It has not been a bed of roses for Cuba. Mankind has never shown itself to be more than marginally able to manage its darker impulses, which brings up two intriguing questions: Will Donald Trump, riding in on a wave of populist anger and promising law and order, greater prosperity and radical institutional change, turn out to be America’s Fidel Castro? And will conservatives finally see the establishment of their libertarian paradise?
Robert Porath, Boulder
Let’s get real about how socialism has worked in Cuba. I volunteered there last fall working in Sancti Spiritus, a small village in the middle of Cuba where the water is so filthy everyone has cholera. Because of socialism, people there receive free education, medical care and minimal food rations. The government booklet says “each person will receive a minimum intake of food.” People I worked with said they were hungry. This is the ration allowed: 6 pounds of rice, six eggs, 1/4 pound of beans per person per month, 3 pounsd of sugar, 15 pounds of potatoes and bananas for a family of four. Milk is allowed only up to age 7. The average salary is $17 to $19 per month, so out of this they must buy fish or vegetables. Beef is not permitted under the law; it is reserved for government use. The Cuban government controls everything, with the internet almost never available, and it is expensive if you can find it. I saw about five cellphones and I was told that they had been sent to Cuba from families in the United States. The people I worked with were hopeful for the future, but they all know President Obama is out of office soon and Raul Castro is done in 2018. They try to live each day and hope the future will be brighter. I am sure we are all hopeful for them.
Joanie Jones, Denver
When talking about Fidel Castro, American politicians and capitalist propaganda-compliant media propound egregious inaccuracies. The most blatant falsehood is that Castro brought us to the brink of nuclear war. Actually, it was the Kennedy brothers and Nikita Khrushchev who did that. Fidel, by U.S. aggression, including numerous attempts to murder him, was driven into the arms of the Soviets and became a pawn in a highstakes game of chicken.
After years of supporting Cuban dictator Batista and degrading treatment by the imperialist monster of the North, it was clear that Americans never cared about the people of Cuba, but were dismayed by loss of access to Havana rum, cigars, gambling and prostitutes. Fidel wanted to change the lot of his people by socialism, and he had to use strong measures to protect himself and Cuba from CIA agents. Fidel Castro is a hero to Cuba and all Latin America.
Walt Heidenfelder, Denver
Having visited Cuba in January and seen firsthand the desperate lives most Cubans seem to be living, I can only say that Fidel Castro’s departure from this Earth was long overdue. Good riddance.
F. Whitlock, Denver
Cuban President Fidel Castro delivers a speech attacking media organizations and groups opposed to his government in the wake of rumors of his death on Sept. 1, 1997, in Havana. Castro died on Nov. 25.