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(228 Posts)
Anniebach Sat 26-Nov-16 10:07:51

Fidel Castro has died. 59 years in power

Jalima Sat 26-Nov-16 16:24:33

I was discussing this with DH because it throws up some interesting questions.

I remember being quite nervous at some points because of the America/Cuba/Russia situation. If only Eisenhower and Castro had had a better relationship (at least a diplomatic one) then would things have been different? If Eisenhower had not snubbed him would relations with America have been better or not? Or would Russia have continued to encourage an ally so near to America?

People criticise Theresa May because she is inviting Trump over - but she has to because diplomacy must be maintained, whatever anyone's personal feelings.

The fact that some people would prefer a Presidency (not aiming this at you anniebach, so please don't think I am!) but some people in our country may prefer that - but he maintained 59 years as President and was then succeeded by his brother, now age 85 (nepotism?) with his son waiting to succeed him.

There were over 8,505 political arrests during the first eight months of 2016, and they are expected to top 10,000.

Will Cubans now reject that dynasty and their form of communism?
Will displaced Cubans want to go home again, or will it just be more of the same?

And - what will relations with Trump be like?

Anyone who remembers the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs incident may be wondering what is going to happen now.

Anniebach Sat 26-Nov-16 17:10:11

I too remember the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile crisis, they were worrying times

I can understand him overthrowing the regime of Batista regime but am against dictatorships . Whilst I accept he has done good in Cuba, Heath and education , I cannot as a Labour Party member share the tributes paid by several Militants in the party , so many died under the Castro regime . But I still have my Che Guevara tee shirt !

May he rest in peace

Anniebach Sat 26-Nov-16 17:12:07

Jamila, I am not a republican ,just want a monarch living in the 21st century smile

Rinouchka Sat 26-Nov-16 17:47:26

Jalima I agree with all your points and, like you, feel that diplomacy must involve discussion with leaders with whom your country may not agree. Also nepotism is the brother ( or son, or whatever) of dictatorship.

But nepotism can sneak in via officially elected presidents( i.e. Trump)!

Anniebach I understand your point about having a monarch who reflects the age we live in but the monarch is only a figurehead and, as a figurehead, can represent the past( our present Queen) as well as the future( whoever succeeds her). Other countries love the traditions that our monarch represents.

Re Fidel Castro , whatever we may think of him as a dictator, he created a fantastic free health system in Cuba that is second to none, or so I have been told.

trisher Sat 26-Nov-16 18:16:26

He also was responsible for improving the Cuban education system and developing one of the highest literacy rates in the world. The Cuban medical teams were the first on the ground in Haiti and provided the only sustainable health care system . Other countries tend to ship in teams and withdraw them when the crisis is over. Cuba sends in teams, takes locals to Cuba to train as medics and in fact offers anyone with the right potential the opportunity for a free medical education.
We may disapprove of a dictatorship but there is no doubt that the regime he replaced was rotten and the situation for the people of Cuba was significantly improved. The efforts of Cuba to deal with the poverty and deprivation in the wider area should also be recognised. Unfortunately much of the news we receive is slanted towards pleasing our US friends.
Cuba provides more medical personnel to the developing world than all the G8 countries combined,-Wikipedia

Jalima Sat 26-Nov-16 18:34:32

As long as you agreed with him trisher

At least our monarch doesn't clap people in the Tower of London these days. smile

just want a monarch living in the 21st century
monarch shock annie?
I think she's pretty savvy and up-to-date with world affairs for a 90 year old and I do like a bit of tradition.

Anyway, I digress and we could end up with a thread going down the same lines as others.

hmm Castro - some Cubans are hoping he has gone to meet his maker - in hell, so I am not sure that they want him to RIP. Others will look on him as their hero. I know he improved things in a lot of ways for many people - as I said, as long as you weren't a dissenter.

DD has a picture of Che Guevara, not sure if it is still on her wall, it was when she was a student.

vampirequeen Sat 26-Nov-16 18:53:27

Castro was also ready to help others. When the new South African government (after apartheid) brought in universal healthcare there weren't enough doctors so Castro sent across Cuban doctors and trainers. The Cuban doctors went into areas the white doctors wouldn't/daren't go in to.

Anniebach Sat 26-Nov-16 19:08:07

So no need for democracy ?

TerriBull Sat 26-Nov-16 19:20:01

I had Che Guevara on my wall 'cos he looked well fit, as they say these days. Vacuous teenage syndrome blush

Castro was a controversial figure who undoubtedly did some good, overthrowing the corrupt Batista regime and providing a much improved health care and education system for Cubans. Nevertheless, he was also ruthless and repressive. Dictators who have overthrown a previous regime are rarely benign. Cuban emigree's have been out en masse in Miami celebrating.

I'm glad Cuban/American relations thawed under Obama, all that went on too long. The Americans did have a bee in their bonnet about left wing regimes on their doorstep.

TerriBull Sat 26-Nov-16 19:42:24

Emigres not emigree's

trisher Sat 26-Nov-16 19:49:48

I don't think it was a 'bee in their bonnet' I think it was a sustained attempt to discredit a regime which offered a real alternative to capitalism and exploitation. I'm not saying Castro's regime was without its faults but we should also recognise that the developing world has benefited from the regime.
The problem is there was no democracy in Cuba in the first place Anniebach and years of American interference had left a corrupt and exploitative government. Introducing democracy might have meant the loss of the undoubted benefits and improvements for the population and might have resulted in the US beginning to interfere once again. The actions of Castro have to be balanced against the very real threat Cuba faced from the US.

TerriBull Sat 26-Nov-16 20:14:29

Yes maybe a bit more than that, America did play their part in toppling Allende in Chile back in the '70s. Parts of Latin America veer between far left dictatorships and far right military juntas, both of which seem dire. The late Chavez regime has left Venezuela in a terrible state.

whitewave Sat 26-Nov-16 20:16:25

Trump has rubbished him -that should be enough to give Castro a bit of respect!!!

DaphneBroon Sat 26-Nov-16 20:29:07

This was posted by a friend of a "friend" on FB

" I strongly suggest that all the armchair revolutionaries lamenting the death of Castro read 'Before Night Falls' by the gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, or watch the film starring Javier Bardem.
Like many communists, Castro's revolution didn't extend to gay people. Under his regime, thousands of gay men were imprisoned, tortured and murdered"
There is also an Independent article which I am still looking for. I'll post the link if and when I find it!

DaphneBroon Sat 26-Nov-16 20:39:24

I think this is it. Not surprising, I suppose

DaphneBroon Sat 26-Nov-16 20:44:24

This is interesting and the picture is of a patient in a Cuban hospital under their "world standard" healthcare system.

Anya Sat 26-Nov-16 21:13:00

Page not found DB

Anya Sat 26-Nov-16 21:16:27

I suspect those who support a more right-wing agenda will consider Fidel Castro to be the devil incarnate. Those on the left will hail him as a hero.

The truth is he was both.

And we have to remember what Cuba was like before his coup.

DaphneBroon Sat 26-Nov-16 21:19:19

Is this better?

Anniebach Sat 26-Nov-16 21:29:29

Cuba was such a corrupt place before the coup but fifty nine years later and still no democracy

Jalima Sat 26-Nov-16 23:26:43

A revolutionary like Castro may start out by liberating his people from the corruption that was endemic and the controlling influences of a foreign power ie America, but can only keep control by suppressing any opposition by imprisonment or murder and becoming the dictator that no-one dare challenge. He did not bring good for all over 1.5 million who fled Cuba would testify.
With an ally in Russia and an enemy in America he became far more powerful than would be normal for the leader of such a tiny country. Being only 90 miles from America put him in a prime spot to be a puppet of Russia.

He may have claimed to have brought better healthcare and education to some of the Cubans who remained there - but not all as DaphneBroon points out.

A person does not have to be right-wing to see that extremism either way does not work for the common good and that human rights can be violated by extremists of either side.

Anniebach Sun 27-Nov-16 09:03:23

I agree, far left are is different to far right , both bring out the worse in people

Anniebach Sun 27-Nov-16 09:46:33

trisher, you believe putting homosexuals in camps, putting those who speak against your politics before firing squads is justified because Cuba felt threatened by America, oh well your beliefs are your choices

grandMattie Sun 27-Nov-16 09:55:27

It may sound heretical, but is democracy that wonderful?

Agree about what Castro has achieved in the fields of education, medicine, etc., but the people are very repressed, by both their regime and the US. US decreed that the Cubans shouldn't got further than a silly, shallow, distance from shore they don't fish and in an area so rich in fish, they eat NONE. That should also be addressed.