Fidel Castro stunned the world this week by admitting socialism had failed in Cuba. The implication of the dictator’s statement is unclear, but one thing isn’t: Castro’s sycophants have some explaining to do.
Castro, now 84 and semi-retired, made a surprisingly lucid admission about how 52 years of communist dictatorship have ruined his country. “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” he casually told the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, a reporter he summoned to Havana to tell him his thoughts.
Castro made other noteworthy statements to the reporter — that he regretted urging the Soviet Union to rain nuclear war on the U.S. in 1962, and that he wanted Iran’s leader to stop slandering the Jews. But nothing was as arresting as the statement that his life work, the communism he forced on Cuba in 1959 was, in truth, a miserable failure.
Castro’s motives in stating the obvious are still unclear. He may be desperate for attention. Or, having turned his country into an impoverished hellhole, he may want the U.S. trade embargo to end.
Cuba scholar Humberto Fontova notes that Castro has made similar offhand statements in the past, and none had any consequences.
But one thing is clear: Castro’s apologists in the West, who’ve marched in lockstep throughout his half-century of communist rule, have been hung out to dry. For years, they’ve held up Castro as some kind of alternate beacon to the U.S. and all its freedom and prosperity.
Filmmaker Michael Moore made a 2007 documentary called “Sicko” that touted the superiority of Cuba’s health care system and used it as a means of pushing ObamaCare in 2009. Based on the dictator’s own words, that film should now be considered garbage.
Other Castro sycophants have also been played for fools. Hollywood actor Ed Asner’s campaign to free five Cuban spies from U.S. jails doesn’t have quite the same credibility now, given that Castro has admitted his entire mission is a lie.
Then there’s movie director Oliver Stone, who at the showing of “South of the Border,” his man-crush paean to leftist Latin dictators, confided he’s filming another hagiography about Castro.
Not even Castro’s toadies will able to watch Stone’s next offering with the same rapt credulity now that the despot has shown himself as the little man behind the curtain.
Even Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, who’s sought for the past 12 years to turn his country into Cubazuela — complete with police informers, ration cards, worthless money, bad food, dirty water, electricity shortages and poverty — is shown to be a fraud.
Whatever Castro meant in the interview about the failure of communism, it’s obvious that those who have defended him and his revolution from their free societies have been willfully spewing lies.
Whatever they say in their defense, it’s clear they’ve been had, with the proof coming straight from the mouth of their failed idol.