The Cuban people will finally have the chance to cast out the dark spectre of Castro, and embrace a brighter future.
“Revolution is a spectators sport. The majority will sit in the stands and watch the factions fight. At the end they will choose side with the team that is winning. ” -George Lincoln Rockwell
December 31st, 1958 and the battle of Santa Clara is raging. Amid the chaos of his collapsing ‘ofensiva’ in Cuba, the degenerate figure of General-President Batista panics and flees to the Dominican Republic. By the 2nd of January, Castro’s forces entered the capital unopposed. Out went the military strongman and in walked the uniquely leftwing spectre of the ‘revolutionary strongman’. Amid great claims of ‘equality’ and a ‘revolutionary national socialist state’ Castro drew up his black lists. Out would go human rights, in would come ‘special detention’. Out would go even a lip-service to basic societal pluralism, in would come a tyranny which would inflict untold human suffering.
26th November 2016, and the revolutionary strongman is dead. Finally captured in the talons of mortality. Havana was broadcasting a capital in silence, holding it’s collective breath. Meanwhile, in ‘little Havana’ in the USA the descendants of Castro’s victims were celebrating. Scenes akin to a street party, festival mood – we are seeing two very different Cubas on display right now. The former anxious, unsure – like a child denied sight of sunlight coaxed nervously into the new dawn. The latter, wildly enthusiastic and filled with hope for a newer, pluralistic Cuba.
But what of Castro? What did he make of his legacy? Well we know he had some regrets, expressing them prior to his death. Apparently the unprecedented waves of anti-LGBT persecution he presided over in Cuba was a ‘regret’. The decades where he tossed thousands of young gay kids into forced labour camps for ‘re-education’ is a ‘regret’. The suppression of generations, the blatant denial of justice was a ‘regret’ for Castro.
I’m sure the generations of ‘effeminate boys’ forced to undergo ‘aversion therapy’ are very thankful Castro ‘regretted’ the brutalism of 1960s-1980s Cuba. But the fact remains Castro’s Cuba was one where gay kids were abused, beaten; told ‘you’re a pervert, sick deviant’. They were literally dispatched from the island and prohibited from representing their country on the grounds they were gay.
And bohemian artists and poets fared little better. There was no room for satire in Fidel’s ‘Friendly Cuba’ image for naive western tourists.
But no admission of failures…
But for all the expressions of regret, don’t be fooled by Castro’s ‘friendly Cuba’ image. His regime was as vile as any other petty autocracy.
Cuba under Castro didn’t just hound the LGBT community until very recently, it also turned its eyes on mum and dad. Castro carried out an implicit Marxist doctrine of ‘abolition of family’ (insane, right?). 1960 saw a ‘great liberalisation’ of abortion rights and divorce rights – but with a twist. The state headed up by Papa Castro and his family would become your parents. For decades now Cuba has suffered under among the world’s worst recorded rates of family breakdown. Abortion and divorce rates in ‘friendly Cuba’ are among the highest in the world. Now while access to divorce and abortion is fine, when they’re used as state policies to literally and figuratively decimate the concept of ‘family’ in order to bring about a ‘workers paradise’; something is sick somewhere.
Ulterior motives and post-truth…
Castro’s niece Mariela makes no secret that she and her uncle saw gay marriage as ‘hugely important’, as a tool to help make the Communist State of Cuba ‘mother and father’. The sheer lack of regret or apology for not merely suppressing the LGBT community for decades; but to then embrace their cry for equality under false pretences is truly wicked.
As a gay man passionately in favour of equal marriage, it offends me to see those who literally sought to do us harm suddenly embrace our ‘rights’. All the more offensive when you consider their rationale for doing so isn’t to correct a historic wrong they inflicted, but to ensure their own perpetuation in power. My gay rights aren’t an opportunity for Mariela Castro to fill her uncle’s shoes in Havana.
Always remember when assessing Castro’s Cuba – it’s a labyrinthine place which most certainly functions as an example of ‘post-truth’. Gays are evil, until their not. Women’s rights are good, but only when it serves the ulterior motives of a dictatorship state. Nothing is as it seemed in Fidel’s Cuba. The best policy for Havana going forward is to simply cast Castro out. Forget his political deviancy ever happened.