Castro abandoned his early vision for revolutionary change in Cuba

By Jackson Kliewer

A notorious man has now died of natural causes at the age of 90, after 638 failed assassination attempts throughout his controversial (to say the least) life.

This man’s name is Fidel Castro, a name many Americans jeer at when they hear, and for good reason. The man was a dictator, which is under my own moral code (and many others) as one of the worst things you could end up being, but still you will find that most Americans have only seen one side of the story from our rather one-sided textbooks provided in many schools within this dear old “land of the free.”

Many people are now celebrating his death, comparing him to Hitler and Stalin. I will state this now before we continue: Castro was nowhere close to the evils of Hitler and Stalin.

In the wake of his death, I feel now it is more important than ever for more Americans to realize their skewed projection of Castro is a very false one, even if still in the end he was a dictator. I want to shine light on some of the good done under Castro’s rule, just so people will be able to see both sides to the story.

How Castro rose to power is something I personally extremely support, as before the Cuban Revolution, the country was ruled by another dictator (this time instead of a communist, the man was a fascist), by the name of Fulgencio Batista. Batista was a man who took the role as leader in Cuba by leading a coup to preempt the election about to take place in 1952 where he was sure to lose. After taking power, he drove the country straight into the ground with mass censorship of the people, and he exploited the country commercially, as well as used brutal torture and public executions, ending with him being responsible for the death of around 20,000 people after his reign.

Castro saw this horrendous manipulation of his country take place and couldn’t stand to see the self destruction Batista was causing, but still (unlike what a biased perspective would try to say) he did not go directly to revolution. First, he and many other activists took Batista to court on several occasions in an attempt to peacefully remove him from power, but the courts were heavily biased, and there was no chance it could work. Only after they had exhausted the legal and peaceful options did they resort to a revolution.

The Cuban Revolution managed to kick Batista out, and Castro was put in the role as president, which would have made for a very good end to a story about beating your oppressors if he did not over the years slowly but surely became a dictator in his own resects.

Anyone who is a dictator I would never address as a good leader of a nation as I feel the first objective of any good leader should be the rights of the people, but still there were many positives when addressing his time as leader that are not addressed often.

One of the largest ones would be that under Castro the literacy rate skyrocketed under his communist inspired education plans to a staggering 99.7 percent, which is absolutely insane. To put this into perspective, the U.S. literacy rate is estimated to be around 86 percent, so this just goes to show how absolutely amazing the education system flourished under Castro.

Another thing we usually don’t mention is that while the United States was supporting the monsters enforcing apartheid in South Africa, Castro showed his complete support for Nelson Mandela, a name any school child now could tell you belongs to one of the greatest men who ever lived.

When Hurricane Katrina occurred in 2005 and the United States desperately needed help in rebuilding neighborhoods, Castro, out of the kindness in his heart, even though America had tried to overthrow him so many times by that point, offered to help America rebuild and tried to provide them with the money they needed, but the United States refused all assistance like a petty child holding a pointless grudge against a younger sibling. Even when he tried to help our country we didn’t let him, so how possibly could he?

It is also important to note that the quote spreading across social media of “I will not rest until America is destroyed” was never actually said by Castro, it being a joke started online that people confused for a true phrase spoken by him.

In the end, should Castro be remembered fondly? No. As far as I see it, no person who suppresses freedom of speech in their country could be someone I see in a positive light, and also including his staunch opposition to gay rights (which was extremely odd for someone so left) leaves me severely disappointed and disgusted with Castro, but when addressing what he truly did, it is extremely worrying when I see his actions and views distorted so astonishingly out of shape, showing true bias in quite a bit of our history books and media.

Castro is not someone to look up to as a symbol of revolution, but he also is in no way an awful human being who spent his life wishing for the death of all Americans. He was a man with pure intentions, who along the path was distorted and muddled in his goals, leading to someone who could have been an amazing icon for anti-fascism, but instead turned into what I can only call a disappointment to me. He did some wonderful things, I just wish that applied to all of him, but it doesn’t.

On Nov. 25, 2016, a man died the same way most people die: a man who betrayed his own beliefs.

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