Cuba, latest, multipolar world
Comments 47

Fidel Castro Defies US Imperialism Even in Death

by Finian Cunningham at StrategicCulture.com

At age 90, Fidel Castro passed away after decades of heroic struggle for social justice, not just for his native Cuba but for all people around the world. Even in his final decade of illness, the iconic revolutionary was still actively fighting; writing articles on international politics and upholding the cause for socialism.

One measure of his historical significance is expressed in the fact that he outlasted 10 US presidents by the time of his official retirement from politics in 2008 due to declining health. Counting incumbent Barack Obama, Fidel’s political life spanned 11 US presidencies. All of them oversaw a barbarous policy to economically strangle Cuba with a trade blockade on the tiny Caribbean island nation. Several of these US leaders sanctioned criminal plots to assassinate Fidel and incite regime change. They all failed. Castro beat them all and died peacefully in his bed having lived his life to the full.

As news of his death reverberated around the world, even Western countries which had conspired to varying degrees to thwart the Cuban revolution were compelled to acknowledge Fidel’s towering legacy. News channels were interrupted with «breaking news» of his death. America’s CNN and Britain’s BBC immediately ran biographical portraits of the man and his revolutionary past. Among the predictable slights referring to an «authoritarian figure», even the Western propagandists had to admit that Fidel liberated his people from squalor and poverty, bequeathing Cuba with immense social development, and, probably more importantly, giving the world’s people monumental inspiration to continually strive in order to make this world a place of justice for everyone. To the end, he championed socialism, while denouncing capitalist exploitation, destruction and its imperialist warmongering.

Two early headlines about his passing stood out. The Washington Post couldn’t refrain from denigration with this: “Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has died”. The use of the word “dictator” was gratuitous and doubtless intended to slur the man’s greatness even at his moment of death.

The New York Times appeared to be a little more magnanimous with its headline: «Fidel Castro has died at 90. The Cuban revolutionary was a nemesis for 11 American presidents».

But its florid words of apparent tribute contained the poison of defamation. The NY Times went on to ascribe the “fiery apostle of revolution” as having «brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959… and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war [in 1962]”.

It wasn’t Castro who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere, nor was it he who nearly incited nuclear war. On both counts, it was US governments. Yet, insidiously, the US media impute Fidel with the evil of their own governments.

In 1960, months after Fidel overthrew the corrupt US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, the leader of the revolution made an official visit to the US in a gesture of regional friendship. But he was snubbed by then President Eisenhower who refused to meet him.

Eisenhower then enacted diplomatic and trade embargoes on Cuba in revenge for Fidel’s economic policies aimed at lifting the majority of Cubans out of decades of US-induced poverty.

In April 1961, under the new presidency of John F Kennedy, the CIA and Pentagon launched the Bay of Pigs invasion with a private mercenary army made up of Batista loyalists. JFK backed down on a full-scale military assault and Fidel’s forces eventually routed the attackers. The CIA and Cuban exiles never forgave JFK for this «betrayal» and exacted retribution by blowing the president’s head off as his motorcade drove through Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Contrary to the above portrait in the NY Times, it was the US under Eisenhower and subsequently Kennedy that brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere. Not Fidel Castro.

If Castro responded to US aggression by embracing the Soviet Union and its nuclear missiles, it was evidently a policy of self-defense. The Cuban missile crisis during October 1962, when JFK and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev faced off in a dramatic nuclear showdown, was the outcome of the US having already embarked on a war policy against Cuba. The installation of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuban territory 90 miles from the US mainland was first of all a legitimate act of sovereignty by the Cuban government, and, secondly, a reasonable act of self-defense given the US criminal aggression the year before at the Bay of Pigs.

Again, it was not Fidel Castro who «brought the world to the brink of nuclear war». It was US aggressive policy towards a newly independent impoverished nation whose people exercised their right to self-determination by supporting a socialist government.

US official vanity likes to recount that JFK forced the Soviets to withdraw their nuclear missiles from Cuba. But an important overlooked fact is that the deal to avert nuclear war worked out by Kennedy and Khrushchev relied on a commitment from the US to abandon its covert war plans against Cuba.

The US never fully lived up to its promise to leave Cuba in peace. Assassination plots against Castro and other Cuban leaders continued during subsequent US administrations, as did other acts of state-sponsored sabotage and terrorism such as the downing of a Cuban civilian airliner in 1976. The US-imposed trade embargo on the island nation of 11 million people that began in 1961 continues to this day under Barack Obama, albeit with a slight – some would say “cosmetic” – loosening.

However, one small mercy that came out of the «brink of nuclear war» in 1962 was that the US desisted from repeating the kind of overt aggression that was seen in the Bay of Pigs.

Fidel Castro was a giant who strode across two centuries. He was a giant of intellect and humanity, whose compassion for the oppressed and their liberation from under man-made exploitation and hegemony was as luminous as in the days of his youth. Fidel was a light for the world, and even in death his light for social justice shines on. Not even formidable political enemies can diminish this radiant revolutionary.

The NY Times said he «bedeviled 11 US presidents». That’s another contemptible attempt to slander. Fidel didn’t bedevil them; he transcended all of them and their malfeasant schemes with a humanity that outshines their corruption.

Of his splendid legacy, perhaps one attribute is that Fidel’s life and struggle demonstrates with eloquent clarity the aggressive, destructive, warmongering nature of the US political system. In his lifetime, the world can clearly see that, despite the attempts to slander, it was the US governments that unleashed Cold War hostility and that were criminally reckless enough to push the world to nuclear war. This is an historical lesson bequeathed by Fidel that is as important now as it was then.

The aggression that the US inflicted on Cuba is extant today in its belligerence towards Russia, China or any other country that defies its hegemonic conduct. Understanding the history of Cuba and Fidel Castro’s defiant revolution empowers us to understand the real cause and culprits of aggression in the world today.

Even in death, Fidel’s revolutionary spirit lives, teaches, inspires.


47 Comments

  1. chrisb says

    There hasn’t been a blockade of Cuba for decades. Anyone who questions this should answer these questions? How come tourist planes flying to Cuba are not shot down by US military aircraft? Are they really too fast? How come Venezuelan oil tankers get to Cuba? Are they too fast for US military ships? There is a trade embargo on sales of most US goods to Cuba. This embargo is easily circumvented and there is also the ease of substituting products from other countries. I hear that German machinery and Japanese electronics are not too shabby.

    The removal of the blockade in the 60s was not down to a change in US policy towards Cuba. It was due to Fidel Castro doing the job of destroying the Cuban economy for the US. The chaos wreaked on Cuba was hidden in the 70s and 80s by the USSR paying for Cuban soldiers to fight its wars and by European bankers lending money to Cuba. When Cuba defaulted in 1986, it had the highest debt per capita of any Latin American country. When these sources of subsidy disappeared, Fidel decided in 1994 to sponge off the capitalists by inviting tourists to Cuba, turning a blind eye to prostitution and by encouraging his brightest and best to work in the Us and Europe, knowing that they would send money back to their relatives. Fidel’s inept management was so staggering that the Revolutionary Armed Forces under Raul have become increasingly involved in the economy. Anything that works in Cuba was probably built before Castro came to power, owned by foreign companies or run by the military.

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    • So then there really is an embargo against Cuba . . . Go figure. The only difference between the average Cubans narrative of what is going on and what you are saying is that the Cuban leadership is itself in on creating conditions of modern technological scarcity. But what if — and this is merely and sheer speculation on my part — the Cuban leadership wasn’t in on “it”? Would there then be the same level of technological scarcity, or would the geopolitical hegemon then give the green light to open and free international trade with the recalcitrant island? I guess that they, the U.S. oligarchs and their allies and vassals, just don’t like dealing with ‘regimes’ wherein there is a cleavage, however overt or hidden, between the leadership and the people, eh.

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  2. Please do forgive me, but some comments are so priceless that they must be shared. I’m stealing this from the The Burning Blogger of Bedlam’s website, something casually dropped by M. Semet:

    This isn’t exactly on the same subject, but I had to add this. I picked up this hilarious story from a comment board on the Saker blog, and I almost did a spitake after reading it:

    From “Terry”

    Of all the innumerable brilliant things Fidel did over the decades, perhaps my favourite was when then US President Jimmy Carter started mouthing off about all the prisoners in Cuba being “Political Prisoners”, and stated he would welcome them all to the glorious USA if only that horrible criminal Communist slavemaster Castro would free them.

    BINGO! The light bulb goes off in Fidel’s head and he says, “Yes! You’re right! They’re all political prisoners!”

    And Fidel heads to the nearest prison and says “Great news, Guys! You’re all going to Miami!” And the Cubans emptied out their prisons and drove them to the port of Mariel where they were loaded onto the waiting US ships and set free in Miama to rob, rape, kill, cheat, and carry on whatever criminal activities had originally landed them in prison.

    Of course, the US Govt. soon realized they had shot themselves in the foot, and demanded that Cuba not send any more criminals to Miami. But Fidel just grinned from ear to ear and “We have no common criminals. Only political prisoners.” and kept shipping them, and the US was forced to keep accepting them.

    It was wonderful. It saved the Cuban economy a fortune by getting rid of thousands of vicious criminals being fed, clothed, and housed at the expense of the Cuban people, and permanently dumped the criminals in the USA, which was much better pickings for them, so they had no desire to return. The Cuban jails were virtually empty for years afterward. I visited Cuba in 1986, a few years later, and just for the heck of it walked into the local jail in the town I was staying in. I asked to see the cells and the desk sergeant said “OK” and took me back there. Empty. I said “There’s nobody here.” and he said “They’re all in Miami.”

    ***********LOL. No wonder Fidel’s such a “dictator”. I do wish someone would collect all the funny stories about this guy and publish a book about it. I know I’d buy it just for the comedy relief. Honestly, this story really illustrates why he’s so hated by the usual suspects.

    On another note, since disparaging Fidel as a dictator clearly isn’t working, some disinfo trolls are now trying to “prove” that Fidel was a CIA asset all along, because hey–the CIA has a 100% kill rate, they are always perfect, and they never make a mistake. Sarcasm aside, I do think the CIA is overwhelmingly successful in getting you dead, if that’s what they want. But no one is perfect, no matter how they stack the deck. Sometimes, luck just isn’t on your side, CIA or no. Apparently, he was controlled opposition all along, and maybe there will be files and incriminating pictures that show he was part of the shadow elite, participating in pedo orgies and satanic rituals, fully owned by the rothschilds or whatnot. LOL. God, I would love to see the photoshopped pictures of that! I don’t know what’s funnier, the true stories about Fidel’s wicked clever moves, or his detractors pathetic attempts to discredit him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ll love this:

      “How Castro survived 638 very cunning assassination attempts”
      http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/how-castro-survived-638-assassination-attempts/8064788

      “From poisoned cigars to exploding seashells: How Fidel Castro survived ‘more than 600’ CIA assassination attempts before passing away at 90”
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3973264/From-poisoned-cigars-exploding-seashells-Fidel-Castro-survived-half-century-crackpot-CIA-assassination-attempts-passing-away-90.html

      This assassination-attempt story is a classic. Hollywood couldn’t make this up.

      “… One of the most famous came when the CIA hired his ex-mistress Marita Lorenz to feed him poisoned capsules.

      Lorenz had lived in Cuba as Castro’s mistress until she became pregnant and suddenly fell ill. When she returned to the US, the CIA told her that Castro had secretly arranged for her to have a late term abortion.

      They convinced her that she had to return to Cuba to assassinate her former lover for the good of America. Her role was simple: drop a poisoned pill, supplied by the CIA, in Castro’s drink and escape unscathed.

      Frightened she would be discovered by Cuban customs, Lorenz resorted to one more subterfuge and hid the pills inside her pot of cold cream.

      However, Castro found out about the attempt, and allegedly handed her a gun and told her to shoot him, which she said she could not.

      ‘I thought he was going to shoot me, but he gave me the gun and asked, ‘Did you come to kill me?’

      ‘Then he took a puff on his cigar and closed his eyes. He made himself vulnerable because he knew I couldn’t do it. He still loved me and I still loved him.’

      Lorenz ejected the bullets and fell into his arms …”

      Liked by 1 person

      • “However, Castro found out about the attempt, and allegedly handed her a gun and told her to shoot him, which she said she could not.
        ‘I thought he was going to shoot me, but he gave me the gun and asked, ‘Did you come to kill me?’
        ‘Then he took a puff on his cigar and closed his eyes. He made himself vulnerable because he knew I couldn’t do it. He still loved me and I still loved him.’
        Lorenz ejected the bullets and fell into his arms …”

        Yes, we should all smile and swoon and totally believe the words of German Mata Hari, CIA honeypot Marita Lorenz, who worked not only for the CIA but the FBI, too, was involved with Frank Sturgis and the muddying of the waters around the JFK thing and had a kid with CIA puppet Pérez Jiménez (I guess Marita enjoyed having children with CIA puppets). The fact that the Media apparatus of the Right Wing West has recycled, amplified and maintained “The Miracle of Marita and Fidel” story, jut like a tale out of the New Testament, for 56 years, shouldn’t be a red flag to any naive member of the “Left” who’s wearing the Goofy Goggles of the Believer. Remember: Stories are to be enjoyed, not questioned!

        But: Has the vast Media apparatus of The Right Wing West ever spread any sexy, sanctifying mythologies about Patrice Lumumba? Any sexy apocrypha about Hugo Chavez? No cool stories about Mossadegh? Strangely: nope. Longevity-blessed Fidel is the only “enemy of the state” I can think of about whom The State spreads sexy stories, even as they’re supposedly denouncing him (except, of course, when that famously progressive organ of liberation, the New York Times, was putting him on the map in the late 1950s). And, of course, Fidel is the only “enemy of Capitalism,” heading a totally defenseless country, on Washington’s back doorstep (they went half-way around the world to kill former allies Hussein and Gaddafi and they didn’t even hide the murders; they blitzkrieged and occupied half the Middle East in a few short years) that they just could. not. kill. I suppose that means Jesus had a special plan for Fidel: to obviate the possibility of a genuine Left-winger taking power in Havana and to keep an eye on and manipulate the radical currents energizing that part of the world.

        Yeah: the last time I can remember the MSM making a “radical” look sexy was Varoufakis in his leather jacket on his motorcycle! Which was quite hilarious; I had “Lefty” acquaintances who fell for that one hook, line and sinker. For a brief, shining moment, game-theorist Varoufakis was a kind of mini-Fidel and he gave Duh Peoples “hope”. Because that trick always (always) works.

        And if you loved that “Miracle of Marita and Fidel” story as much as the MSM does (here’s a recent headline from The Sun, of the UK, another famously radical rag: “TEFLON COMMANDER How Fidel Castro survived over 600 assassination attempts by dodging poisoned cigars and exploding seashells)… (laugh)… if you love that story, here’s good news: the Meta-Fictional loop is about to come full circle as Jennifer Lawrence is set to star in a Hollywood film about Marita and enemy-of-the-state Fidel! Hey, maybe the Langley guy who wrote the original story of “Marita and the pistol” will ghost-write the script for J-Law … wouldn’t that be cool?

        The “Left” is so smug and absolutely convinced in its self-perceived superiority that the Ultra Right PTB (no slouch at psychological manipulation) uses this arrogant naivete against us… one of the CIA’S greatest tools is the Incompetence Alibi. 9/11? The CIA wasn’t complicit, it was incompetent! Iran Contra? That was merely a brief misadventure of incompetents… Ollie North and Fawn Hall and a couple of weirdos… from a rogue faction of the Gubmint (so how could the US-directed flow of drugs from US-controlled poppy fields of Afghanistan still be a thing, right?)! Yeah, the “Left” is so much smarter than the Right that the Right could never, ever hoodwink the “Left”… though, wait… how can it be that the Right has been running most of the planet since long, long before any of us were born? And until long, long after we’re gone, possibly?

        Enjoy your movie.

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        • Oh, it’s the talking Bunny.

          Them sures (sic) are a lot of buzzwords over essentially nothing. Who gives a fuck if Castro was CIA or not. If he was, he was better for Cuba than Batista; and if he wasn’t, he was better for Cuba than Batista. Do you see the difference?

          On the other hand, maybe he was a double agent, working for the Americans and the Cubans at the same time? Or maybe he was a triple agent, for the Americans, for the Cubans, for the Russians. Or maybe he was in it only for himself, for the cigars and the women and the killing and lording over everyone and even doing at least some good because, well, he just fancied tha. Or maybe it was all those things or none of them. Who da fuck knows and really fucking cares, eh? What matters is that the Cuban revolution kicked the American mafia bums out and actually improved the lives of millions of people.

          You should learn to relax a little, there, Mr. Bunny. Have yourself a glass of wine. Or smoke something. Eat a carrot if that’s what you like doing. Or get outside and breathe a little fresh air.

          And as for revolutions, they don’t happen without a great many players playing. Everyone who has the means and the motives participates, and these capitalist motherfuckers who are trying to con everyone sometimes end up themselves being conned. It’s messy. It’s not exactly the movie you fancy, too.

          Later, my only slightly paranoid (American?) Bunny,

          –N

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          • “What matters is that the Cuban revolution kicked the American mafia bums out and actually improved the lives of millions of people.”

            Leaving only that 45-square mile American Naval Base called Guantanamo, right? Victory! And Fidel’s colleague LBJ improved the lives of millions of Black Americans, too… but how much, and why? Irrelevant questions? If you say so.

            I think most of us can agree on the pernicious effects of “American” (whatever that means, anymore) Empire. What we’re disagreeing on is the width, depth and extent of this Empire. I’m saying that, having been raised within this Empire, and born after it was well underway, it’s very difficult for us to identify the Empire’s limits or even all of its processes. The Empire was your first teacher (via your parents/ teachers)… The Empire provided your first and favorite entertainments. It taught you to gloss over Contradictions and Coincidences. I’m advocating here, among other things, a return to Common Sense.

            We see what happens to prominent anti-Capitalists: they’re killed/ deposed/ discredited/ imprisoned by powerful techno-fascist “American” forces all over the Western Hemisphere. Yet the most famous “anti-Capitalist” of the century was allowed to run his little Kingdom for decades, right in Washington’s back yard, without being killed/ deposed/ discredited/ imprisoned… in fact (as I point out elsewhere) the propaganda arm of the Empire spread romantic legends about this famous “anti-Capitalist” to burnish his legend. Does this in any way make sense? Common sense indicates that the “anti-Capitalist” wasn’t an anti-Capitalist at all. He was playing an important part in the layered Realpolitik of the Era and the Region. Perhaps he was his own man while performing this function, since we have no real idea who he was. Not anymore than we knew Kennedy.

            So many of you are so touchingly naive that you believe in Speeches and Gestures. You Believe in Symbols. You are half-in, half-out of your Brainwashing.

            For me it’s quite interesting, to be honest. What else can anyone do but observe? When I was young I sometimes argued with Scientologists who approached me on the street… or with Jehovah’s Witnesses who made the mistake of knocking on my door. This is exactly like that.

            No one arguing against me has yet addressed the contradictions. People are merely clumping together and singing the old songs (yes, I know of Fidel’s many social programs, at home and abroad… I also know that everyone from Bill Gates to Bob Geldoff to LBJ does or did the “humanitarian aid” and/or “social programs thing: it generates great PR and proves nothing)… you’re indulging in the tribal pleasure of focusing on an Ideological Enemy (me) and calling me names and hugging each other. I expect that. But I’m waiting for someone to say something interesting.

            Can you explain A) how it is you think it’s plausible that the most well-funded (and experienced) killing machine in history couldn’t somehow manage to kill Fidel Castro if it really wanted to and B) how you can possibly imagine such a myth makes sense? Unless you Believe in Divine Intervention. Do you?

            Like

            • “What we’re disagreeing on is the width, depth and extent of this Empire.”

              No, Mr. Bunny. You are saying the Teflon Commander Castro was CIA, and it that it really matters that he was. I’m saying it doesn’t fucking matter and, anyway, you don’t know that he was or wasn’t any more than I do. But more on the latter qualification in just a moment or two . . .

              ”I’m advocating here, among other things, a return to Common Sense.”

              Common sense is really over rated, Mr. Bunny. Common sense is just ‘consensus,’ and ‘consensus’ is often wrong. It’s better to advocate for a) being in touch with the limits of what one knows oneself to know, and b) learning to discern sources of information that are more or less reliable, and c) honing one’s ability to reason.

              “we have no real idea who he was”

              But, as you insist rather insistently, you know he was CIA, because “common sense.”

              “No one arguing against me has yet addressed the contradictions.”

              Well, I just did point to one tiny little contradiction in your thinking, of which you seem to make a great deal, even if I’m not here addressing the Really Big Contradiction on which you are so intently focused. And no, I’m not going to spend too much time picking your “common sense” apart. Suffice it give this little exchange a pause right here, to give you a bit a pause. Later, if I’m feeling really bored, I may even return to address a few more details of logic in your thinking.

              . . . tic toc . . . tic toc . . . tac tik . . .

              Some time later . . . Norm gets a bit bored and returns for no apparent reason that he can think of . . .

              ”you’re indulging in the tribal pleasure of focusing on an Ideological Enemy (me) and calling me names and hugging each other.”

              Ah . . . Oh . . . are we?

              Well, then, “we” — who are your Ideological Enemies — do sincerely apologize. I mean every word. No, but sincerely. Although I don’t know if my ideological comrades are comfortable with me speaking on their behalf. But no matter. For ‘we’ are all ‘one,’ ideologically speaking, so that anyone can speak for any other, eh?

              Incidentally, speaking of name calling, whatever did you mean to imply by leveling the following question at me: “Unless you Believe in Divine Intervention. Do you?” Do you have a name for people who do? And what about a touch of disdain if they do, do you have that, too? Would this be a form of implicit name calling?

              ”Can you explain A) how it is you think it’s plausible that the most well-funded (and experienced) killing machine in history couldn’t somehow manage to kill Fidel Castro if it really wanted to[?]

              You ‘presume’ too much, it seems to me, Mr. Bunny. How do you know what I think or don’t think on this issue, Mr. Bunny. But if I had to guess an answer to your leading question, which is to say, actually think up an answer on the spot, because I have never actually thought about it until this very moment — well, I’d have to call into question the ‘claim’ that 600 attempts were ever even seriously undertaken and that, quite obviously, killing the Teflon Commander wasn’t really all that high on the list of CIA priorities while he lived, eh. And now that he is dead, well they can scratch off their list, no matter how far down it was.

              But would the fact that his name may indeed have been on a CIA “assassinations to do” list prove that he was CIA? No, Mr. Bunny. It would only suggest that the CIA had had better things to do than expend any serious and immediate efforts offing the man. It’s a big world. There is more to do than can be done, eh, even by the CIA.

              Now in every story, a little exaggeration, a little embroidery creeps in. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, by the way, but to entertain. That’s why the story is ‘funny,’ see. 600 attempts! Do you seriously think so? And you accuse us, your Ideological Enemies, of being so touchingly naive. Ah, Mr. Bunny, how touching, indeed.

              Until next time, ce n’est qu’un au revoir mon petit Lapin de Pâques — ou devrais-je dire, mon petit paranoïaque américain? 😉

              –N

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              • “Common sense is really over rated, Mr. Bunny. Common sense is just ‘consensus,’ …”.

                Ha ha! No: wrong. You can build consensus around common sense but they aren’t the same thing. Here’s some common sense: don’t lock up a bunch of horny priests in a school or church with a bunch of children.

                “well, I’d have to call into question the ‘claim’ that 600 attempts were ever even seriously undertaken ”

                As do I, clearly.

                “killing the Teflon Commander wasn’t really all that high on the list of CIA priorities while he lived, eh”

                Also my point.

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                • No, Mr. Bunny. Your point is: a) there were 600 attempts on Castro’s life; b) all 600 attempts failed; c) therefore, Castro was a CIA agent.

                  My point is: a) if there had been more than a “few” serious and concerted attempts by the CIA to kill Castro, he probably would have died long ago; b) therefore what may have been a “few” attempts became — in the spirit of telling a good and entertaining story to amplify the large than life reputation of Fidel — 600 attempts; and c) none of this, regardless of the actual number of attempts to eliminate Fidel, can possibly enlighten those who were not privy to the details of his actual life as to whether or not he was a CIA agent. Capiche?

                  You see, just because the CIA doesn’t off you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are CIA or their friend.

                  I mean, the company hasn’t murdered me and a lot of other people — yet.

                  Does that mean that I and all those other people are all CIA assets, in one form or another?

                  Carrot, anyone?

                  Like

                • “No, Mr. Bunny. Your point is: a) there were 600 attempts on Castro’s life; b) all 600 attempts failed; c) therefore, Castro was a CIA agent.”

                  Nope. Please pay attention, Norm. I said the “638” was a random number; it’s bullshit; it’s part of the myth. I said if they wanted Castro dead, he’d be dead. I said that the Castro myth is so full of contradictions that it’s absurd, and that people who resist or at least question the legitimacy of Empire should, first of all, wean themselves from the stories that Empire tells them.

                  That’s all!

                  Thanks!

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                • “You see, just because the CIA doesn’t off you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are CIA or their friend.
                  I mean, the company hasn’t murdered me and a lot of other people — yet.
                  Does that mean that I and all those other people are all CIA assets, in one form or another?
                  Carrot, anyone?”

                  Sorry, Norm, I didn’t realize you were supposedly a thorn in Washington’s side, and the Hemisphere’s most high-profile anti-Capitalist, for half of the 20th century! Respect, Norm! Respect.

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                • Dear Mr. Bunny,

                  I guess I misconstrued your argument. My sincere apologies.

                  Let me pay closer attention. You write:

                  We see what happens to prominent anti-Capitalists: they’re killed/ deposed/ discredited/ imprisoned by powerful techno-fascist “American” forces all over the Western Hemisphere. Yet the most famous “anti-Capitalist” of the century was allowed to run his little Kingdom for decades, right in Washington’s back yard, without being killed/ deposed/ discredited/ imprisoned… in fact (as I point out elsewhere) the propaganda arm of the Empire spread romantic legends about this famous “anti-Capitalist” to burnish his legend. Does this in any way make sense? Common sense indicates that the “anti-Capitalist” wasn’t an anti-Capitalist at all. He was playing an important part in the layered Realpolitik of the Era and the Region. Perhaps he was his own man while performing this function, since we have no real idea who he was. Not anymore than we knew Kennedy.

                  So according to you, Fidel was either his own man, in which case he was a useful idiot — like the rest of us () who are your Ideological Enemies — or he was very much in cahoots with the masters of the Empire of Chaos.

                  You admit that you don’t know.

                  But obviously, if the masters of the Empire of Chaos had really wanted him dead – well, they would have had him dead. Because, as you point out, they have often traveled half way around the globe to destroy entire societies far more capable of defending themselves than Cuba ever could.

                  So from this you conclude that obviously the masters of the Empire of Chaos didn’t want Fidel dead or Cuba destroyed, but just as he and Cuba were, which proves, according to you, that “[h]e was playing an important part in the layered Realpolitik of the Era and the Region,” either consciously or not.

                  On the other hand, when “common sense” is given its due, it “. . . indicates that the “anti-Capitalist” wasn’t an anti-Capitalist at all.”

                  That Fidel and his Cuba were not destroyed proves that Fidel was pro-capitalist, that is, that he was all about granting a certain coterie of individuals the legal right to own everything and to profit thereby at the expense of the Cuban majority. And that’s the rub and the nub of your argument. But being ‘half in and half out’ of our brainwashing, “we” just don’t see it, but you do.

                  To recap in a nutshell, then, if I understand you correctly: you know that Fidel was really pro-private-property in the means of production and ipso facto in favor of exploiting the working class because the U.S. didn’t bother murdering him or reversing the gains of the social revolution in Cuba, either of which, if it had really wanted to, it could easily have accomplished.

                  If that’s the case, why the embargo? Why strangle a regime whose putative dictator was all about private property and profit? Because the dictator was a hostage to a socialist revolution? A revolution that he himself fomented and lead? And if the revolution was only a socialist illusion, but really a capitalist advance, why proscribe trade with Cuba? Does this make sense to you?

                  As to why the U.S. didn’t clobber Cuba and Fidel the way it did Libya and Gaddafi and other wayward nations and their leaders, could it be that those other societies promised to be, for the trouble and cost in treasure, more lucrative ventures in the short term or that they were strategically more important geopolitically speaking? As powerful as the U.S. is, it’s resources aren’t infinite, and resource allocation is a matter of prioritizing tasks. Furthermore, not every problem to be resolved is as urgent as every other.

                  Maybe Fidel and the Cuba he lead survived as long as he and it did for nothing more than being a low level priority for the hegemon. Or maybe the U.S. couldn’t actually muster the Cuban compradors it needed to properly manage the island on its behalf, as this class of collaborators had been liquidated by the revolution, while elsewhere in the world such collaborators were more aplenty.

                  But Cuba did have a revolution. The old order was overturned and a new one put in its place to better serve by orders of magnitude, despite all attempts to economically strangle the island nation, the Cuban people, a thing this new order has done and continues to do.

                  If Castro was, as you claim, pro-capitalist, the revolution itself wasn’t. And if Castro had persisted in his pro-capitalist aspirations as leader of the revolution, the revolution itself would have sealed his fate long ago.

                  It is far more likely, therefore, that Fidel faithfully served his mandate as the leader of the revolution heart and soul than duplicitously.

                  That Cuba stands in defiance of capital is not an illusion, and that Castro stood with Cuba is also not fantasy. As much as he may have survived for as long as he did because the U.S. didn’t really prioritize his murder, he likewise could not have ruled Cuba for as long as he did if he had in any way significantly betrayed his promise to his people.

                  Your argument is not very convincing.

                  Castro did not betray the revolution, but for the Cuban people, embodied and inspired it.

                  Yes, I know: I’m still half in and half out of my brainwashing.

                  Later, my dear rabbit.

                  Like

                • Norman!

                  Listen, this comment thread isn’t really set up to facilitate a conversation/debate with so many responses. It’s getting harder to find reply-buttons. I’ll respond this time and then I’m probably out, but it’s been good to chat with you… at least you engaged my arguments in good faith, without just tossing a hissy fit and calling me names and marching around the room with a banner! Laugh

                  Your reading of my argument(s) still diverges from my intended points, in places. But let’s go beyond my entry-point for suspicions of Fidel being a Mole for the Capitalist Forces (eg his implausible longevity and romantic Western media profile; the fact that, after three generations of rule, Fidel hadn’t managed to raise a new crop of anti-Capitalists capable of taking his place as he aged into ill health): look at Fidel in Africa closely.

                  Look at Fidel, for example, as he intervenes between Somalia and Ethiopia, supposedly to arbitrate, initially: he ends up backing the bloody Mengistu and pushing the situation to war; Castro’s enthusiastic backing of a genocidal warlord ends up tearing Ethiopia apart and wasting African lives and wasting lots and lots of the USSR’s dwindling money/resources. The end result being that after a mere 16 years, or so, the US regains influence in Ethiopia (a fulcrum in Africa) for the first time since Selasie’s decline (and death under a pillow), the USSR dissolves, weakened by that and the quagmire in Afghanistan… the entire episode played out in a classic Brzezinski-Hegelian way. As of today, “The United States is the largest donor to Ethiopia: in 2008 U.S. foreign aid to Ethiopia totaled US$969 million, in 2009 US$916, with 2010 estimated at US$513 and US$586 requested for 2011.”

                  Now, either Castro very stupidly let his ideology blind him when he threw his (and encouraged the USSR’s involvement, by whispering in Honecker’s ear) military weight behind that bloody fuck Mengistu (we won’t even mention Ethiopia’s so-called “Red Terror”), or he was playing a deeper game, and helping The Capitalists turn Ethiopia into an exploding cigar that blew up right in Moscow’s face. Fidel “helped” Africa, in that case, by facilitating the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Africans. To quote a Somalian on the occasion of Fidel’s death:

                  “Fidel Castro is to us Somalis what George W Bush is to Iraqis – an imperialist warmonger. Castro was big part of the reason why thousands of our people died and millions more became refugees in the late 1970s. Many more died of thirst and starvation trying their best to get away from his troops who were unleashing hell in western Somalia.
                  Those who managed to escape his troops – only to waste away their lives in Luuq Jeelow and Qoryooley refugee camps – will tell you Castro should have been taken to the ICC before he died.
                  A Somali should never call Castro a revolutionary or a hero!
                  We are better off without him!”

                  After reading about Fidel a little deeper, since Chavez’ death, I’m come to the conclusion that Fidel was a Mole who worked with Capitalist Intelligence Structures (CIA? Probably, but there are many spook-rooms in the Capitalist Mansion) as controlled opposition, keeping radical activities South of the US Border under surveillance, diluting Revolutionary efforts in Cuba and the region, and helping, very subtly, to fuck with Moscow. In exchange he was installed as the King in his tiny Kingdom, an experiment that was never meant to outlive him. Like so many politicians, he was power-mad; ideology was his mask and shield; he was very good at crafting a Global Media Persona to hide the obvious contradictions. Duh People need their Campbellian Hero Tales and Fidel gave them a good one. But it just doesn’t add up.

                  Thanks for the chat, Norm!

                  Like

                • Sorry, Not Buying It says

                  “To quote a Somalian on the occasion of Fidel’s death”

                  “A Somalian” is meaningless category, as though Somalians were a single homogeneous group without varying class interests, perspectives and positions. Would we simply credit “an American” on the upcoming inauguration of Trump or on the legacy of Obama? Or, indeed, “a Cuban” on the legacy of Castro? I have a Lebanese friend who assures me that “most” Lebanese people backed Israel’s bombing of that country a few years ago (in reality, he had spoken to a few of his cousins in northern Lebanon, which he took to somehow be representative of the mood of the entire country), whereas an international poll showed that some 80 percent opposed it. I have a friend who traveled to Russia and assures me that “most” Russians dislike Lenin and Stalin after he spoke to a few Moscow liberals, whereas an international pole found that over 50% viewed Stalin favorably. Who is this Somalian person you’re quoting, anyway?

                  “Many more died of thirst and starvation trying their best to get away from his troops who were unleashing hell in western Somalia.”

                  Oh, did they now? This sounds precipitously close to the horror stories the CIA was inventing and disseminating about Cuban soldiers raping Angolan women (even though their internal reports confirmed that the Cuban forces behaved admirably towards the population).

                  The Cubans did back Mengistu at first because they saw him as Ethiopia’s best hope among the assemblage of competing forces, but they later regretted their decision when his unsavory aspects became apparent and undeniable. To the extent that they did facilitate the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and Somalians, Castro certainly holds responsibility and should be denounced for that, but what I’m saying is: let’s not be TOO hasty to adopt Reaganesque talking points.

                  Like

                • “To the extent that they did facilitate the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and Somalians, Castro certainly holds responsibility and should be denounced for that, but what I’m saying is: let’s not be TOO hasty to adopt Reaganesque talking points.”

                  A) Re: the first bit of this: in other words, we absolutely agree on all that, and B) re: the “talking points” riff: at least half of the anti-Hillary Clinton arguments I presented, last year, in a thousand threads in the (neo) Liberal Virtual Heartland…arguments about War Crimes and corruption… happened also to be “Right-wing talking points”. As the pro-HRC crowd was quick to point out. In fact, that was their only defense of HRC’s record… that the damning facts against her were “Right wing talking points”. But were they True? That’s what counts. If David Duke starts asserting, boldly, that E=MC squared, does it become untrue?

                  Like

    • chrisb says

      The ‘Castro was a CIA agent’ theory was based on his involvement in bankrupting the USSR.

      Like

      • Doubtless, you are correct, that some big players willfully dedicated themselves to, as you put, bankrupting the USSR. But then ‘bankrupting’ the USSR was only possible because that economy continued to operate, in structural terms. on capitalistic principles: supply and demand embedded in a currency framework.

        With or without conspirators to bring it down, the USSR’s economy had to flounder, in exactly the same way and for the same reasons that all economies around the world are currently floundering: wage/salary workers, who collectively earn the money which is the aggregate purchasing demand in the system, do not and cannot posses the purchasing power to buy all the goods and services on offer by for-profit enterprise.

        You see, wages and salaries, which are the wherewithal of the consumer class, are a ‘cost of production,’ and one of only many items in the column of the ‘costs of production’ cannot possibly equal the overall ‘cost of production,’ so that there is always an insurmountable shortfall between the aggregate purchasing power in any society operating on capitalist principles and what the capitalist class wants for its products, eh.

        So things crash and money gets printed, and how they do try to get what can’t work to work, except that it does, for the rich, that is, since the money that gets printed and loaned out is ‘their’ private property and prerogative: it is ‘their’ money, whether already in circulation or about to be minted.

        With or without a conspiracy afoot, and there are always a great many, capitalism, too, is a movie, eh, to echo Mr. Bunny’s sentiments about delusions more generally.

        Like

  3. James Carless says

    And what is even more annoying for the cold war warriors is that Castro’s legacy will outlive and outshine that of the next 10 American Presidents .Compare him to the crook Nixon,the murderer LBJ,the adled Reagan,the corrupt Clintons, CIA chief Bush and his idiot son,and now Trump .
    No contest.
    Political pygmies with a massive military versus a giant of modern history that survived 603 assassination attempts and the longest quarantine of any nation.
    Farewell Fidel your legacy will live on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The CIA and Cuban exiles never forgave JFK for this «betrayal» and exacted retribution by blowing the president’s head off as his motorcade drove through Dallas on November 22, 1963.” The mystery’s been solved!? That’s news to me. Did the CIA have reason to dislike JFK. Everyone those bas tards dealt with had a reason to hate JFK. He was traitorous slime of the highest order.

    Like

    • “He was traitorous slime of the highest order.”

      That’s a fine example of the good old kinder, gentler, Rightwing Christian attitude! So to your collection of Irrational Beliefs I can, presumably, add the idiot’s sin of Patriotism? Perfect.

      Like

  5. “One measure of his historical significance is expressed in the fact that he outlasted 10 US presidents by the time of his official retirement from politics in 2008 due to declining health. Counting incumbent Barack Obama, Fidel’s political life spanned 11 US presidencies. ”

    Well, that’s one of the obvious advantages of declaring oneself Leader for Life, surely. Are we pretending Fidel was there, that long, because The People wouldn’t even think of trying out the vision of another, younger, Revolutionary Leader, at some point?

    Lefty Spin and Myth-making are generally lots less toxic than Righty Propaganda (and it’s better to read hyperbolic hagiography in the wake of Fidel’s death than it was reading the same kind of bullshit after Reagan… or even NIXON!… transitioned into a god), but, for me, as a Lefty (anti-war, anti-greed, anti-Jesus, anti-car, anti-Twitter/Facebook/i-phone, anti-aristocracy), Lefty Spin is more exasperating. How will we ever peel the hairy hands of the Right off the steering wheel (of the dynamite truck of the West) if we soften ourselves on Fairy tales morning, noon and night? A journey of a thousand miles begins with choosing realistically sturdy boots; those footie pajamas won’t do…

    Like

    • Why would any ‘Lefty’ be against Jesus? Even if you choose to be not religious, What’s wrong with someone who preached love and fairness and honesty? Good grief! Who are you?

      Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, believe me, the last thing I want to do is run afoul of your Imaginary, Bearded, Vaguely-Levantine, Anus-Free Sky Giant! He’s a Bronze-Age Creation Myth… He’s liable to do something rash! So, I am definitely going to “get lost”, because you told me to… you’re just that powerful… in fact, I’m not even leaving this comment! (shudder)!

            So, in the past two weeks I’ve managed to run afoul of those who Believe (in roughly this order): Hillary, Trump, Fidel and the J-Dawgg (aka the Son of Man): the theme is Believers.. and Belief as a cheap and convenient ersatz for Thinking! Food for Thought? Nah.

            Love,

            The Easter Bunny

            Like

            • So Mr. Super-Ego Special Alpha-Thinker Easter Bunny: what good have you done for the world in yr entire life that might compete with the good that Mr. Fidel Castro managed between breakfast and lunch on any given day in his life?
              Your cynical crapping on the “belief/believers” in the internationalism and socialism that Castro embodied is rather easy, isn’t it? The admiration for Castro is just another proof of how stupid we humans all are compared to a super-Bunny like yrself, hmmm?

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah Mr. Easter Bunny, you got it wrong with the footsy-pajamas too: Castro was a fighter from day one, and he wasn’t afraid to get his footsies dirty. Whether it be helping them “poor” Africans fight the imperialists or getting medical aid to them “filthy” untermenschen in Haiti. Oh yes, he did even speak with those places where they adore that “Sky-giant” too, here he is in a Harlem church: https://youtu.be/RGLFfx88ZlY

              Liked by 1 person

              • “The admiration for Castro is just another proof of how stupid we humans all are compared to a super-Bunny like yrself, hmmm?”

                Basically, yes. Some people are genuinely stupid and many are what I’d call Stupids of Convenience… the latter group comprised largely of very confused boy-men with no real sense of identity, looking for Father Figures to fill a void (if you’ll pardon the expression). Fidel, R Ron Hubbard, Reagan, Marx, Trotsky, Obama, Gandhi, Mandela, Kerouac, MLK, Mx, Zizek, Miles, Jesus, Kanye… it’s all the same. All are just holograms projected on the walls of the Imperial bubble. What you’re not able to do is step outside of your deep conditioning and ask yourself how, exactly, you heard of their wonderful feats in the first place. Who advertized these figures to you in your tender, malleable youth? Yep: those Organs of Liberation called Time, Life, Newsweek, CBS, PBS, the New York Times…! Laugh.

                Yeah, you’d be surprised how similar, to your touching, wide-eyed, prayer for St. Fidel, the stuff that “Liberals” gush, in defence of Obama, is. Ditto the stuff I’ve had to hear about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump these past few weeks. Everyone thinks THEIR god is the best, obviously. Good luck convincing any of them otherwise, though it would be cool to see you all in a room together, wearing your various t-shirts and brandishing your various megaphones.

                I haven’t done a damned thing for “the world”, and neither have you… but at least I don’t work for the CIA/NSA/Pentagon/ Goldman Sachs. Neither am I a “useful idiot”. I’m just a person who’s absolutely sick and fucking tired of nonstop Bullshit… even the Bullshit I was force- fed as a kid and expected to love! It’s all worthless as a crucifix or any other crutch.

                You’ll get there one day, buddy. You’ve got time.

                Like

              • “Oh yes, he did even speak with those places where they adore that “Sky-giant” too, here he is in a Harlem church…”

                Newsflash, Candide: that’s exactly the kind of Photo Op Politicians thrive on. And LBJ did lots of good during the Civil Rights Era (because: Cold War), btw. The good stuff was useful (that’s how we Serfs get good stuff, you know: only ever as means to various Oligarchic goals)… but LBJ remains LBJ, another power-hungry Daddy. Unless you have a passionate speech to make about Him, too…?

                Like

                • “Passionate speeches”… no, don’t have one about LBJ, maybe that is because whilst LBJ was helping slaughter ca. 3 million Vietnamese, Castro was busy developing the education and health systems in Cuba and other socialist allies to record levels. That has nothing to do with “beliefs”, the data is all there for anyone to see, facts that an Easter-Bunny super-thinker should appreciate.

                  Your other “scathing” criticism of Fidel Castro is a typical reactionary rant: he was a “dictator”, why didn’t he let a “younger” leader take his place. If you had spent all of 2 minutes “thinking” of how the Cuban political system is organized, you would have realized that the “average Joe” in Cuba has much more control over his life thru e.g. the local CDR committees, who have to answer to their neighbours, not some corporate lobbyist. As for the “younger” replacement for Castro being inherently better: you yrself must see how silly this “argument” is. Do you read books only by “young” auther(esses)? Do the USA “elections” replacing one Tweedle with another Tweedledum prove that you are correct? The litany of USA presidents and their relatively “short” terms in comparison with Fidel Castro’s offers no solice, especially as “proof” of “democracy”.

                  They screamed “dictator” at Mr. Ghaddaffi too, before murdering him: he, who had ruled Libya to result in the highest standard of living in Africa, who had a vision of Africa with its own currency, free of the US-Dollar… ahhh, but he was a “dictator”. So it was alright to dispise and kill him, right?

                  No, Mr. Easter Bunny, I find your allergic rant against “passion” and your rather trollish attitude here rather self-serving. And for that reason, ADIOS… and have fun staring at yr belly-button!

                  Liked by 1 person

              • “Yeah Mr. Easter Bunny, you got it wrong with the footsy-pajamas too: Castro was a fighter from day one, and he wasn’t afraid to get his footsies dirty. ”

                I wasn’t referring to Fidel’s pajamas, I was referring to yours. Of course Fidel was a “fighter”… but what you’re too brainwashed to see it what he was “fighting” for.

                “Your other “scathing” criticism of Fidel Castro is a typical reactionary rant: he was a “dictator”, why didn’t he let a “younger” leader take his place.”

                Since when is logic “reactionary”? It’s just glaringly obvious that if Fidel’s supposed mission had been his actual mission, a generation of hand-picked Revolutionaries would have come up under his rule, educated by “anti-Capitalist” principles, come of age and been ready to take over by the time Fidel was too old to continue ruling. Instead, Fidel handed the mantel to his “younger” (laugh) brother! You’re so in love with a Mythology that your brain no longer functions, which is the function of Ideology: to replace the power to think with pre-approved “thoughts” supplied by those who need to control you. You’ll tie yourself in rhetorical knots as self-contradicting as any number of Mainstream Myths rather than give up on the precious fantasy. A fantasy, ironically, that’s as (Oedipally) Bourgeois as its main proponents and beneficiaries.

                But far be it from me to spoil your fun. I’m not writing these comments for you, in any case. I’m not writing them for any Believers to freak out over (that’s just a predicable and amusing side-effect).

                Let’s just hope the Off Guardian doesn’t morph into the On Guardian and start expecting all of its readers to toe the same Party Line, eh?

                Like

                • “They screamed “dictator” at Mr. Ghaddaffi too, before murdering him: he, who had ruled Libya to result in the highest standard of living in Africa, who had a vision of Africa with its own currency, free of the US-Dollar… ahhh, but he was a “dictator”. So it was alright to dispise and kill him, right?”

                  Ha! Good old flame-war dirty tricks. Put words in my mouth, then actually attempt to co-opt my arguments as your own: I taught most of my acquaintances the statistics about Libya’s once-high standard of living, read Gaddafi’s Green Book, harried all my “liberal” friends about his rape/murder. I never called Fidel a “dictator” (a melodramatic word good for use in “Left” or “Right” flaming, I see). I called him a Mole.

                  Like

                • Hey Anthony B, DON’T feed the trolls… this guy StAug fits the description to the t(rolls): has contempt for what he calls “all stupid humans” , he is self-proclaimed lefter-than-left, righter-than-right, and his green book is greener than Omar’s. You will never change his self-adoring party-line, no matter how honourable your comments tried! Fidel por siempre!

                  Like

                • One of the True Believers writes:

                  “Hey Anthony B, DON’T feed the trolls… this guy StAug fits the description to the t(rolls)…”

                  To which I write: I’m happy to play the “troll” (aka Dissident) while you play the Herd. I was called a “troll” by Clintonites and Trumpers all last week and I consider it a badge of honor. Only adolescents need the chummy affirmation of consensus; grownups know that pointing out the Emperor’s naked ass is a tough gig. Enjoy your Herding!

                  Like

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