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December 22, 2016 7:24 am

A World of Hypocrites: Praising Fidel Castro, While Criticizing Israel

avatar by Manfred Gerstenfeld

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The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Photo: Alchetron.

The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Photo: Alchetron.

When Fidel Castro died, the Washington Post published an opinion article on his multiple crimes. The author wrote that Castro “killed political rivals, used firing squads to kill thousands of Cubans, sponsored terrorism, allied himself with the worst dictators on earth, built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.”

In the US, the State Department’s designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism was only rescinded in 2015, seven years after Castro left Cuba’s presidency.

It was thus to be expected that on the occasion of Castro’s death, a large array of democratic governments and others would point out the deceased Cuban leader’s criminality. In reality, their reactions to Castro’s death fall into three categories: those that were positive, those that were negative and those that were neutral or circumspect.

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The strongest negative response came from President-elect Donald Trump. He said: “Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

The list of democratic politicians who had positive things to say about Cuba’s cruel ruler was far longer. Irish President Michael D. Higgins said, “Fidel Castro will be remembered as a giant among global leaders whose view was not only one of freedom for his people but for all of the oppressed and excluded peoples on the planet.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also whitewashed the Cuban dictator: “Fidel Castro was a larger-than-life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.” This statement sparked a great deal of criticism in Canada.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted: “With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many.” Former US President Jimmy Carter said, “Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro.”

Under Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s Labour Party, antisemitism has blossomed. He said: “Fidel Castro’s death marks the passing of a huge figure of modern history, national independence and 20th century socialism.”

The third group consisted of the more neutral or circumspect statements. Outgoing UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said, “At this time of national mourning, I offer the support of the United Nations to work alongside the people of the island.”

French socialist President François Hollande said, “Fidel Castro was a towering figure of the 20th century. He incarnated the Cuban revolution, in both its hopes and subsequent disillusionments.”

President Barack Obama hid the truth in his statement: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.” To make sure that the president’s avoidance of the truth was not misunderstood, John Kerry said, “We extend our condolences to the Cuban people today as they mourn the passing of Fidel Castro. Over more than half a century, he played an outsized role in their lives, and he influenced the direction of regional, even global affairs.”

The above list of hypocritical statements reflects the sorry state of the democratic world. Among those positive or neutral about Castro many are ongoing critics of Israel. They often even condemn the building of a few houses over the green line. At the same time, they are either positive or neutral about a man responsible for mass killings, huge abuses of human rights and massive export of terrorism.

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