In 1996, Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott--the daughter of German immigrants--came under fire for her comments painting Adolf Hitler. Schott said that German people initially liked what Hitler did for their country, "but then he went too far". Schott was belittled in the press and was eventually suspended from running the team and was forced to sell the franchise by Major League Baseball. She died a few years later a broken woman. For most of the weekend I thought Marge Schott had risen from the dead as I heard about the liberal tributes to Fidel Castro.
Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein--who is forcing a recount of Wisconsin's votes even though every political expert says there is no chance of overturning Donald Trump's win--posted on Twitter "Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire". President Obama issued a statement saying "History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him." Madison Mayor Paul Soglin--who illegally met with Castro in Cuba back in the 1970's--called him a "popular leader who inspired generations of Cubans". Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went full-on fan boy referring to Castro as a "larger than life leader that served his people" and that his "supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people". Former British Labour Party chairman Jeremy Corbyn called Castro a "Champion of Social Justice".
These accolades stood in stark contrast to the comments from Cuban-Americans who fled the island after Castro came to power--targeting them for political dissent or seizing the assets of their family businesses. They tell the stories of family members left behind that were imprisoned without trial, executed upon Castro's orders only, and the refusal to never hold democratic elections during his 50-years in power. And let's not forget the thousands that died trying to flee Cuba in homemade rafts or boats that sank and capsized in the ocean.
You can understand why all of those liberals choose to ignore the egregious human rights violations and instead choose to focus on what they consider to be all of the "good things" Castro did for Cubans. He held a power that they all covet. Castro decided what type of speech would be allowed. Castro decided what products would be produced in his country. Castro decided what curriculum would be taught in all schools. Castro controlled the health care system. Castro took riches away from those who had "exploited the workers" before he came to power. Castro was a "champion of social justice" as he decided what was a crime and what the punishment would be--without the hassle of passing laws or holding trials. And the fact that he thumbed his nose at the United States for so long just endeared him even more to the American Left. It's just too bad that he "went a bit too far" in exerting that control.