Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Castro's Apologists Reveal Their Anti-democratic Tendencies

A while ago I was doing some work for a government agency and I was surprised to see one of the staff had a picture of Che Guevara as the screen background on his PC. I somewhat facetiously asked him whether he alternated the image with others of murderous secret police chiefs such as Heinrich Himmler, Lavrentiy Beria and Erich Mielke. He seemed unaware that Che Guevara was the head of Fidel Castro's secret police and ran the Cuban dictator's concentration camps and that he personally killed hundreds of Castro's political opponents.

I recalled this incident while reading some of the tributes to Castro over the weekend, particularly the fawning eulogies from left-wing politicians like Justin Trudeau and Jeremy Corbyn, and it got me thinking about why so many on the left seem to be wilfully blind to the crimes against humanity of Communist dictators like Castro, Stalin, Mao and Kim Il-Sung. I say wilfully because, unlike the public servant above, I cannot believe these Western politicians are unaware of the crimes of those they admire.

Why are democratically-elected Western leaders so keen to embrace and legitimise dictatorial thugs? I think the answer is obvious and revealing, like a political Freudian slip. Most Western leaders believe in big government as the solution to all the world's problems and there is no bigger form of government than brutal dictatorship. In praising Castro, they are revealing their secret pining for the free hand he had to do whatever he wanted. As Mark Steyn put it, 'if you believe in big problems that demand big government solutions, democracy just gets in the way.'

The distrust of democracy amongst Western leaders has been all too evident this year in their responses to the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election. Their churlish dismissal of the voters as ignorant, racist and xenophobic has revealed their distaste of the reality of democracy. They like the pretence of having a democratic mandate but only when voters stick to the script they have written.

The very worst thing about the reaction of these Western apologists to Castro's death is their arrogance in thinking they can speak for the Cuban people, such as Trudeau's observation that the dictator 'served his people for almost half a century.' It takes a particularly weasel-like hypocrisy to label Castro's extra-judicial killing of thousands of his countrymen and his imprisonment of tens of thousands of his political opponents as 'serving his people'.

The only aspect of Castro's death that is regrettable is that he died in his sleep and thereby denied his oppressed people the opportunity of seeing him hang for his crimes.

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