November 26th, 2016

Fidel Castro is dead at 90

The news comes as something of a shock—not because Castro has died, but because he was still alive till now and only 90 years old. After all, this was a man who came to power during the Eisenhower presidency, and was thwarted along with Khrushchev by JFK during the Cuban missile crisis that frightened me and my contemporaries so terribly in our youth.

So it seems he should have been a great deal older than 90 by now. But since he took office at the very young age of 32, it makes sense.

Castro began as a much-lauded figure. As the Miami Herald puts it:

Millions cheered Fidel Castro on the day he entered Havana. Millions more fled the communist dictator’s repressive police state, leaving behind their possessions, their families, the island they loved and often their very lives. It’s part of the paradox of Castro that many people belonged to both groups.

It’s not really such a paradox; revolutionaries and their revolutions often have a habit of betraying those who supported them, once the transition is safely over. And then they have a way of digging in.

Castro was exceptionally well-dug-in:

As he changed the face of Cuba, he remapped South Florida as well, transforming it from the southernmost tip of the United States to the northernmost point of Latin America. The suffering of the refugees he sent pouring into Miami eventually turned to triumph as they forged economic and political success.

He was a spellbinding orator who was also a man of action. His tall and powerful build was matched by an outsized ego, boundless energy and extraordinary luck that carried him to victory as a guerrilla leader in 1959 against nearly impossible odds, then helped him survive countless plots hatched by his countless enemies.

Every newspaper will have an article (or several) today on Castro’s life, and this will probably continue for quite a while to come. He was one of the 20th Century giants, and I don’t mean that in a good way. As the Miami Herald writes, Castron was “provocative” on the world stage.

Fellow dictators and leftists tended to love him; those interested in liberty and human rights to hate him. And they’re dancing in the streets today in Miami:

“We’re not celebrating the death of a person. That would be morbid,” she said. “We’re celebrating the beginning of the end of a dictatorship, of a genocide.”

That was a common theme for many dancing in the streets on Saturday. They know that Cuba won’t suddenly change overnight, that Cuban President Raúl Castro remains in charge and that the powerful communist government the brothers put in place will not suddenly topple.

But Joseph Valencia said Fidel’s death was the first crack, the first tangible sign of hope that communism could end in Cuba and a new era of democracy could finally take hold.

Let us hope.

34 Responses to “Fidel Castro is dead at 90”

  1. Michael Adams Says:

    Glory, Hallelujah!

  2. Dirtyjobsguy Says:

    I’ve always thought that a good response to foolish young lefties was to note how many US presidents served during Castro’s rule. It’s more effective to list them

    Ike, JFK,lbj, Nixon ,ford,Carter, Reagan,bush the elder,Clinton,bush the younger, Obama

    That doesn’t count the two term era who faced the voters. There is no more dramatic illustration of a successful republic tha t that

  3. F Says:

    So many “revolutions” turn into tyrannies. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? And how the subjects of the tyrants remain poor while the leaders enter the ranks of world’s richest men.

    Yet still today we have Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren promising free college education to kids in exchange for votes. Be careful what you wish for. Free stuff is never free.

  4. The Other Chuck Says:

    Neo, I love the typo and epithet Castron.
    As to Castro, puede él pudrirse en el infierno!

  5. NeoConScum Says:

    May the Communist Butcher turn on a spit in Hell for Eternity. Cuddle-up on the aforementioned with Comrade Fellow Butcher, Che. What horrors of inexpressible carnage the disciples of Marx & Lenin have wrought upon the globe for most of the Twentieth Century and some of The 21st.

    Anyone wishing for a glimpse into Fidel’s Socialist Paradise need go no further than Armando Valladares’, “Against All Hope”, (Knopf, 1986).

  6. Cornhead Says:

    My high school Spanish teacher escaped Fidel’s firing squad. True story.

    Castro died with a net worth of $900m. Clintonesque.

  7. sdferr Says:

    Hat-tip to Mike Doran’s twitter feed (and of which statement Doran says “The prime minister of Canada will likely regret this expression of friendship toward Castro), a link to the statement of the Prime Minister of Canada:

    “It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

    “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.

    “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

    “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

    “On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

    Could Trudeau find a more pathetic and grotesque misrepresentation of Castro’s various crimes and debaucheries of justice in his iron-fisted misrule of the Cubans? Somehow I doubt it.

  8. Vanderleun Says:

    “Drive him fast to his tomb.”

  9. Paul in Boston Says:

    Whenever someone tells me that Castro’s regime was wonderful I always ask them why so many were willing to sail across 90 miles of shark infested water in a bathtub to get away? Good riddance, unfortunately not nearly soon enough.

  10. eeyore Says:

    When family members talked of the greatness of Castro or Mao, I tried to give them alternative views and gave them books from those who lived through those regimes. None of them wanted these opposing views which were full of truly horrific events that they just don’t want to know. Breaking the myth is difficult as shown by the Che love shown by those who he would have unhesitantly executed.

  11. Gringo Says:

    Canada’s Trudeau on Fidel:
    A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

    Those who tout all the great things that the Castro regime did in health and education, such as Bernie Sanders or Prime Minister Trudeau, often ignore two important facts. First, the Cuba that Castro inherited in 1959 was relatively well off. In the 1950s. Cuba had 0.95 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants, which compared well with the US and with Europe. Portugal had 0.8 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants in 1960. Second, other countries have had comparable improvements in health and/or education without imposing a totalitarian regime.

    In 1960, the year after Castro took power, Cuba ranked third in Life Expectancy in Latin America, behind Argentina and Uruguay. In 2014, Cuba ranked third in Life Expectancy in Latin America, behind Chile and Uruguay. To the best of my knowledge, neither Prime Minister Trudeau nor Bernie Sanders have ever acknowledged the accomplishments of Chile or Uruguay in health care. Only caudillos [a.k.a. Commie tyrants] merit their praise, apparently.

    While Cuba has improved its health care in the nearly 58 years since Castro took power, other countries have made similar or better improvements. From 1960 to 2014, Life Expectancy in Latin America improved 19.1 years compared to Cuba’s improvement of 15.5 years over the same time. In 1960, Cuba’s Life Expectancy was 8.24 years greater than Life Expectancy for Latin America. In 2014, Cuba’s Life Expectancy was 4.67 years greater than Life Expectancy for Latin America. This shows that the rest of Latin America had made considerable progress in reducing the gap in Life Expectancy with Cuba- reducing the gap nearly in half.

    Interesting how neither Bernie Sanders or Prime Minister Trudeau never acknowledged that the rest of Latin America was also doing pretty well on improving Life Expectancy and thus health care. Sorta kills their caudillo-worship. If facts get in the way of caudillo-worship, ignore them.

    Prime Minister is correct that Fidel was a “legendary orator.” Anyone who can talk for 8-10-12 hours straight is legendary.

    World Development Indicators Databank (World Bank)

  12. DNW Says:

    So, Hell has a new citizen. And he thought it was hot in Cuba.

    Flambe Fidel. Forever.

  13. Vanderleun Says:

    Ann Coulter’s reaction to the news: “What a great month!”

  14. Yancey Ward Says:

    It will be interesting to see if Obama attends the funeral. It would be a disgrace if he did, so I am betting he does.

  15. Cornhead Says:

    1. Can we expect rioting? Maybe the BLM people can fly down and help out.

    2. One of his bodyguards was a loyalist and then discovered the truth of Castro’s corruption. He wrote a book telling all.

  16. Cornhead Says:

    Buy book through Neo’s portal

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The hypocritical contradiction of a ‘Leader’ who amassed a 900 MILLION dollar fortune in a country where, except for the party elite… it is illegal to make more than $20 a month… speaks volumes of the man’s character. That he ordered the imprisonment, torture and killing of those of opposing opinion demonstrates him to be a mass murderer.

    Those who honor such a man are beneath contempt.

  18. Gringo Says:

    The hypocritical contradiction of a ‘Leader’ who amassed a 900 MILLION dollar fortune in a country where, except for the party elite… it is illegal to make more than $20 a month… speaks volumes of the man’s character.

    I am reminded of Mencken’s famous quip about Puritans.

    “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

    The haunting fear of the Castro brothers, by comparison, would be that someone, somewhere on the island of Cuba, is economically independent of the regime.

  19. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    If Oswald’s goal was to take the heat off Castro, he apparently succeeded marvelously well, eh?

  20. parker Says:

    I saw a funny t-shirt back at our local 4th of July festival, it had the familiar Che face with the words “White suburban kids unite for the Revolution.” The mush filled minds of those who think (regurgitate) the worship of the likes of Fidel, Che, or Mao makes them hip boggles the mind at the depths of their ignorance.

    Fidel Castro is dead and frankly, who cares?

  21. Matt_SE Says:

    I’m celebrating the death of a person.
    Burn in hell, Castro. Forever.

  22. OM Says:

    Franko is still dead, as is Che, and Fidel. Raul the bells are tolling.

  23. Big Maq Says:

    @sdfer – thanks.

    “recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”” – trudoughhead

    Just a disgusting formulation, given the reality.

  24. Frog Says:

    That the Castro regime survived is another blemish in the sorry history of the Democratic Party, especially JFK and the Bay of Pigs. In penance the nation had to endure the Cuban (nuclear) missile crisis.
    A little more than a decade later, the Democrat-majority Congress pulled the financial rug out from under the South Vietnamese. And the current Democrats surrendered the Iraq victory to….Shias and thus Iran, never mind the more recent $160 B Iran deal.
    Our recent military effort? Setting up useless “hospitals” to (ahem) fight Ebola in Liberia, after the breakout had 99% ended.

  25. Sergey Says:

    Let us hope. But my favorite quote of the week is as follows: “If the last few elections have done nothing else, it has been to convince me that history has no arc; it bends toward nothing; we are certainly ill-equipped to harness whatever power it has. Rather, it simply meanders like a lazy river; we are carried along by the current, and we label what we hope is around the next bend “justice.”

  26. OM Says:


    The King of Hindsight.

  27. J.J Says:

    The tyrant is dead, the tyranny is not.

    To have lived all these years with this seeping wound against freedom just 90 miles off our shores, is a conundrum which is, to my lights, a tragedy explained only by the progressive belief in egalitarianism. Of which, of course, Cuba is no example. Except in the minds of Che loving Communists and their fellow travelers.

    As long as the Castro regime remains in power, it is a mistake to visit this island prison. All money spent there goes directly into the regime’s pockets. And thereby strengthens their control. American tourism is the vehicle that the Castro regime hopes will replace the life giving subsidies of the USSR, and subsequently, Venezuela. Cuba has never been able to exist without subsidies from better off Communist countries. To forbid American tourism would help hasten the fall of the prison walls Castro has built.

  28. Frog Says:

    Smugness becomes you. But I am glad you appreciate the Dem pattern.

    More to the point:
    Based on letters by Khrushchev to Fidel, Fidel sought a nuclear first strike at the US from Cuba.

  29. kolnai Says:

    I’m from Florida and my step-mother and entire step-family are Cuban. Although I’m not currently there, my dad texted me the other day and said, “Party time in Florida!”

    Too bad my abuela didn’t live to see this day.

  30. OM Says:


    Hindsight about Ebola in Liberia, because as a retired Oncologist in LA you knew how the disease in Liberia would turn out. Smug indeed, your little poke at Neo seemed to me. Physician, heal thyself.

  31. Frog Says:

    OM, what you don’t know about virology, epidemiology and how and why physicians actually work and think will fill many textbooks.
    But you don’t care. OK with me.

  32. OM Says:


    What I don;t know isn’t the question it’s what you claim to know; but an oncologist isn’t an epidemiologist or is it, oh mighty Froggy? Or is an oncologist a virologist too? “I know about some facets of medicine so I can speak as an authority on all!” Is that how the rules of Froggy work?

  33. Big Maq Says:

    @JJ – right, just like chavez’s passing didn’t relieve the Venezuelan citizens of their nightmare.

    When the Berlin wall fell, many cheered the advent of “democracy” behind the Iron Curtain (how many younger than 30 know what that refers to?).

    I thought then it was far too premature a celebration, for very similar reasons.

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    I’m celebrating the death of a person.
    Burn in hell, Castro. Forever.

    Has anyone ever thought that Satan might be draining these souls of energy in hell and making himself more powerful? Otherwise, how could Satan rule over 6 billion people on Earth, that’s a lot of souls to manage.

    Even if we assume half of them are loyal to Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy One of Israel, that’s still quite a number of souls to manage just for one spirit.

    As for OM, he might as well be serving Lucifer directly. His content here has about as equal a worth.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

Monthly Archives


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge