My co-blogger acknowledged how extremely difficult it is to show mercy, something we Christians are called to do, especially when it applies to a murderous thug like Fidel Castro. Let me join K.N. McBride in admitting that I have had many unChristian-like thoughts and feelings about Castro, who died late Friday night after years of declining health.
Like his revolutionary cohort, Che Guevara, Castro was a cruel, ruthless thug who tortured and executed untold people, and kept thousands of poor souls locked up in rat-infested hellhole prisons. I won't attempt to recount his many atrocities, but one that still haunts me to this day is the 1994 slaughter of 42 Cuban men, women and children who were trying to escape Cuba in the 13 de Marzo tugboat.
Twelve children, including one just 6 months old, died when the Cuban coast guard deliberately rammed the tugboat, causing it to split and take on water. They also opened fire on the occupants with fire hoses. A few survivors who attempted to hold on for dear life swimming and struggling to stay afloat ended up drowning when the coast guard vessel circled around them, creating a whirlpool. This is heartless and merciless, but it's par for the course for the execrable Castro.
Aside from torturing, brutalizing and executing those who dared speak out against his evil regime, or even those suspected of crimes against the state based on flimsy evidence, Castro presided over a horrendous healthcare system and a basket-case economy. Food shortages, rationing and inferior products, plus dead-end, low wage jobs were what beaten-down Cuban citizens dealt with on a daily basis.
It is beyond pathetic that the economy has been so miserable, most who can afford to own a car can only obtain a beat up 1950s sedan (without air conditioning, no doubt...even an AM radio might be a bonus!). Many of Cuba's homes do not have air conditioning, and even major buildings in the capital city of Havana -- often beautiful architecturally -- have deteriorated into a shabby condition.
It is telling that President Obama's statement regarding Castro's death was an inane, pitiful reaction full of platitudes about extending a hand of friendship, working together, thoughts, prayers and condolences with the Cuban people, blah-blah...
Here's an excerpt:
"...We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him...."
What utter tripe! Barry the Alinskyite never met a commie he didn't love!
Contrast that with Donald Trump's blunt statement, which was hard-hitting and, in my view, spot on:
"...Fidel Castro's legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve...."
Right on! It is sober reality-checks like this that excite me about the great possibilities of Trump's upcoming presidency following eight dispiriting, divisive years of economic stagnation, misguided foreign policy, cultural rot, worsening race relations and class warfare -- all perpetrated by an arrogant, self-absorbed narcissist.
I'm sorry, but Fidel Castro was an evil, cruel, vicious and ruthless thug with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I will not pray for his soul, and I will not feel guilty contemplating the very real possibility that he's suffering now, as I type, for the monstrous barbarities he inflicted on so many people for so many years.
If that makes me much less than an ideal Christian, so be it.