Fidel Castro is dead. Yes, the communist sultan finally expired Friday evening, Nov. 25. The news was ushered with an excellent editorial by The Miami Herald that argues Fidel Castro had become irrelevant. The editorial is a concise recapitulation of his life and influence over seven decades. But the truth is that despite having become irrelevant, Fidel leaves behind a twisted legacy of communist tyranny and evil personal dictatorship that cost at least 40,000 lives in Cuba alone and millions of other countless victims of wars, deprivation and suffering throughout Latin America and Africa.
Castro converted one to the happiest, freest and most prosperous nations in Latin America to one of the poorest, desolate and enslaved countries in the world. His revolution was romanticized by the media and American sympathizers, and he was hailed as a great agrarian reformer by the U.S. press. This false acclamation carried him to victory and communism “in our own backyard.”
And still today what a contrast in views attest to his charisma, or rather to his legacy of evil. The Cuban-Americans in freedom are celebrating his death in Miami; the enslaved people of Cuba are getting ready to mourn him, voluntarily or not, ordered by his brother and present ruler, Raul. President-elect Donald Trump called Fidel “a brutal dictator” and hopes the Cuban people will eventually be free. Lame duck President Barack Obama, who ushered in the normalization of relations with Raul and his dictatorship, claims that history is still to judge Fidel and his impact on the world — as if there were any doubt as to the wasteland, the desolation and the suffering of the Cuban people for nearly 70 years.
The truth, though, is that Fidel’s death came as an anticlimax. Like his mentors, the communist mass murderers, Stalin and Mao, he lived too long, pardoned by the furies and the fates destined that he die in his bed peacefully — too late to end suffering and bring about liberty for the Cuban people. And again, like Stalin and Mao, no matter how Fidel's brutal crimes are recounted and exposed to the light of day in the years to come, he will continue to be worshiped by some people, incited by the progressive theoreticians in the ivory towers of academia, who tap on the envy and resentment that some perpetually discontented people always have against their fellowmen and the world.
Miguel A. Faria, M.D. is an Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He is President of Haciendapublishing.com, a retired neurosurgeon, and the author of Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is http://www.haciendapub.com