Fidel Castro is in many ways a throw-back to the past, back in the days when communism ruled half of Europe and nuclear war seemed a distinct possibility. He is more than 80 years old now, and no longer controls the nation Cuba.
Nevertheless, Mr. Castro still maintains a blog (older articles can be accessed here), in which he writes about the latest happenings in this world. To be fair, the postings are probably taken from some sort of written article; most likely they are put online by a government employee rather than him.
It makes for fascinating reading.
The communist leader actually writes quite similarly to a lot of leftist rhetoric. Were it not for his references to “The Empire” (i.e. America) or occasional meetings with world leaders, Mr. Castro’s column would not be out-of-place on the Daily Kos featured blog list.
Mr. Castro, for instance, is a big fan of environmentalism and stopping climate change. This is somewhat surprising, considering that climate change didn’t exist as an issue for much of the revolutionary’s life.
I could not help but look at how the Comandante views President Barack Obama. On the one hand, he does appear to give Mr. Obama some credit for being the first African-American president. On the other, he views Mr. Obama as the product of American institutions (which he is). Therefore the president is still an “enemy” – “He [Mr. Obama] supports his system and he will be get support from it.”
At times Mr. Castro is quite critical of the president:
When Obama was questioned about the coup d’état against the heroic President Salvador Allende, promoted like many others by the United States, and the mysterious death of Eduardo Frei Montalva, assassinated by agents of the DINA, a creation of the U.S. government, he lost his presence of mind and began to stutter.
Without any doubt, at the end of his speech, the commentator on Chilean television was totally accurate when he stated that Obama had nothing to offer the hemisphere…
Obama now has before him a visit to El Salvador, tomorrow, Tuesday. There he will have to invent a lot, because in that sister Central American nation the weapons and advisors that it received from his country were responsible for much bloodshed.
I wish him bon voyage and a little more good sense.
This is unsurprising, considering just who is writing these words. At the same time, Mr. Castro does seem to have a sense of caution. Before the 2008 presidential election, he wrote:
When these views that I sustain are published tomorrow [after the election], nobody will have time to say that I wrote something that could be used by any candidate to advance his campaign. I had to be, and I have been, neutral in this electoral competition. It is not “interference in the internal affairs of the United States”, as the State Department would put it, as respectful as it is of other countries’ sovereignty.
All in all, I highly encourage anybody reading this to visit Mr. Castro’s website. One’s understanding of the world is always enhanced by reading what one’s ideological opponents say. With the rise of the Internet, it’s quite amazing that anybody can just go online and check out some of Mr. Castro’s thoughts on current events. One should take the opportunity.
The next post will offer more some more thoughts on Mr. Castro’s blog.