Saturday, November 26, 2016

Repost: He Made a Wasteland Out of Cuba, But It's Okay: He's Deeply Spiritual

The day after the long-awaited death of Fidel Castro is announced seems a good day to re-publish a post that originally went up on February 26, 2007.  

It also seems like a good day to congratulate ourselves on having elected as president a man who comes up with absolutely the most appropriate response to the death of Castro (after praying for his spotted soul and celebrating with cigars and madeira):
Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. 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.
Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.
At long last, the Washington Post brings us the news the English-speaking world has been waiting for: a joyous end to its long deprivation of the English language translation of Fidel Castro's Cartas del Presidio, the 21 letters the future Maximum Leader (shown here spooning with Nikita Khruschev) penned from the hoosegow in the early 1950s. Gushes Ann Louise Bardach, co-editor of The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro: "[T]his collection of Castro's writings -- virtually the only unofficial writing he ever did -- has become something of a Rosetta Stone for historians, biographers and journalists seeking to understand the man who would become Cuba's ruler for life." She goes on: "The letters amply illustrate Castro's many gifts: his formidable erudition, strategic thinking and natural leadership. They are also an early indicator of his Machiavellian cunning and his genius for public relations. And they dramatize his resentments and rages....What must this intensely proud and private man have felt about the public disclosures of his recent medical travails, in which every inch of his intestines has become fodder for the world media?"

Coming up for air out of our barf bags, we see what it is that passes for deep spirituality in the insane world of Castro and his fawning minions. Immediately after describing how, in 1969, Castro outlawed the celebration of Christmas in Cuba, Barlach, apparently impervious to irony, rhapsodizes: "And yet the letters suggest that Castro was a man of unusual spiritual depth -- and a fervent believer in God." Exhibit A: a polysyllabic-word-laden excerpt from a letter to the father of a fallen revolutionary thug:
I will not speak of him as if he were absent, he has not been and he will never be. These are not mere words of consolation. Only those of us who feel it truly and permanently in the depths of our souls can comprehend this. Physical life is ephemeral, it passes inexorably. . . . This truth should be taught to every human being -- that the immortal values of the spirit are above physical life. What sense does life have without these values? What then is it to live? Those who understand this and generously sacrifice their physical life for the sake of good and justice -- how can they die? God is the supreme idea of goodness and justice.
Castro certainly ought to know about the ephermeral nature of human life, as a life-long specialist in rendering as ephemeral as possible the lives of anybody who gets in his way. As to God being the "supreme idea" of goodness and justice, somehow Barlach misses this clue to Castro's true belief system, pursuant to which it is held that man created God, instead of the other way around. But no matter: at long last, the Left has found a "fervent believer in God" that it can live with -- one who proves his "unusual spiritual depth" by:

-- Being ruled by pride, as when he flew into a rage upon discovering that his wife, Mirta, accepted a modest government stipend in order to keep body and soul together while Castro rotted in prison: "I never imagined that Rafael [his brother-in-law] could be such a scoundrel and that he had become so corrupted; I cannot conceive how he could have so pitilessly sacrificed the honor and name of his sister, exposing her to eternal shame and humiliation...." Meeting life's basic requirements is counterrevolutionary.

-- Learning the wrong lessons in the School of Suffering: "It is a chore to push away the mortal hatreds that seek to invade my heart. I do not know if there is anyone who has suffered more in these past days. It has been a terrible and decisive test, with the capacity of quashing the last atom of kindness and purity in my soul, but I have made a pledge to myself to persevere until death. . . . After such weeping and sweating of blood, what is left for one to learn in the school of sorrow?" Any number of real martyrs could have supplied him with a few ideas.

-- Getting divorced and waging all-out war from the joint for custody of his son: "I do not care one bit if this battle drags on till the end of the world. If they think they can exhaust my patience and, based on this, that I am going to concede -- they are going to find that I am wrapped in Buddhist tranquility and am prepared to reenact the famous Hundred Years War -- and win it! To these private matters, add my reflection on the political panorama -- and it will not be difficult to imagine that I will leave this prison as the man of iron." A paragon of parental love and self-sacrifice.

Taking a mistress, Maria Laborde: "The inscription on your card was so beautifully written, I have set my hope on the pleasure of soon receiving a letter from you, with the only variant that you use 'tu' instead of 'usted.' Could this be too much to hope?" Apparently not, since he went on to father an illegitimate child with Laborde.

This is to say nothing of what Castro would go on to do over the course of an ignominious career:

-- Impose Communism on his hapless people and reducing them to a state of grinding poverty

-- Suppress individual liberty, including freedom of worship

-- Threaten the United States with nuclear war

-- Aggress against neighbors, such as the Carribbean island nation of Grenada

-- Imprison and torture political dissidents for decades without a trial

-- Murder political dissidents and other threats to his regime

It's true: the Castro letters from the joint reveal a great deal about the man -- a great deal too much, if his partisans were not too blind to see it.

1 comment:

  1. My Latin Quiz is up, appealing to both Latin Mass & Baseball Fans:

    Fidel once claimed to be Jesuit-Trained;

    Apparently, Fr John Hardon was NOT one of Fidel's Teachers.