The reality of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro died a year ago last week.

To those of us of a certain age, he was the brutal dictator who brought the world to the brink of World War III with his part in 1962’s Cuban Missile Crisis. He allowed the Soviet Union to install launchers for offensive intercontinental ballistic missiles on his Caribbean island just 80 miles from Florida.

Nuclear-tipped ICBMs.

More than just that act, though, he imprisoned, tortured and killed political enemies for decades. No free press for Cuba; dissent was not tolerated. There is one political party in Cuba — Castro’s Communist Party.

Castro exported terrorism, tried to spread his brand of totalitarianism around the world. He succeeded, sometimes — Venezuela’s current political morass is one notable example of Castro’s backing.

One does not have to be much of a conspiracy theorist to wonder if Castro played any part in the killing of John Kennedy. Just a year after the missile crisis, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by a young man — Lee Harvey Oswald — who, among other things, spent time passing out leaflets for an organization called “Fair Play for Cuba.”

Nobody has ever explained clearly Oswald’s motive for the shooting. Oswald, of course, was himself killed just two days after mortally wounding Kennedy.

Certainly, Castro would have loved killing Kennedy if given the chance.

No amount of rewriting history can change the legacy of Fidel Castro. Under his leadership, his people were repressed. The dissidents who were not killed by his regime still reside in Cuban prisons.

He was not a heroic revolutionary. He was a barbaric dictator.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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