Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Rum and Reason

The latest from the "Castro was Hitler" old Trots, for so they are, is that Batista would have fallen anyway, since the Americans had withdrawn support.

As if that withdrawal had been unconnected to the impending victory of the Revolution, which was not at that time allied, or even sympathetic, to the Soviet Union.

The Americans used to have the knack of knowing when to cut their losses. Would that they still did.

America and, even more so, Britain, which had backed the old regime up to the hilt under Labour and the Conservatives alike, withdrew support from apartheid South Africa for the same reason: it had become inescapable that the other side was going to win.

That was well after the fall of the Soviet Union, the intermittent and fairly grudging support of which, whereas that of Cuba had been steadfast, had clearly been quite unnecessary to the triumph of the Liberation Struggle.

The apartheid regime had already been fatally weakened by its defeat in Angola, a defeat in which the Cuban intervention had been decisive.

From that point, in 1988, when no one had been predicting the fall of the USSR, the fall of apartheid had been inevitable.

Those wanting nuance for Thatcher as well as for Castro, here it is: she never put anyone in front of a firing squad, but she presided over significant regressions in healthcare and in education.

That Thatcher's Britain was never subjected to an American embargo was because she never nationalised the sugar industry.

That, and not anything to do with human rights, was and is the reason for the blockade of Cuba. Look at the countries of which there is no blockade.

That policy has been, and remains, as unsuccessful at bringing down the Castros as the comically incompetent assassination attempts used to be.

The United States might more profitably lead by example, and close its own monstrous affront to human rights at Guantánamo Bay.


  1. If Castro had died 15 or 20 years ago, could the unification of the Left against the wars and then also the cuts have happened?

    1. That is a very interesting question. His death even now has brought it all back out again.

  2. They withdrew support for Batista when Castro was a nobody with a tiny band of followers in the mountains.

    He merely (unfortunately) stepped into the vacuum.

    Trots? Don't make me laugh.

    Your worldview can't cope with the concept of anyone-like Peter Hitchens or Pat Buchanan-who is just as critical of Saudi Arabia as of Castro.

    Because, to the Left, ideology always trumps decency.

    Thankfully we're not all like the Left.

    1. "A tiny band," indeed! The Trots always said that about it. Hitchens hasn't changed in 50 years.