Fidel Castro is "retiring" as head of the Cuban government. He won't accept another term even if Cuba's admiring "legislature" votes for him in the upcoming "elections."
Here's a contrast for you - my thoughts versus those of the BBC.
Me: Good riddance, too bad he's not dead. Not like Communist dictators ever "retire." Is he going to move to The Villages ("Florida's friendliest hometown!") and golf free for the rest of his life? What new leader isn't going to ask Castro's permission before taking any action? But at least we're one small step closer to the end of an inhumane, brutal, murderous regime.
The BBC: Since I can't read this all the way through without puking, I'm going to intersperse my commentary with the quotes. Click the link if you want to enjoy the non-sarcastic original in all it's brown-nosing glory.
The retiring leader will be remembered as one of the most distinctive and enduring icons from the second half of the 20th Century, the BBC's Paul Keller writes.
With his olive green fatigues, beard and Cuban cigars, Fidel Castro was the original Cold Warrior.
A distinctive and enduring icon? The original Cold Warrior? -- What is he a fashion model? A comedian? A jazz musician? this makes him sound like a trendsetter, a chic trailblazer whose presence in society will be greatly missed. (although, judging by all the Che t-shirts I see . . .)
Under his leadership Cuba established the first Marxist-Leninist state in the Western hemisphere, almost within sight of the US coastline.
Embracing communism and the patronage of the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro transformed Cuba economically and socially but had to struggle when it collapsed.
I'll say he transformed it. The same way the Nazi blitz "transformed" Europe, or the atom bomb "transformed" Hiroshima. Too bad about that whole collapsing USSR thing. But he struggled along anyway - what a trooper!
This is utter crap. Aside from the illogic, (if he transformed Cuba, why did the USSR's demise matter?) to portray someone who would rather keep a whole nation enslaved while stubbornly resisting any possible change to benefit them as engaged in a "struggle" is perverse.
The civil rights movement was a "struggle." World War II was a "struggle." Castro's "struggle" was nothing more than a blind, pig-headed thirst for power. Even after all the other Communists gave up on communism, Castro "struggled" on. That's not a visionary leader, that's just being blind to reality.
He leaves his country with universal free healthcare and a much-admired education system, which has produced doctors for the developing world, but also a failing economy.
Healthcare . . . check. Education . . . check. Economy . . . Oh well, two out of three ain't bad. Even granting that this is true, (it's not), what good is free healthcare and an education if you have no money, no job, no prospects, decaying infrastructure, no civil rights and insufficient food? As much good as a can opener with no cans, or a life raft in the middle of the desert.
Note the distinct lack of negative adjectives and verbs in the above quote. He is "distinctive" and "enduring", "original", he "transformed", "struggle[d]", "embrac[ed] communism." Cuba's healthcare is "free" and "universal", its education system "much-admired."
Let me add a few adjective and verbs of my own for the sake of balance. His victims are "dead" his opponents "tortured" and "imprisoned" or "shot." His people are "under surveillance" and "oppressed." Many are "refugees" (2.4 million in the U.S. alone - about 18% of the population) or "poor."
So yes, Happy retirement Fidel, may it be short, and then may you rot in hell alongside Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and the BBC reporter responsible for this fawning, nauseating tribute.