fidel castro

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For everyone talking about Cuba after Fidel Castro’s long overdue death.

For every white American news outlet and reporter (Buzzfeed, Michael Moore and even Anthony Bourdain) who wanted to paint Cuba as a Communist utopia with free school, free healthcare and therefore trivialize the countless hardships faced by real Cubans who can’t leave the island.

I’ve heard stories of my fiance’s grandfather whose legs rotted after being tortured for months in a pit of raw sewage for being a loan shark, my own grandfather who was a prisoner of war and was a Cuban refugee in the 80s who brought his two little kids and wife to America on a boat full of violent prisoners and the mentally ill, Castro’s own advisor of 17 years who was thrown into a pit of cockroaches for asking to resign (because he knew he’d be killed when his term was over). Castro and Che Guevara weren’t socialist pioneers, they were serial killers. Che isn’t a public figure who’s okay to wear on a fucking t-shirt because communism is a good idea to you, but this is the reason why so many Cuban-Americans are terrified of socialism and there isn’t a single American who should blame them.

Fidel was a twisted, almost king-like dictator who didn’t give a shit about his people, and his death doesn’t mean much when his legacy is still in place and our country is so much worse than it was just twenty years ago. Don’t say shit if you don’t know, if you haven’t been there. Please.

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“African blood flows freely through our veins. Many of our ancestors came as slaves from Africa to this land. As slaves they struggled a great deal. They fought as members of the Liberating Army of Cuba. We’re brothers and sisters of the people of Africa and we’re ready to fight on their behalf!” Fidel Castro

Ya’ll are so worked up over Fidel Castro’s death, but as someone who lived under his dictatorship, I’m over here mumbling, “Meh.” I admire that he was able to oust and combat American imperialism, but he’s still an example of what happens when a rich boy reads some Marx, builds a movement, and is so corrupted by power that he outlaws all dissent. Stop idolizing a dictator, and expect more from revolutionary leaders. In addition: It’s possible to support Cuba’s revolution (as I do), denounce Castro’s reign (as I do), and recognize the role America has played in oppressing Cuban people and others worldwide (as I do). I’ve seen a lot of non-Cuban people prioritizing their ideologies and attempting to exonerate Castro by arguing that America is a greater Evil. Despite that being true in many ways, it doesn’t erase the suffering of a nation’s population at his hands, or their despair to escape. And if your love for communism + hero worship clouds your ability to acknowledge oppression and human suffering, I don’t see how you’re really any better than capitalists. In fact, one of the biggest failures of Castro’s revolution is that it’s caused Cubans to mistake capitalism for freedom.