This was something I posted on Castro’s talk page at Wikipedia a while back so here it is…(I was having a discussion with some Brit named Michael about why I wanted wikipedia entry for Castro to call him a dictator).
Dear Michael and Michaels of the world I am glad we have got rid of the “masturbation in front of images” you place on my discussion page and can have a meaningful dialog now. I was not planning to respond again but then I ask myself why not. I am not trying to convince you or anyone of anything here. I am trying to have civilize conversation only. Explaining my points of view as to why I do not like Castro and his system and why I think he is a “dictator” and should be called one here.
You do have some points that are very similar if not the same to the points that were explained to me once and many more times back in Cuba and I could never understand them. As you can see Not because I have no intellect or even because I can not listen to reasons. Please, understand that I am not trying to convince you of anything I repeat but please just listen to my voice the voice I never had in Cuba. I am also trying hard to understand also why you think the way you do. To see if maybe I am on error after all, we all make mistakes. The first step to knowledge as some old Greek used to said is “to know what you don’t know” or as some Lao Tzu used to said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”! We all humans are very quick to generalized and as always generalization are incorrect and conduces all of us to errors.
Re:”I’m sorry but I think this is an example of the exaggeration which gives the anti-revolutionary Cubans a poor reputation.”
Just as you claimed in my page I have exaggerated so have you. No all the people that speak ill of the Cuban revolution and Castro are the same we all have different points of view as it should be because we all have all encounter different experiences while traveling thru time with the revolution, some experiences were good some were very bad some peoples experiences have being very horrific ending by them loosing their most precious thing here on earth “One’s own life” just killed for their own convictions, for standing on principle on what they believe to be true. Some others have rejoice in that system and multiple others have used it in their favor and profit from it even people outside of Cuba.
When I try now to balance the good and the bad from the society I was born into and educated my balance goes very very heavy on the bad side and that is not just my experience that is the experience of millions of others that choose to live in exile like me here in the US and all around the world. We Cubans are everywhere. Exiled from our homeland and I am sure the many other millions that remain in the island and still have not give up like we did and are still struggling over there without surrendering as we see in the news every day and that he still place them in prison. Just because one man, just one idea , his.
I was label in Cuba “a gusano” a worm like many others that seek other future just because I decide to live somewhere else to have different choices. Many people here in the US and many other free countries go and live in different countries other than their own fatherland for many reasons and that does not make them less patriotic or less desirable sons of the country where they were born and above all they are never label traitors to the fatherland, all called “worms” as in liking decay and putrefaction. etc and above all they are always allow to come back and forth as many time as they want to without having to ask for special permit to enter your own country something I have to do if I like to visit Cuba! Nobody will think ill of some British person living in Cuba and liking Castro and portrait him as an anti-British.
Why does my desire to experience for myself other places or the imperialism as he put it makes me automatically a traitor and an anti-revolutionary? what makes one an anti-revolutionary? is it not agreeing with everything the Commander says? Is it not being an adulator? a system unconditional? is it having your own voice? having your own light and not being a “shadow person” with a need for someone to lead them in the right path? for messiahnism? Maybe at times I am weak maybe at times I am strong but “I am” as in “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am). I was never given the right to choose. What you have called in a softer tone paternalistic I call authoritarian and totalitarian were things are chosen for me as if I was a little kid that does not know what it wants that has not yet grow up into adulthood. Why do some people get to chose for me? I want to be an adult like I am. I want to choose myself. I want to have responsibilities. I don’t need a strong government that dictates to me what I have to do, that tells me who I should meet. Who I should love , who I should hate. How I should behave.(Love the Soviet Union Hate the US that was the slogan)(read Animal farm) that was Cuba unfortunately the Cuba I remember.(I happen to like American music and not Russian, again pun intended) and I wanted to be independent.
Be for good or Bad I wanted to be myself. I wanted to revolt, even knowing that I may be wrong at times and could make mistakes from which I could always hope to learn, or just to show that I am here living. I want the experience I want to learn in essence “I want to LIVE”! So I want to be in command of my choices. I do not want any government paternalistic or not making choices for me or even giving me menu of choices like “o te vaz o te acomodas” that is “either you go on exiled or you start liking the system we have here” or consistently choose for me all the things I did not want or maybe some things I really wanted because every time they did it they took a little piece away from me, they take away my self determination, my self reliance a bit of my ego a bit of me. I am sure some will like it and some will not and obviously that tents to create opposition. From all the things I have experience thru live to me maybe because of my experiences in Cuba one of the most precious and that I value most is that of being able to choose and to be able to voice my point of view by myself without government intervention and interference without fear. To be able to want something and to struggle to get it. Not of things being given to you as handouts or getting things I wanted but did not earn or maybe not wanted. We humans are very complex and should never be placed like caged animals in a zoo were food should be ration and provided to us.(Cuba still have rationing books) Where maybe Lions are feed bananas and monkeys meat. :-) I am not kidding. That is what it feel like to live in that system. Where dietitians decided for you what’s best for you to eat. where someone is watching you weight and telling you, you need to exercise because you are overweight and could get hight blood pressure! All those things are charming but sorry I do not want it. Just remember I am speaking metaphorically there.
My uncle back in Cuba was telling us on the phone once a while back during the so called “special period” that he had years without eating beef. The one every foreigner in Cuba easily have access at the hotels but Cubans don’t even remember the smell(please to all of you going to Cuba for a visit please invite a few friendly Cubans to eat meat with you at a hotel! they will love you for it :-)). He said that he almost forgot what meat tasted like. I jokingly said to him “Uncle here in this country very good doctors have made research and published results in a research medical Journal and have determined that eating meat is dangerous for all of us it can give you cancer so please think of the government refusal or impossibility to provide meat for you as something good not something bad. Think of it as they want you to live longer to die very old”! His response was. I don’t need their love I just like to die happy eating what I want even if my live is shorter I had the taste of meat I crave so much! (Honest this is true! I am not making this up here on the fly to illuminate my point or to make a pun this time)
Why are you thinking that Fidel Castro’s way is the only way? Why everything that opposes his point of view have to be reactionary or counter-revolutionary? Why only one party? We all know why! Is part of having his way or there is no other way. I want to have choices just like my uncle. I don’t just want to be able to eat meat, I also like chicken and fish and vegetables (and now I am being metaphoric here) if you like to be vegan or vegetarian that is your choice and you should not impose it on me no matter how you think about the poor animals getting kill or about me dying young. We humans are killing far too many of our own kind and even in some places on earth even eat them to have not learn something out of it yet. What about asking the people what they want to do instead of directing, dictating (of Dictator) what they have to do?
In my time in Cuba in the Communism lectures at university I was forced to take (otherwise I would not get a degree) I remember between ourself we jokingly used to called them with a lot of fear and smiles mixed in “Science Fiction” classes. We called “Science” because that is what they claim Communism was. A Science and believe me I know science I study math and love math. We learned in class that communism was a science as in hypotheses and proof or theses as in inexorable laws of nature that will exist independent of what we believe as objective and concrete things we could never change just as in Pythagorean theorem being always true even before Pythagoras discovered it!. But this was something they were never able to scientifically proof! It was not even a pseudo science from my understanding of what science was.To me It is just a view on how to solve some of the human problems. Is not even a philosophy like they claimed. They created nothing new that had not already existed before.
We also called it “Fiction” because they were talking about things we will never see. Like people only using what they needed and about a level of consciousness that people will care for each either in a collective way and money will not exist either and everything will be taken care off. All malice will be magically gone in essence some sort of magic kingdom without wars, without hunger without illiteracy and were people will not be in prison, no criminals no deviant behavior. “Everyone EQUAL”. Why then there is a refusal from Castro’s government to release any statistical information about Cuba? how many criminals his dreamy [[dystopia]n] society generates. how many whores or “world fame gineteras” that attracts the wrong kind of tourism into a country, created out of a need for a simple bar of soap and tooth paste something ridiculously simple to obtain in a society like ours. But that only a foreigner with dollars and access to foreigner stores in Cuba could get! Don’t go claiming American blockade like Castro does. I think all this basic needs are unnecessarily unavailable in Cuba since he is able to sell it for dollars to foreigners and also to Cubans with chavitos (secondary currency created by the Cuban government instead of the standard currency the government uses to pay people that is the Cuban peso) why the distinction? why can the Cuban government pay them with chavitos to all of them? or even dollars why can’t they earn a living working honestly? why is the government “force” and nurture many of them into “prostitution” is it their choice? or is it the governments choice? who should be to blame?
I see then that for him is more important to squeeze a few dollars out of the very poor he is ruling and their families abroad. About him pimping Cubans into prostitution. I am not kidding I saw in horror as the great leader on TV somewhere explaining why Cuba’s gineteras (“whores”) had law degrees and were doctors in medicine and he look to me like he was proud to have the most highly educated whores in the world. If someone can find this somewhere please bring it here. Then I figured maybe this whole thing about things being scarce in Cuba is all made up. So that everyone is most worry about what to eat and not about bringing down a system that does not work. What is more important? your immediate need of feeding your hungry child or maybe finding medicines for a dying mother without medicines blame on an American blockade when foreigners go in Cuba to special clinics for foreigner and paying with dollars get the treatment denied to the more undeserving simple Cubans that supported him all the way? Clinics he had just for foreigners only or the top hierarchy of his system that could rival the Mayo clinic here in the US! tell me do you think a person like that has principles? do you think he care about “the people” never mind all the rhetoric and all the talk on his very looong speeches always saying the same thing. How good he is for Cuba and the Cuban people and that all malice comes from as he put it with arrogance the imperialism that is the (USA) the enemy!
I see that he does not sell them those basic things for Cuban pesos their normal currency not only in order to maybe squeeze a few more dollars out of them. I will even venture to say in order to have youth prostituted thenselves. So I guess that also makes him a pimp! can we put that right next to dictator and also called him a Cuban pimp? From the Communism classes we learned we were in the initial stages of communism. I was only seeing this things they talk in paper never in practice and no one ever have seen it not even the poor Russians that spend so much time at it and with much better resources that we did, they had decide to throw the towel. As they said for true communism to be. All countries had to be communist. Meanwhile we where building this horrendous system I had personal experience with and that they called “socialism“! or “Dictadura del proletariado” “Dictatorship of the proletariat” derive from “dictator” :-) (Notice even Marx and Engels knew and called it for the right word that is dictatorship or maybe was Lenin orStalin or Trotsky, I fail to remember who, sorry for that. Meanwhile we where all stuck in this horrendous dystopian system were “some are more Equal” than others just like the one described in animal farm. I have nothing against “Equality” is a beautiful word but can it be archive for real? Is just too hard! We may all try but is very hard to be “EQUAL”. I hope you will also agree with me that human nature and instincts will always take over and make us be what each of us want to be. To develop our own personality where we each are individuals not necessarily with same levels of experience and knowledge or intelligence levels or even beauty. To desired the best for our own blood. Who would not like to have their own children educated in the best universities the world have? With the best educators and teachers? You have to recognized that we all are not really born equal no matter how many words to that effect we can put idealistically in many constitutions of many countries.
Just like in this country (US) our founding father Thomas Jefferson place these most beautiful words in the “United States Declaration of Independence”
–“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
or maybe the French flavor slogan of the “French Revolution” one of the oldest revolutions
“Liberté, égalité, fraternité”
sorry I left out “ou la mort!” “or death” (I am being paternalistic here for those that will shriek at the presence of death in French and that only speak one language! :-) pun intended ) to softening the way the harshest part of any revolution slogan is where some people have to die or do they? Does it have to be “Patria o Muerte”? (Fatherland or Death!) as in every ending of a Castro speech? Are we still living in barbarism where we need to quash people like ants just because they do not happen to follow the same line we do?
Tell me Michael how many people have you have killed that do not agree with you? I am hoping your answer is none. Can Castro said the same? Is it so bad for him that he has to resort to kill people to get his point of view succeed? Why all the killing why not forgiving why not understanding? why not tolerance?
I tell you why he and all the other dictators need to be ruthless and need to kill. The simple answer is. Is the way to instilled fear on people so they will do as commanded, is the way you play on the same level as GOD by having command over their very own life. Did you notice that only by having command of other people life we get close to having GOD like power? This is common to every dictator.
They kill and torture the opposition or place them in prison with very long sentences or exiled them. Do you think they could hold on to power if they did not instill these deep fears into people? I think not. When the pope John Paul II visited Cuba the phrase that resonate the most for all Cubans inside Cuba and outside was probably “No tengan miedo!” That is “Don’t be afraid!” If the system was not hard on dissent like it is. If the system did not punished deviants outside the lines they want you to be in. Do you think they will still follow a system that is not able or does not want for whatever reason to feed them, to dress them and to even cure them no matter all the propaganda coming from him?
Do you think he will not do truly democratic elections where people will be allow to vote for whomever they choose and have multiple parties if he thought that he could win? He knows he will be defeated. He knows his system is a failure. His system is design to keep people barely alive with a minimum expenditure on his part. So they can work for him and pay them next to nothing just as slaves.
Have you noticed that every time pressure builds up in the system, his system he opens the pressure valve and let the flow gate of immigrants go to the USA and other countries as we have seen many times before (Something interesting to notice is the pressure releases usually happened during democratic presidents in the US like with Kennedy, Carter, Clinton). Some other country is solving his problems taking in the people tired of struggling for something that will never be. Funny that country is as he always put it “The enemy!” From my point of view I say that the USA is probably the biggest friend he’s got. Just think this the US takes in all the people that can not tolerate his system anymore. It is estimated about 2 million Cubans are in the USA maybe another million in other countries. He should know the real numbers. Can you imagine if he had to place all of us in prison? Or get all of us Kill? The USA does not stop being friendly towards him there. It is also the escape goat he is used many times to justify his failures! That is priceless. Any failure he can blame the USA and the USA blockade! He is always crying wolf “The Americans are coming, we need to be ready!” and on and on. Again “Fear”! controlling people by fear! Read the speeches!
Do you know what Cubans themselves called what they are building? Do not think of socialism because they know is not socialism. They have two names for it. One is Sociolismo and the other one is Fidelism. Sociolismo is very well explained in that link as to Fidelism you are probably very familiar with. Is that everybody following Castro as GOD and whatever he says is just as if it was Gods commandments dictated to Moses!
So we can see that many people have used “equality,égalité, igualdad” thru real history and even fiction all animals are equal maybe each with different semantics, But yet let us say we all seem to be wanting to be needing this equality between people between nations but that it is so elusive and always is the first thing to go in the presence of autocrats,tyrants, despots totalitarians, and why not let us also called by their named that is “dictatorS” like Hugo Chavez like Pinochet like Stalin like Hitler like Mao like Kin Ill Son father and his son. and like Fidel Castro and countless others before them. Interesting is to note that each of them had different definitions for what they mean by “Equality” different semantics! They learned maybe with Humpty Dumpty to attach any meaning or multiple meanings to a word.
Why does saying Fidel Castro is a dictator is bad? I tell you why I think many think is bad. Because that puts him in the same company as those others that were truly more horrific and committed bigger crimes that he has done. Stalin murder millions and so did Hitler but obviously Fidel Castro is not at that level at the same scale yet he has done it maybe a thousand maybe 2000 or maybe 100 thousand and that not matter the number places him at that level!. To start if he had killed millions he may have being left by himself in the Island without slaves to ruled.
Just look at the equality desired by Hitler was it equality of people “all people” or “all his people”. He try to archive his superior super race maybe using genetic selection to obtain the perfect arian all equal and all powerful! etc… was he right or wrong? Some people still this day and age still agree with him! still have not learned but should we impose our views on them? should we be paternalistic as you put it describing Castro and dictated to them how they should think? should we dictated to them as children and tell them you are wrong and if you don’t change what you think I will punish you with prison or maybe dead for what you think?
I was thinking a bit more. And maybe instead of just classifying dictators as such we should call them by a measuring unit. Normally in physics you use let say meters or feet depending on who you talk since I am Cuban American I propose to use as a unit of dictatorship a ‘Castro’ so we could possibly say something like Hitler was a Dictator of 200 Castros , Stalin may have being a 190 Castros, A Hugo Chavez so far seem to be about .7 Castro on the dictatorship scale. Obviously I have not define what exactly we are measuring is it how many people are defecting the systems they create? compare to the total percent of the population of the countries they rule? is it how many people they murder while they stay in power? is it how intolerant they are of opposition? or how many years they have of absolute power?, or we could even used a weighted measure of all those factors to define the unit of measure that is a dictator of One Castro that is Fidel Castro.
So concluding “We the people” do have things that make us equal but we also all have things that make us very disparate. I still do not see it as bad. If you tell me I have to live in the idyllic society were everyone have to think the same group think and I am exaggerating here then I think is boring is far more interesting the daily struggle we have to do on systems like ours were everyone is got an opinion on everything! maybe a different idea a different solution to the same problem that maybe could even be or is better than mine! and in all honesty I am able to recognized that and to embraced without fear of loosing my job or not getting a job or etc.. Why should we just listen to one person more than anybody else? What entitles this person to be the unique voice of so many people, the messiah? And to have power over their life of everyone?
To be a GOD?
Sorry for the long argument but this is important for people in other parts to learn from others mistakes.
I am not so SilentVoice 18:12, 14 July 2007 (UTC)! now? with pun intended ;-).