Fidel Castro Dead


Haley McCoy, Editorials Editor

     Fidel Castro was a controversial figure. He had a questionable record when it came to human rights, but when it came to his homeland, he had one goal in mind.

     Save Cuba.

     Castro led the Cuban revolution. Later, he governed the Republic of Cuba for 47 years as prime minister and again as president until 2006. Castro was a communist and a Cuban nationalist. Under his rule, the economy of Cuba was nationalized and Cuba became a one-party socialist state.

     To the Cuban people, Castro was a symbol of hope. He was a champion of socialism; he fought against the United States alongside the Soviet Union. The island nation of Cuba posed a threat. But Fidel Castro was not a good man.

     Castro abused human rights in the most obscene ways. Many Cubans were forced to flee their homeland and live in exile in the United States. Those who dared to speak up against him were imprisoned and anyone who tried to stand against him was executed by his firing squads.

     If one listened and loved Castro, however, they benefitted. During the Castro regime, Cuba made great strides in the fields of education, health, and literacy. Castro dared to stand against the oppressor and thus the Cuban people were devoted to him, just as he was devoted to them.

     Celebrations spread throughout Florida upon the news of Castro’s death. The exiled Cuban Americans saw their oppressor fall and celebrated on behalf of the loved ones they lost and the lives they abandoned in their homeland.

     The Cubans who celebrated were those who fled the country on boats in the dead of night, risking everything to find a better life. They are the women who lost brothers to the execution squads, the orphans whose parents forfeited their lives so their children might survive. They are the people who lived in exile and could only watch as a dictator ruled over their homeland as they were powerless to do anything about it. The celebrations in Little Havana in Miami, Florida differed greatly from the mourning in Havana, Cuba.

     Castro is hailed as a leader and a model of communism. He stood against the United States for decades. Yet, he is also hailed as a dictator and a cruel leader who overstepped his power and made innumerable families suffer.

     History will judge his final legacy now.

     Fidel Castro is dead. Cuba lives.