Over the weekend, the world bid farewell to brutal Cuban dictator and poster-child for western communism, Fidel Castro. Those who suffered under Castro’s regime, and were fortunate enough to escape to America, have taken to the streets to celebrate the end of his dictatorship with the hope that his passing will bring a sense of peace and restitution to their community. However, in spite of his long track record of human rights violations, there are still those who view Castro as a hero.
Many young Americans across the country have fallen under the spell of socialism, and its more radical sister, communism, neglecting to acknowledge the horrors faced by those subjected to the fruition of these ideologies. Political figures like Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein have made collectivist ideologies appealing to some Millennials, many of whom do not understand the oppressive histories that have accompanied these socialist beliefs.
It should come as no surprise then, that in the days since Castro’s death, many young people have dedicated their social media accounts to mourning the loss of a leader who they believe to be a great hero, despite his legacy of brutality.
Castro’s initial rise to power was fueled by promises of restoring Cuba to its constitutionally limited government, which had been all but decimated under the reign of President Fulgencio Batista. Yet, however benevolent his initial intentions may have been, once Castro came into power he soon became a tyrant.
Under Castro’s control, all forms of political dissent were severely punished. Those who dared to speak out became political prisoners and were sent away to horrific prisons, some never to be heard from again. Journalists who were caught attempting to report the truth were dismissed as “mercenaries” working for the United States government and were tried in secret tribunals.