Viewpoint

Steve Swedberg

I am ecstatic that Fidel Castro retired last week. That was a Communist regime that lasted 49 years too long, and I think his resignation is a sign of hope, a hope for change. Aside from the fact that, in saying those fateful words, I sound like a certain presidential candidate, I am happy because potential change has many benefits.It means that we can lift the embargo: as was stated in The Lawrentian last week, this would mean more freedom for the American people and it would help the lives of the Cuban people.

Plus, it would help boost the American economy, which needs to get out of the current recession. It also means I can finally vacation there!

More importantly, it would be an opportunity for Cuban exiles to finally return to their homeland, something that has previously seemed unfeasible because of the oppressive Communist regime, which reminds me of my main reason of jubilation over that news. It’s one less Communist regime in this world. Why would that make me happy?

Communism has had a lousy track record when it comes to human rights and preserving the freedoms of citizens.

Liberals would love to rewrite history to make a typical Communist regime sound like some utopian society where everyone was treated equally and people were adequately provided the necessities to live a happy life.

Unfortunately for them, reality becomes a great hurdle for telling this fable. First and foremost, 100 million people have been murdered under Communist regimes within the past eighty years. That number is objectively much higher than those who have been killed “in the name of religion,” although with the rise of Radical Islam, they may eventually even each other out.

Amongst other terrible acts, Chairman Mao instigated the Anti-Rightist Movement in the 1950s, which attempted to purge alleged “rightists” (i.e., anybody who disagreed with Mao) from China. Stalin also created a totalitarian nightmare — read “1984” by George Orwell. If you don’t believe me, why is it that some of the most anti-Communist people in the world are those who actually lived under the Iron Curtain?!

Fortunately for millions of people, the Berlin Wall — and a couple of years later, the USSR — collapsed, allowing people to be able finally to live free lives without fear of government crackdowns.

I hope that the resignation of Castro will be a “collapse of the Berlin Wall” for Cuba. According to Freedom House, Cuba is a non-free country. This is bad because it means that political dissent is illegal in Cuba.

Throughout the Cuban regime, Castro has ordered the deaths of many political dissidents. In addition, the Communist Party controls the media. Child prostitution is commonplace. Workers have no collective bargaining power. Heck, it’s even illegal to have Internet access in your house! But at least Michael Moore tells us that they have top-notch healthcare. It would be nice to see the situation in Cuba ameliorated.

Raúl Castro, the successor and younger brother of Fidel, recently met with the Secretary of State from the Vatican.
For a long time, the Vatican has been an outspoken critic of Communism and Cuba’s human right abuses.

Although Cubans are skeptical of the new Castro, it seems like a step in the right direction. What lies ahead for Cuba remains to be seen. All we can hope for is that Cuba is liberated from the totalitarian, oppressive yokes that are inherent in Communism.

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