Well, Zoe’s got this one right

The death of Fidel Castro brings a tide of anti-travelogues, memories of a crumbling Havana and a degraded people from holidays that realistically can’t have been that bad, otherwise any reasonable person would have cut them short. Prostitution was rife among women and men; there was nothing to buy except black beans and odd socks; and voting, assembling, entering the lobby of a tourist hotel and being homosexual were all proscribed. The life of this 90-year-old is nothing to celebrate; the fact of his death makes it all the more urgent to speak ill of him. And the litany of his abuses is laid down, not really in the service of historical accuracy, but more as a challenge to the left: a dare to lefties, especially those in the baby-boomer generation, to mourn Castro as their hero.

45 comments on “Well, Zoe’s got this one right

  1. Heh.

    And now we see how all the various “solidarity” campaigns are in solidarity with the régime, not the people they oppress…

    If not, then why are they not organising aid shipments to Venezuela and Cuba?

  2. This article suggests, no, more than suggests that Zoe is a very nice person who is motivated by a fundamental sense of decency. Which stops me from charging her with hypocrisy or dounle standards when her articles get my goat.

    Thanks for ruining my day Tim.

  3. Good for her for putting her head above the parapet. It’s much easier to criticise Castro when you’re on the right – you’re not surrounded by friends and co-religionists who think he’s a hero.

  4. I really like this bit:
    “The problem is that the power annexed by one big daddy hasn’t come from nowhere: it is power surrendered by everyone else, whose human destiny is then smothered by their political impotence. Whether you are explicitly denied the vote or simply rendered irrelevant by a winner-takes-all authoritarianism, you are left infantilised and directionless.”;
    that someone in a lefty paper acknowledges that taking choice away from people diminishes them, is encouragingly honest.

    Will she, by extension, acknowledge the damage done by the soft authoritarianism of the nanny state and political correctness?

  5. What scum these middle-class marxist shite are. How they love to jeer at the victims of the Marxist shite the middle class love so much.

    How much they deserve to be forced to change places with those they laugh at and mock.

  6. I love the blind spot that means that things they wouldn’t tolerate for one second in a democracy they either ignore, or explain away when it’s a dictatorship from their camp.

    I find it quite disgusting.

    And the “whataboutism” about Pinochet. Nobody on the right defends him in an absolute sense – it’s only ever “was a sh1tbag, but not as shitty as the alternative”. Frankly, mass murder and political executions are *never* acceptable. And don’t mistake the fact that I find Castro’s larger numbers of them even more abhorrent for an absolution. I prefer to leave such disgusting whitewashings to the lefties.

  7. At least Castro did not let it be known in an emphatic manner that you were not supposed to fancy women of a different race; .

  8. The ghastly Zoe can’t quite bring herself to mention the lack of the Rule of Law under Castro, which shows she’s just an authoritarian of a different type. She’d be more than happy with a vile communist regime that was feminist and multicultural.

    Meanwhile, Woolly Willy enters the lists, looking back nostalgically to Castro’s heyday, like an impotent old boy flicking through the nude shots he once took of a former girlfriend:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/27/fidel-castro-cuba-60s-idealism-communism

  9. Really, good for her. I think she is mistaken, though: what she’s just put forward certainly were the principles of the Left, but I don’t think they are anymore.

  10. > And the “whataboutism” about Pinochet. Nobody on the right defends him in an absolute sense – it’s only ever “was a sh1tbag, but not as shitty as the alternative”.

    A lot of what both sides did in the Cold War was appalling. But we should all be grateful that the USA and USSR opted for a series of dirty proxy conflicts, considering that the alternative was thermonuclear.

    Course, Castro hated that and wanted the thermonuclear option, making him worse — in an international sense — than Stalin.

    What gets me is that the Left weren’t bothered by the way he never stopped wearing the fatigues. That’s an obvious heavy hint to everyone who saw him. Even Martin McGuinness has the decency not to wear a balaclava in Stormont.

    All those going on about the wondrous healthcare: are they aware that Castro prevented an AIDS epidemic by having compulsory HIV tests and locking up anyone who tested positive for life? It’s actually the perfect way to prevent an epidemic, as long as you don’t give a fuck about human beings or their pesky rights.

  11. > The ghastly Zoe can’t quite bring herself to mention the lack of the Rule of Law under Castro, which shows she’s just an authoritarian of a different type.

    I don’t think that’s a fair reading of that article.

  12. “What gets me is that the Left weren’t bothered by the way he never stopped wearing the fatigues. That’s an obvious heavy hint to everyone who saw him. ”

    Oh, yes, the whole military dictatorship thing, conscription and so on. They never seemed to mind that from him.

    You’d think they were insincere about the things they are always jaw-jawing about in the West or something…

  13. One of the great nonsense quotes was “there are 100 million people sleeping rough tonight, and not one of them in Cuba”.

    Well, when vagrancy is punishable by being locked up and you have a massive police state, yes, you can ensure that nobody is sleeping on the streets.

    Again, another example of if a western country did it….

  14. Someone on reddit told me, apparently entirely without irony, that Castro was far better than the UK/US because he never went to war outside Cuba. Interesting definition of “never”!

  15. > when vagrancy is punishable by being locked up …

    Same with education. Yes, pupils pay attention and make damn sure they learn what they’re told to learn when they live in a country where not doing what you’re told gets you jailed or disappeared. And this is a Good Thing?

  16. “Someone on reddit told me, apparently entirely without irony, that Castro was far better than the UK/US because he never went to war outside Cuba. Interesting definition of “never”!”

    Quite… Tell that to my mate who spent a good while shooting at them in Africa…

  17. DBC Gotnowt: At least Castro did not let it be known in an emphatic manner that you were not supposed to fancy women of a different race

    So you are okay with the murder of political opponents, dissidents, priests and homosexuals? Tells us everything we need to know.

  18. At least eulogising the “complex”, “imperfect” nature of Castro’s regime gives the press a break from telling us what an evil dictator Donald Trump is.

  19. As an act of solidarity or summat Cuba provided a host of its doctors to staff the really crap, poorly equipped, horribly isolated, rural hospitals no South African doctor would willingly work in, (beyond the compulsory service year added onto their internship by the ANC).It’s interesting how many Cubans tried to stay on beyond their contracts rather than return to paradise.

  20. Well, when vagrancy is punishable by being locked up and you have a massive police state, yes, you can ensure that nobody is sleeping on the streets.

    Ah, the Soviet paradise: we have no homeless because anyone without a home is housed safely in a comfortable gulag somewhere.

  21. “I don’t think that’s a fair reading of that article.”

    ZW is a spiteful and vindictive egalitarian, as her oeuvre amply demonstrates. She isn’t and has never been a great believer in tne Rule of Law, except when it serves her socialist and feminist goals.

  22. Hmm, perhaps Zoe has been taking my advice about disavowing one’s extremist wing.

    Or perhaps she’s just growing up. There’s the old quote about being a liberal at 25 and a conservative at 40. Zoe is aged 43 (according to Wikipedia). She also got married not long ago. Steve Sailer has repeatedly pointed out that being married tends to push women to the right.

  23. Even Martin McGuinness has the decency not to wear a balaclava in Stormont.

    Heresy. McGuinness was never a member of the IRA Council nor was he in command of the Derry Brigade of the IRA in 1972. And he absolutely never, never was an SIS tout.

    He only ever wore a black balaclava because of the cold winds around Londonderry. And it’s warm in Stormont.

  24. DBC Retard outdoes himself, no mean feat. He is, being a retard and an ignoramus, unaware of the endemic racism under Cuban communism, in which black Cubans (of which there are many) are and were heavily discriminated against in favour of those of European extraction. How many black Cubans are there in the higher echelons of the party, for example? None; it’s a decrepit bunch of white shitbags, rather than a decrepit bunch of United Colors of Benetton shitbags.

  25. @ Matthew L
    Cuba sent an army to Angola to aid one of the Communist-backed “revolutionary armies” against the other and a handful of South Africands who wanted to keep the fighting away from their country.
    Off the top of my head I think Cuba backed the pro-russian kleptocracy faction against the pro_china faction,but I should need to check.

  26. @bloke in Spain

    I assumed the reference to winner takes all authoritarianism or suchlike was a dig at Trump and the electoral college/popular vote circus

  27. DBC Reed

    Quite right friend. And for “all his flaws” he did show us what a Land Tax** can give us. For that he should be praised.

    ** I have no idea if that is true.

  28. @ Andrew M
    The old quote goes something like “I feared being a radical in my youth lest I be regarded as reactionary in my old age” – 40 or 43 isn’t old age, more like what thoughtless people regard as the start to middle age (actually a state of mind “when your get-up-and-go has got up and gone”).

  29. @ Ljh
    There were some decent rural hospitals funded by the gold mining companies (40+ years agoI used to read their reports and OFSITS always used to talk abot the housing, schools and hospitals they provided for workers).

  30. @ Andrew M @john77

    N’être pas socialiste à vingt ans est preuve d’un manque de cœur ; l’être après trente ans est preuve d’un manque de tête.
    Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929)

    He who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart; he that remains one at 30 has no brain.

  31. @John77

    Cuba supported FAPLA (with the USSR), China supported UNITA and FNLA (amongst others). When Portugal withdrew from her colonies, Jan Breytenbach went in and recruited FNLA irregulars into an effective fighting force (task group Bravo) which became the core of 32 battalion.

  32. Gunker – “Cuba supported FAPLA (with the USSR), China supported UNITA and FNLA (amongst others).”

    Cuba eventually had troops in about two dozen African countries. Naturally they always supported whichever side the USSR supported. Who pays the piper and all.

    There is a good obituary in the Miami Herald.

  33. @ Andrew M “Or perhaps she’s just growing up. There’s the old quote about being a liberal at 25 and a conservative at 40. Zoe is aged 43 (according to Wikipedia)”

    No longer young, but young enough not to have been around when Castro et al were the Left’s heroes. So putting the boot in to the old fogeys at the Graun

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