Castro tries out for the role of elder statesman

The results are a bit surprising. The focus on Iran, Israel, and the US, I knew about. The statements about anti-Semitism and his own decisions in the Cuban missile crisis, I did not see coming. Obviously, the thread title is adapted from the summary of the story…I always thought that Castro would go straight from Dear Leader to corpse.

Thanks for the link. Interesting read.

Not surprising – Castro has always been a yenta at heart.

When I asked him, over lunch, to answer what I’ve come to think of as the Christopher Hitchens question - has your illness caused you to change your mind about the existence of God? - he answered, “Sorry, I’m still a dialectical materialist.”


Between this and the locking up/murdering gay people apology, I’m a little confused.

Fascinating article. Love that Goldberg goes right after the nuking the USA question and presents it as a jarring contrast to the kinder, gentler Castro of 2010.

If Mao had lived longer he would eventually have written in his memoirs how he bitterly opposed the Great Leap Forward due to his concerns for the people’s welfare, but was overruled by his advisers. Hitler, if he had crushed the Red Army, would in his old age have regretted the bitter necessity of having to kill quite so many Jews. Stalin, having survived his stroke, might later have considered that perhaps he killed a few million too many of his own people in his youthful enthusiasm for doctrinal purity.

If asked years later, Temujin would perhaps have noted that it was unnecessary to kill every last person in Samarkand; in the serene light of old age, maybe he would have made do with just 10,000 severed heads for each of his murdered ambassadors.

Anyhow, I have no fondness for Castro or his regime, and he has committed all kinds of oppressive and dreadful abuses over the years, not to mention crimes against his own people. But some people actually do get wiser with age, or at least have the luxury of seeming wise after they no longer have to bear any executive burden and can tut-tut at other people’s problems. Castro at least has not been on the scale of various other monsters of the 20th century, and another small point in his favor was the rotten regime he overthrew. I don’t think I’d be willing to shake his hand, though.

Just rotated that sentence a couple of times. Even added the overall context of your post.

That sentence still sounds wrong.

Terribly wrong.

Castro is a rather petty dictator. On the ranks of monsters of the 20th century I’m not sure he’d enter the top-100 list.

The next piece in the series is up (posting from my phone makes linking a chore, but it’s the current post on Goldberg’s blog. )


"The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore. " - Castro

The explanation that Fidel is tossing out political flack to provide cover for Raul’s policy reforms. I’d like to hear more about the, assumed, political infighting happening in the Cuban Communist party.

Che Gueveras daughter is a vet.

The dolphin show.

Fidel in flannel looks like Pete Seiger ( from the right angle)

All the Cubans got was being trapped in some infinite 60s timeloop.

And good health care.

True, but as far as the Cubans are concerned, it’s he and Batista who are in the running as #1 and #2.

I like how the image is in the style of an anonymous interview.

That could be anyone!

I would modify that to say Cuban Americans at least as far as Castro goes. Cuba itself is not quite so simple and I’m not sure Batista is particularly relevant to most Cubans at this point.

Of course he’s not relevant anymore. But in terms of historic rulers that any Cuban has ever heard of, Cuban-American or native, these have to be #1 and #2 in terms of fame and notoriety. I have no doubt that Batista is taught in school as the leading villain of Cuban history.


I asked him if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.

“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” he said.

Oh if only the republicans had had that idea first, they could be in their own paradise! I mean isn’t that the decade they all want to return to, or was that the 30’s?

This is just getting more and more interesting.

What the hell is going on here?

Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!