Have you ever wondered why Cuban Revolution leaders such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara appeal to left-wingers? After all, both these men, who referred to themselves as socialists, have been some of history's worst offenders of human rights violations.
Walk onto any college campus in America, and you'll probably encounter someone wearing a shirt with Che Guevara's face. A recent study from Harvard University found that 31% of Americans 18-29 years of age support socialism while 39% of young Americans support Democratic socialism.
In a "60 Minutes" interview last year, former Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders publicly praised Fidel Castro's "massive literacy program." This wasn't the first time Sanders vocally praised the authoritarian leader, Fidel Castro. In a 1985 interview, a young Sanders vocally praised Castro and his "revolution" in Cuba.
In 2016, former quarterback turned "Human Rights" activist Colin Kaepernick received heated backlash from Cuban exiles for appearing at a press conference in Miami, FL, wearing a shirt that captured Castro meeting with Malcolm X during a session that took place in the '60s. The shirt read, "Like minds think alike."
In case you weren't tracking, Miami, FL is where hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles live.
For over 55 years, the Castro regime perpetrated numerous human rights abuses. It's no secret that the self-proclaimed "socialist" Fidel Castro adopted a draconian rule over Cuba's people; however, the left continues to romanticize Revolutionary leaders such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Time and time again, the "woke" left fall short in remaining consistent in their ideology. So, to highlight Castro's legacy, here are ten facts about the Castro Regime:
1) Execution by firing squad:
Soon after Fidel Castro took power, he executed political opponents, teachers, police, and those who spoke out against the regime. The confirmed count of executions directed by Castro is now at near 11,000. The New York Times even published an article called "The Year of the Firing Squad" in response to Castro's self-proclaimed "Year of Literacy" for Cuba.
2) Rounding up and imprisoning homosexual men:
Castro didn't hold back his sentiments towards the gay community, referring to them as "worms" and incapable of serving the revolution. Under his direction, homosexuals were rounded up and sent to labor/prison camps known as UMAP (Military Units to Aid Production). They were forced to work under harsh conditions from sun up to sundown. While others were detained and sent to these camps without trial, it was reported that homosexuals were targeted and treated worse than the other prisoners.
3) Harvesting of citizens' blood:
In 1966, Castro ordered that the blood of 167 members of the military and civilians be harvested for sale to Communist Vietnam. At his direction, 7 pints of blood were harvested per person, leaving them in a state of anemia and paralysis. Then they were sent off to be executed. Castro sold the blood to Vietnam for $50 per pint.
4) Murder of children:
It's no secret that Castro loved executing citizens by firing squad. Still, you might be surprised and horrified to find out that 94 children were executed under his command, 22 of them executed by firing squad.
5) Forced Abortions:
While the Castro regime loves to mention their "low" infant mortality rate at any given opportunity, they fail to mention their practice of forced abortions. The Castro regime made lowering the infant mortality rate a priority. Doctors were under such tremendous pressure to reduce the infant mortality rate that women were often pressured to abort any child they feared could drive up the mortality statistics. Infant mortality in Cuba was so low mainly because at-risk infants were often either aborted before birth or neglected after birth.
6) Trafficking of their Doctors:
Free higher education? Think again. Cuban physicians are highly skilled and highly trained, meaning: HIGHLY profitable. In exchange for their education, Cuban doctors were forced to be sent off to different countries where they barely made a livable wage (even for third world standards). In contrast, the Cuban regime reaped the benefits of this billion-dollar industry. Remember this next time your left-leaning friend preaches "free higher education."
7) Canceled Christmas:
Along with abolishing freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press, Castro also abolished religion and banned Christmas from being celebrated. In 1969, Castro canceled Christmas altogether so that celebrations wouldn't get in the way of the sugar harvest. However, in 1998, shortly before Pope John Paul II visited Havana, the revolutionary government, pen in hand, decreed and reinstated December 25 as a holiday.
8) Detainment without trial:
During the Castro regime, many Cuban citizens were detained without probable cause and were denied a trial. As problematic as this was, it became an even more horrifying reality when your neighbor who had a gripe with you over the lawn could easily lie to the regime about your disloyalty, leading to your arrest.
9) Mass Arrest of Journalists:
In 2003, Castro ordered 75 dissidents, among them private librarians, independent economists -- and 27 journalists to be arrested. The journalists were run through trials that usually lasted just a day and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 14 to 27 years.
10) Quality Healthcare for only the rich:
While politicians like former President Barrack Obama and former Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders have praised the Cuban healthcare system, they have failed to acknowledge that the everyday Cuban citizen doesn't have the right to quality healthcare. The Cuban healthcare system runs on a 3-tiered system, the top tier being high-quality healthcare. The first tier is only available for tourists. The second tier is for the elites, politicians, and the military. The last tier, which is the lowest tier of healthcare, is meant for everyday Cuban citizens. The healthcare system conditions for everyday Cubans are so bad that simple necessities such as latex gloves are so scarce that it's become common practice to wash and reuse them.
Author's Final Remarks
Under Castro's 57-year rule, the people of Cuba suffered greatly and were robbed of their livelihoods. His regime's effects are still prominent even years after he stepped down from power and after his death. Fidel Castro's legacy should be remembered for what it indeed was: a dictatorship of executions, oppression, and great suffering.
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About the Author:
Ashley Majano is the Chairwoman for the Young Republicans of her county and a political commentator best known on social media as @thecubansdaughter. In addition, she also runs the @countercomm account on Instagram, which aims to educate the general public on communism. Born to immigrant parents, one of them being a Cuban exile, Ashley's passion and focus are to combat communism in the USA.