It’s said that a picture can paint a thousand words; they certainly provide a simple straightforward means of setting an agenda.
Consequently since the death of Fidel Castro last Friday, the MSM, the Internet and everyone’s FB and Twitter feeds have been filled with photos of the nonagenarian (and lest we forget he reached that grand age in spite of a lifelong penchant for cigars and over 600 assassination attempts – most of them arranged by the CIA) and what the ex Cuban leader looks like in those pictures and who he is sharing them with, invariably leaves you under absolutely no illusion about where the writer’s coming from.
My friend Bob, a ‘left-of-centre’ long time enemy of the left, naturally shared Zoe Williams’ Guardian piece “Forget Fidel Castro’s policies. What matters is that he was a dictator”, which naturally carried an image of him sitting alongside that other well known tyrant Saddam Hussein – albeit nowhere near as cosily as many of the the US and UK leaders are with a variety of other oppressive bastards in photos further down this page.
Others with a slightly more ironic perspective on the way the MSM chooses to report news so that it wholeheartedly supports and perpetuates the points of view of their owners and the wider establishment, shared photos of Castro and Mandela embracing warmly and captioned “The Terrorist and the Dictator” – both terms that the purveyors of propaganda have utilised to describe the two leaders.
Frankly it’s risible to see a whole load of ill-informed and thoroughly brainwashed individuals rushing to condemn a leader who did more to improve the lot of the people in his country – in spite of almost half a century of isolation, aggression and interference by the US and its allies – than any of the politicians that in the same period wholeheartedly welcomed, supported excused and shielded some of the most murderous despots to have crushed and abused populations across the Developing World.
When Mandela died three years ago, Roque Planas, editor of Latino Voices for Huffington Post wrote “Why Nelson Mandela Loved Fidel Castro” and he said:
“Mandela’s admiration for the Cuban Revolution only grew with time. Cuba under Castro opposed apartheid and supported the African National Congress — Mandela’s political organization and the current ruling party. Mandela credited Cuba’s military support to Angola in the 1970s and 1980s with helping to debilitateSouth Africa’s government enough to result in the legalization of the ANC in 1990.
“The U.S. government, on the other hand, reportedly played a role in Mandela’s 1962 arrest and subsequently branded him a terrorist — a designation they only rescinded in 2008. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act.”
Any suggestion that although Castro may have been far from perfect, given the circumstances he did an amazing job of ensuring that the Cuban population enjoyed an infinitely better standard of life than any of the other Latin American countries who suffered under the yoke of dictators who owed their power to the backing, connivance and support of the US, is dismissed out of hand as relativism; clearly for all the drum banging supporters of Capitalism – and consequently haters of all things socialist – the consummate evil of any of its opponents is beyond and beneath comparison.
However, anyone with an open mind will find this BBC clip featuring an academic who actually has views on the subject that are based on more than simple MSM distortions, informative. I think her response to the question “How do you rationalise that with his human rights record?” is particularly telling: “You talk to Cubans and many of them would say ‘I would rather be in a Cuban jail than Guantanamo Bay” – but then again I guess that’s a relative choice.