Fidel Castro and the Grim Reaper

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Paul Kengor at Catholic World Report asks an interesting question:  how many people did dead Communist dictator Fidel Castro kill?


So, for starters how many people were killed by Fidel and his communist dystopia?

Unfortunately, no one truly knows, akin to how no one knows how many poor souls he tossed into his jails, from political dissidents to priests to homosexuals. Fidel’s prison-state has never permitted human-rights observers, reminiscent of how he never permitted the elections he repeatedly promised in the 1950s. That said, many sources have tried to pin down numbers and have generated some common estimates:

“The Black Book of Communism,” the seminal Harvard University Press work, which specialized in trying to get accurate data on the enormous volume of deaths produced by communist tyrants, states that in the 1960s alone, when Fidel and his brother Raul (Cuba’s current leader) established their complete control, with the help of their murdering buddy Che Guevara, an estimated 30,000 people were arrested in Cuba for political reasons and 7,000 to 10,000 were believed to have been executed. Even then, that was merely the start.

From the late 1950s to the late 1990s, it’s estimated that Castro killed between 15,000 to 18,000 people, whether victims of long-term imprisonment or outright execution by bullets.

That is a lot of people for a small island. And it isn’t all.

Cuba is a surreal island of no boats, where boats are banned—because people with boats flee. Thus, untold numbers of citizens have attempted the treacherous nearly 100-mile swim to Florida in shark-infested waters. An estimated 100,000 have risked the journey. Of those, perhaps as many as 30,000 to 40,000 died from drowning. As they bob for breath, the Castro government sends military helicopters to drop large bags of sand on them from high above.

Yes, actually drop sandbags on them.

So, Fidel Castro is responsible for a lot of death.

But here, too, these numbers do not capture the level of Fidel’s brutal madness. Consider the actual millions he badly wanted to kill, especially here in America.

If Fidel Castro had his way in October 1962, the United States would have been leveled by atomic bombs and so would little Cuba, which would’ve ceased to exist. The fact is that Fidel recommended to Nikita Khrushchev that Cuba and the USSR together launch an all-out nuclear attack upon the United States, literally igniting Armageddon.

This is no secret. Castro admitted it. In an open forum discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis 30 years later, Castro told Robert McNamara, JFK’s secretary of defense: “Bob, I did recommend they [the nuclear missiles] were to be used.”

In total, said McNamara, there were 162 Soviet missiles on the island. The firing of those missiles alone would have led to (according to McNamara) at least 80 million dead Americans, which would have been half the population, plus added tens of millions of casualties.

That, however, is a conservative estimate, given that 162 missiles was far the sum total that would have been subsequently launched. The United States in turn would have launched on Cuba, and also on the USSR. President Kennedy made that commitment clear in his nationally televised speech on October 22, 1962: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” In response, of course, the Soviets would have automatically launched on America from Soviet soil. Even then, the fireworks would just be starting: Under the terms of their NATO and Warsaw Pact charters, the territories of Western and Eastern Europe would also erupt.

Once the smoke cleared, hundreds of millions to possibly over a billion people could have perished, with Western civilization in its death throes. If Fidel Castro had gotten his way, he would have precipitated the greatest slaughter in human history. (Che Guevara also wanted to launch the nukes.)

The Soviets were horrified. Their ambassador to Cuba, Alexander Alekseyev, was so stunned at what Castro told him that he stood frozen, speechless, crushed. Without waiting for an answer from the numb ambassador, Castro started writing his feelings on paper, which Alekseyev saw as a kind of “last testament, a farewell.”

Go here to read the rest.  When Castro was a young man he was driving in the country.  He suddenly stopped the car, walked into a field and began shooting to death cows who had been placidly munching grass.  When his appalled companion asked him why he was doing this, he said he was training himself to deal with spies and informers.  The fact that this monster became the leader of a nation is horrific.  However, much more sinister is the sympathy he aroused around the world, especially among most of the American left.

More to explorer

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Fifty Years

Hattip to commenter Dale Price.  My motto has always been:  “Slay all the Lunies, and let God sort ’em out!”

Deep State? What Deep State?

Surprise!:     Who would have thought that, this deep into the Russia collusion probe, we’d be learning about yet another dossier


  1. Most of the left-of-center back in the day had no interest in Castro or were explicitly antagonistic. An odd exception was George McGovern, always the ingenue. McGovern and Robert Kastenmeier aside, the leftists who admired Castro had hardly any place in electoral politics other than a few cretins like John Conyers, among whom it’s a supply-side phenomenon only. The nexus of opinion journalists employed by The Nation, The Village Voice, Mother Jones &c were in the business of offering briefs for Castro. The best sense I could ever make of that wretched crew is that they fancied themselves Special by virtue of their affinity for perverse and vicious stances.

  2. Mystifying part of all this about Cuba and Castro is that it sits 90 miles from the US and not much further from continental South America and yet so many in various countries have a benign view of the man and the misery he has caused. Oddly, he never made a secret about what he was doing but the same people who prattle on about human rights not only give him a pass but are lavish in his praise. I guess it is true that there are none so blind as those who will not see.

  3. Americans who praised Fidel Castro are and have been a special brand of stupid. There is no better way to desribe that legion of brain dead slugs.
    In Latin America, the meme “damn Yanqui” goes way back. If I give examples, there will undoubtedly ensue an argument with Art Deco and i have no time for that. It can be summed up in John David Crow’s book The Epic of Latin America. Castro told the US to shove it and got away with it.
    Therefore, leftists throughout Latin America, be they atheist or Catholic, praised Castro. Human rights have meant little in Latin America to the hard core left or right. Therefore, Castro’s human rights abuses meant nothing to the Left. Of course, the Left howls over Pinochet and the Argenine dictatorship, but has been silent when it comes to the Sendero Luminoso and the FARC.
    Piere Trudeau was part of a Liberal Party that helped to destroy a vibrant Catholic culture in Quebec and lunged at the opportunity to be amigos with Castro. Given the anti American feeling among certain left wing Canadians past and present, they didn’t care about Castro’s human rights abuses, either. Trudeau wanted to be a pest to the US and in this case he succeeded.
    The Cuban exiles have never been a popular bunch in the US. They started coming to Florida when Batista was running the show and we know the rest. America has taken in immigrants but it has rarely been a popular exercise. No irish need apply, Polacks are stupid, the Pope wants to rule the US, etc. PBS did an hour long hit piece on the Miami Cubans back in 2000 or 2001 that would never have been done about the Muslims or Mexicans or Indians with H1B visas. Nor, for that matter, the legions of New Yorkers who have made Miami a sixth borough of NYC and brought their politics with them.

    Right now the US has bigger problems than who runs Cuba. However, the impending death of Raul Castro will present Trump with an opportunity. Blockade the island and demand that they hand over the escaped felons there or else.

  4. I once met a woman, the wife of an acquaintance, who seemed a nice person in her late 40’s. She then proceeded to tell of her admiration for Fidel. Everyone present was embarrassed, including her husband. She was dead two years later from early-onset Alzheimer’s’.

    I’ve never met anyone else with a good excuse.

  5. Just a minor side note for those thinking of Cuba as the next adventure tour destination. Some years ago my wife (on a Thai passport) went to Cuba and brought back a bottle of their famous Havana Club Rum. It was easy to see why the Cuba Libre was invented; it was to disguise the taste of the Rum which can also double as varnish remover. Point is, Cuba has little to offer and won’t for a long time as the economy and business environment was almost completely destroyed by a half century of Castroism. Vietnam has a stronger economy than Cuba and it was in a shooting war for over twenty years with the French and Americans.

  6. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” I cannot understand how anyone would want to wear a tee shirt with Che’s face on it or praise Castro.

  7. Our Republican legislators at the federal level were all for normalizing relations with Cuba–following the lead of the establishment Republicans in DC. My US Congressman, if memory serves me correctly, was the one who absolutely raved about how much our Arkansas farmers would profit from the opening of a new foreign market to their farm produce. I was not impressed by his argument.

  8. It appears that Trump is on board with keeping Gitmo open. Years ago my husband deployed there for 6 weeks and I had a week there on a command inspection team. It’s not an attractive part of Cuba; the standard of living for personnel there is not the same as CONUS, but it’s like Club Med for the cave dwellers jihadists interned there. The US should NEVER give up Guantanamo Bay.

  9. We also read recently that the Communist Castro enriched himself to the tune of 900 million dollars during the nearly six decades of his dictatorship. To each according to his grasp-abilities and from each regardless of their needs. What doth it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul?

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