The other day a good friend approached me and said, "I agree with all that you have said in your last post [Fidel Castro's Legacy], but you should not have called him an idiot, Fidel Castro was not an idiot."
"I am sure he knew how to add and multiply numbers and he might have been a wiz at math also, so you are right, he was not an idiot" I continued, "and I did not say he was an idiot, I said he was a political idiot. If you go to a surgeon for heart surgery and you wake up from the anesthesia and find out there are no surgical marks on your chest but your toes have been cut off and then you also discover that this surgeon does this on a regular basis. I am sure you would say 'that f**king surgeon is an idiot surgeon' he might be good at math but he is for sure an idiot surgeon. He is incompetent at his job. That is the same with Fidel Castro, he was utterly incompetent at the job, which was the political leadership of Cuba. Day in and day out for more than 50 years he crowned himself as the leader and at every turn led the people of Cuba astray. He probably believed that he is doing the right thing, like that heart surgeon. Yes, he was a political idiot."
These life time leaders, like Castro, create a kind of halo of infallibility around themselves and train their flock to have no expectation of performance from them. And when someone mentions the fact, the emperor has no cloths, the flock gets shocked. In real life an incompetent surgeon cannot continue with his practice because there are expectations of performance from him. George Bush or Barack Obama continuously get criticized and there is a limit for them. Castro at the height of his incompetence gets promoted to "Comandante en Jefe" of Cuba for eternity.
The leftist flock has a short memory also. In my last post I talked about the international conflicts where Fidel Castro continuously chose the wrong side. Now let's look at his internal performance. After he took power, and confiscated all foreign assets and companies particularly the U.S. investments there, he did not say, "By nationalizing these assets, I am declaring myself as the modern Robin Hood and this is international robbery, and by this act I will wreck the Cuban economy!" That is what he was doing but instead he said, "We do not need the U.S. we have our own white gold, meaning sugar, and we will produce more sugar and build a better and more prosperous Cuba." Obviously these quotations are not exact but they portray the sequence of events. International brigades were formed, detachments of enthusiastic youth rushed to Cuba to assist Castro in his project, production of the white gold. Today all reports indicate that Cuba's sugar industry is in shambles. Quite a performance. It is quite a while that nobody has heard about the "white gold".
One of the rallying cry points of Castro and his movement was that "Cuba with all its foreign owned hotels and casinos is the playground for foreigners and they do not benefit Cubans and it only promotes prostitution." Today, Cuban government is promoting foreign investment in hotel building and management as the playground for foreigners. Prostitution is alive and expanding. Please do not gasp when the casinos pop up back in Cuba for the entertainment of the foreigners and also for the acquisition of international currency to "build Castro's socialism".
I could go into Cuba's miracle of education and health care also. Their performance is very little different than the production of sugar and the "socialist" prevention of prostitution. There are a lot of hoopla about them as there was about Soviet industrialization and Mao's rush to mass produce steel.
I do not want to skip over Castro's crocodile tears of Cuba being unjustly embargoed by the U.S. Let's not forget that he was the one who did not need the U.S. and confiscated the U.S. companies. This by itself could justify the embargo but Castro's alliance with the Soviet Union was the main reason for the embargo as all the rest of the Soviet bloc was embargoed. I am for ending the embargo against Cuba, not because it is unjust, but because lifting the sanctions will accelerate the process of market economy inside Cuba. Otherwise Cuba's "socialism" was a pipe dream from the get go as it has been elsewhere. It should not take too long for the millionaires and billionaires to pop up in Cuba, many of them from the ranks of the Castro's family and from among the leadership of the Cuban Communist party.
One hopes that with return of the market economy the expectations of performance would ride along and return to Cuba.