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“Celebrating” 50 Years of Castro…in London?!?

Scott on January 4, 2007 at 10:19 am

An odd story, this one

The U.K.’s Daily Mail has this story about Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, and the announcement he made in late December that he has plans to sponsor a “massive street party” throughout London to celebrate 50 years of Fidel Castro being in power in Cuba. The celebration is slated for 2009.

The two quotes from Mr. Livingstone that really stand out are these:

“The Cuban revolution of 1959 was an extraordinary event not just for Cuba but for the region as a whole and I have never concealed my support for this fact.

“There is no reason why Cuba should be singled out for controversy except for people coming at international issues from a very Right-wing perspective.”

What an “extraordinary” perspective The 1959 revolution was an EXTRAORDINARY event both for Cuba and for the region. Interesting word choice – extraordinary. I wonder if all of the refugees from Cuba that have been escaping over the last 45+ years would call Castro and his revolution extraordinary. I’ve talked with and worked with former Cuban citizens and their children. Oddly enough, I’ve never heard them use words like “extraordinary” to describe the revolution or to describe Castro. They use words like tragic, hateful, spiteful and evil.

And at the same time, besides being extraordinary, apparently Castro and his revolution have been the victims of “right-wing” spin over the years. And maybe he has a point. If one were to place Communism on the far left of the political scale, then the majority of countries in the world ARE right-wing when compared to Cuba, and since most major world powers condemn Castro and his dictatorship, I guess you could classify their condemnation as spin from the “right-wing perspective.”

I’m just wondering, if Mr. Livingstone is so enamored by Castro’s Cuba, why he doesn’t move there himself. Could it be because:

- Cuba is one of two countries in the Americas (the other being Haiti) where political freedom is completely curtailed.

- The British Government singles out Cuba as one of only two Latin American states which are of “major human rights concern”.

- Political parties, other than the Communist Party, are prohibited in Cuba, as are free trade unions.

- Freedom of expression is banned in Cuba

- There is no press freedom and Cuban citizens are not allowed to travel freely

Wow, when you look at it this way, Mr. Livingstone is right. Cuba sounds like a GREAT place.

Viva la Revolution!

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Category: Foreign Affairs, Secularism & Socialism |

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