Friday, May 17, 2013

Tyrants Incorporated: The unusual alliance between Argentina's military junta and Cuba's communist dictatorship

Jorge Rafael Videla died in a prison of Argentina. That should be the destiny of all dictators (including those in Cuba). - Jorge Ramos, over twitter 

Reynaldo Bignone and Jorge Rafael Videla in 2011 photo: AP / Natacha Pisarenko
 Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla died today and the international Left will focus on the military junta's early relations with the United States promoted by Henry Kissinger towards the end of the Ford presidency but remain silent about the later and much longer alliance of Videla's regime with Castro's Cuba and the Soviet Union.

Beginning in 1977, President James Earl Carter took steps to normalize relations with the dictatorship in Cuba while at the same time isolating the military junta in Argentina.  Fidel Castro response was to embrace the Argentine regime at a time when thousands of Argentine leftists were being disappeared.

This embrace of the far right should not be a surprise. Formerly classified documents made public by the German intelligence service in November of 2012 reveal that Fidel Castro in the 1960s personally recruited former Nazi SS Waffen members to train Cuban troops and also reached out to Nazi operativesOtto Ernst Remer and Ernst-Wilhelm Springer, in Germany's extreme right to purchase weapons.

Both the Argentine military junta and the Castro communist regime have a history of brutal and systematic human rights violations. The main difference between the two is that the Castro brothers are still in power killing people and have not had to answer for their crimes.

Dictators Reynaldo Bignone and Fidel Castro
Whether the cause be saving Christian civilization and the West or implanting a socialist utopia history has demonstrated that the ends do not justify the means. Recalling Mohandas Gandhi's observation on ends and means: “They say, 'means are, after all, means'. I would say, 'means are, after all, everything'. As the means so the end.” The unusual alliance between the communist Castro regime in Cuba and the anticommunist military junta in Argentina is one more example of the truth of Gandhi's statement.

In the end both regimes, although ideologically opposed, were brought together by their common inhumanity for their political adversaries. In the end the means that they chose defined them more than the ends that they sought.

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