|87 candles but how many others never saw another birthday?|
Fidel Castro turned 87 years old today and the dictator's apologists are out in force celebrating on social media, but a question arises: How many people will never have another birthday thanks to Fidel Castro?
The founder of a dynastic dictatorship that ruled Cuba with an iron grip from 1959 until a health crisis forced the despot to turn power over to his brother Raul, informally in 2006 and formally in 2008.
The accurate body count after more than a half century remains unknown but partial counts place it in the thousands.
Add to this the failure of the regime on the health and hygiene front with mass deaths at a psychiatric facility and return of Cholera at levels not seen since the 19th century and the magnitude of the disaster begins to take shape.
Extrajudicial killings still take place but in Orwellian fashion are denied. Meanwhile nonviolent opposition leaders that could provide a soft landing die under extremely suspicious circumstances with the direct involvement of state security.
|Oswaldo Payá: Life cut short by Castro dictatorship|
Cuba's Lech Walesa, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas met with an "accident" on July 22, 2012 along with Harold Cepero, a youth leader from his movement. Evidence points to a state security vehicle crashing into the vehicle the dissidents were traveling in. More disturbing is the mounting suspicion that both men survived the accident and were killed afterwards. Over a year later and the families have still not been provided with the autopsy results.
Laura Inés Pollán Toledo, the women with the talent, courage, and popular support to be the next president of Cuba after being repeatedly roughed up, pricked with needles by regime agents became ill and died within the span of a week while under the guard of state security.
Internationally, the regime has been an ally to some profoundly loathsome regimes that have engaged and are engaging in genocide and some of whose leaders are now convicted war criminals on the lam.
The fact that some around the world who believe that the ends justify the means celebrate his example is disturbing especially when observing that not only where his means immoral and profoundly evil but the end result is a country that is an empty shell of what it was before the Castro brothers achieved power and the patterns of repression endure to the present day.
How many people will never have another birthday thanks to Fidel Castro? Too many.