Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, November 26, 2016

On Fidel Castro

First off let me say I am not Cuban nor do I  have an expertise in Cuban history.

But Fidel Castro's death seems like a learning opportunity a lot of the internet is missing. For me Fidel Castro represents the complexities of leftist politics, human nature and the fallibility of man.

Nobody can deny he did absolutely horrifying things.

But. And I believe that this is also important in the grand scheme of history he refused to easily conform to the narratives we Americans wanted to place upon him. That doesn't all of a sudden make him a hero. He still has a hell of a lot of death and misery on his hands. But it is a conversation worth having that I don't think I'm hearing.  (Never depend on Twitter for moral complexity.)

One of the failures of American diplomacy, that did in deed cause massive loses of life, during the Cold War was the imposition of binary narrative. Instead of trying to figure out how international figures and peoples thought we made policy based upon the labels we gave them. Communist or capitalist, good or evil,

Castro led a long and complicated life that I have no hope of coming close to understanding. I am not that smart. It defies a simple single solidifying story where he is either the villain or the hero. Because at different times and different places he was either, both and neither.

To me he is a symbol for all the contradictions in my own politics, writings, and soul as well as the blurred line between hope and horror as people, places and even ideas I champion may betray not only me but themselves in ways I find viscerally repugnant.

Life is messy and complicated as are people and everything that is built on top of human fallibility. And that is a truth that gets remembered far less often than it should.

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