He highlights the rival madnesses that seem to afflict western attitudes towards Fidel’s regime. On the one hand many people on the democratic left regard Castro as a hero for standing up to America. As former New Statesman editor Peter Wilby put it:
One of the earliest lessons I learned as NS editor was that many readers regard Castro rather as Telegraph readers used to regard the late Queen Mother, and
that harsh criticism of the Cuban president would lead to threats of cancelled
When challenged about the repressive nature of the Castro regime, western Fidelistas will point to Cuba’s amazing healthcare system, as though healing the human body is an acceptable substitute for destroying its spirit.
On the other hand, without the sheer folly of the American blockade, it is pretty much impossible to believe that the Castro regime would have lasted so long. Castro has survived on being able to present himself as a patriot opposing American domination. Because Florida is a swing state, no presidential regime has had the courage to stand up to the Cuban exile population in Miami.
The regime in Cuba will struggle to survive Castro’s death for long – only American pig-headedness could possibly save it.