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Fidel Castro: Cuban Revolution


He is the darling of the American left. His island nation is held up as an example the United States should emulate by the liberals of America. Hollywood leftists worship him, although not one of them has yet to sell his oceanfront Malibu home, give the proceeds to the poor, and move to his capital city to live in abject poverty with his comrades.

His system of government is held in the highest esteem by the American left because even though his citizens live in utter squalor, they're all equally poor. The poverty in his country is rivaled only in the Western Hemisphere by Haiti. He has ruled his nation with an iron fist for fifty years—though he was never elected to public office.

The average Cuban today eats 1/4 of the meat and less rice, beans, and bread than did Cuban slaves in 1840. The fearless leader himself owns sixty homes and has amassed a fortune of a nine hundred million dollars. This is the story of Fidel Castro, and the utopian paradise he created in Cuba.



Cuba Before Castro

Before Fidel Castro came to power, Cuba boasted nearly the highest standard of living in the Spanish-speaking world. It was not predominantly a country of rural peasantry, but a nation of cities with a large middle-class. 80 percent of the Cuban people were literate. The share of the national income that went to regular wage-earners was 65 percent—4th highest in the world behind the US, the UK, and Canada. This would seem like a very unlikely place for a Socialist revolution.

But in the 1950s, Cuba dissolved into a morass of corruption under a greedy and cruel dictator named Batista. Cuba had degenerated into a playground for rich Americans that was full of gambling, drinking, sex shows, and prostitution. Like all of Latin America then—and most of it still today—everything ran on bribes and kickbacks. The main casinos were operated by the Jewish-American gangster Meyer Lansky, who paid Batista over a million dollars a month for his "license."

Batista himself had an unlikely rise to power from the son of a sugar cane cutter and a mulatto maid. When he took control in Cuba in 1940 he was sergeant in the Cuban Army. Through corruption, Batista became fabulously wealthy. But he was despised by most Cubans and traveled everywhere with a phalanx of armed guards. Since almost nothing Batista said was believed by the Cuban people, almost everything Fidel Castro said was believed, though it was no more true.



The American Left Anoints Castro

The New York Times sent a Socialist reporter down to Cuba in 1957 to survey the situation. The reporter, Herbert Matthews, selected an little-known guerrilla leader with only 150 followers named Fidel Castro as the best man to lead a new Cuba.

Matthews wrote a series of articles that romanticized Castro and made him a hero to the American Left, who desperately needed a hero since they had recently been forced to stop publicly idolizing Josef Stalin, as it had come to light that Stalin had killed fifty million people in the name of Socialism.

Matthews said this in the New York Times about Fidel Castro: "The personality of the man is overpowering. It was easy to see that his men [all 130 of them] adored him [hell, that many people adore me!] and also to see why he has caught the imagination of the youth of Cuba all over the island. Here was an educated, dedicated fanatic, a man of ideals, of courage and of remarkable qualities of leadership."

This story and others by Matthews—who wrote like a star-struck schoolgirl about Fidel—had an immense impact in making Castro a legendary, mythical personage. Castro also fooled Matthews into thinking his support was enormously larger than it was in real life. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the owner of the New York Times, later admitted that Matthews had shown "poor judgement" and "misled" his readers.



Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro was the spoiled illegitimate son of a rich immigrant from Spain—and his maid—who had earned a fortune in Cuba with his fruit plantation.

Fidel Castro, having too much time on his hands—an idle mind is the devil's workshop—began to fancy himself a Marxist revolutionary. He was influenced by the cold-blooded murderer Che Guevara—you know, the one leftists have on T-Shirts and wall posters.

Castro led armed student rebellions, and committed numerous crimes including murder, in several Latin American countries. In 1948, Castro helped organize the violence that claimed the lives of 3,000 Columbian citizens. His ultimate goal was to be internationally famous.

Despite the fact that Castro was a Communist gangster determined to attain personal power through violence, Herbert Matthews wrote glowing articles about him that painted him as the Lawrence of Arabia of the Caribbean. To Matthews, Castro was a brave young rebel who risked his life to bring down a hated dictator and would bring about a free and prosperous democracy in Cuba.

One of his friends described Castro thus: "He was a power-hungry person, completely unprincipled, who would throw in his lot with any group he felt could help his political career." Castro himself claimed that his "vocation is being a revolutionary." He fancied himself Lenin and Hitler rolled into one. He modeled his early rhetoric on the proto-fascist Primo de Rivera.





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Castro Takes Power in Cuba

Castro, backed by the New York Times, took over in Cuba in 1959. It wasn't so much that he conquered the government as that the 70,000 Cuban military men and policemen refused to fight against him because they believed his promises about the great utopia he would bring to Cuba. Batista fled the country.

Fidel Castro never had more than 3,000 followers at any time in his career. His so-called battles were mere public relations exercises. In the "Battle of Santa Clara" he lost six men. In the largest engagement of the Cuban Revolution, Castro lost 40 men and the government 300.

The "guerrilla war" was just propaganda. As his best friend Che Guevara admitted: "The presence of a foreign journalist, American for preference, was more important for us than a military victory."

Castro set about turning Cuba into a giant Communist prison camp. Like all dictators, Castro needed an enemy. He selected the United States. He seized property that belonged to Americans worth over a billion dollars- 1959 dollars. US President Eisenhower did nothing except place an embargo on Cuban sugar.

Shortly after taking over Cuba, Fidel Castro visited the United States. He said all the right things—that he hated dictators, he loved a free press, and he promised not to expropriate property in Cuba owned and developed by Americans.

He charmed everybody it seemed except Richard Nixon, who knew a liar when he saw one. Nixon asked him why he had not scheduled elections. Castro said the Cuban people did not want elections. Nixon asked why he was executing people left and right without a trial. Castro said the Cuban people did not want trials.

Within months, Castro had signed agreements with the Soviet Union by which Cuba became its satellite in exchange for weapons, advisors, and KGB agents to train Castro's secret police. He murdered the top military man in the country, as well as the top judge, and slapped any persons who voiced opposition to his dictatorship into prison for up to thirty years. One of his top men in the revolution, Huber Matos, was arrested and spent twenty years in prison for criticizing Castro. As Castro said: "Revolutionary Justice is based not upon legal precepts but on moral conviction."



Cuba Under Castro

After taking control of Cuba, Castro announced he would hold elections in 18 months. He learned the technique of false promises by studying Vladimir Lenin. His first decree was to abolish all political parties—in other words all opposition to his dictatorship. As Castro explained "Worthy men who belong to definite political parties already have posts in the provisional [my] government. . . . The others would do better to be silent." From then on, anyone who voiced opposition to Communism would be arrested.

100,000 political prisoners were soon behind bars without trials. Torture became routine and thousands of the prisoners who had broken no laws were summarily executed for daring to criticize Fidel. In 1961, Castro announced there would be no elections—and there haven't been any since.

Castro announced that Cubans would have political freedom, but he gave them nothing but complete oppression. He prohibited free press and free speech. Only judges who agreed with Socialism were allowed to sit on the bench. Trade unions and professional associations were abolished. Castro took farms away from the people who knew how to farm, with the predictable result: agricultural production plummeted. Rationing became a permanent feature of life in Cuba. All industry, banks, and utilities were now owned by the government.



Fidel Exports Socialism

In 1960, Fidel Castro announced his intention—which he later made good on—to send elite units of his soldiers to other Latin American countries, as well as to Africa and Asia, to help Communist revolutionaries. Thus, 90 miles from the United States, was established a Communist regime aligned with America's sworn enemy that began to export violence. Cubans who were not Communists began to flee to the United States in huge numbers.

John F. Kennedy was probably elected to the US Presidency over Richard Nixon in 1960 because he had painted Eisenhower and his Vice-President—Nixon—as soft on Communists in general and Castro in particular. 90 percent of the American public wanted Castro thrown out of Cuba. Castro was taunting America with a smaller militia than the Rhode Island National Guard. He was brutally executing all opponents and was increasingly hostile toward the United States.



Bay of Pigs

When John F. Kennedy took over as President of the United States, the CIA convinced him to support 1,200 armed Cuban exiles who wanted to land in an area of Cuba named the Bay of Pigs to overthrow Castro. This plan had already been rejected by former President Eisenhower.The key part of this story is that the plan included a massive air attack to support the emigres. Kennedy nixed the air support because he lacked courage.

Unfortunately, the American Leftist Media loved Castro—and still idolizes him today—and they published the plans for the invasion, which made it easy for Castro to thwart the attack. 114 invaders were killed during the landing and the other 1,189 were taken prisoner, nearly all of whom were executed or later died in Castro's prisons.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, believing that America would do nothing no matter what Castro did, decided to station nuclear missiles on Cuban soil. Castro said in an interview that the purpose was "primarily to strengthen Socialism on the international plane." Soviet documents released decades later stated that the purpose was to bring about "a definite shift in the power relationship between the Socialist [enslaved] and the Capitalist [free] worlds."

Khrushchev sent 42 missiles, 24 anti-aircraft batteries, and 42,000 Soviet troops and technicians to Cuba in 1962. These missiles would be capable of destroying US defenses in 17 minutes once operational. Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson advised immediate air strikes to knock out the missile sites, followed by an invasion of American Marines. President Kennedy turned down this plan, instead deciding to quarantine the island and negotiate with the Soviets. Thus began the Cuban Missile Crisis.







Cuban Missile Crisis

President Kennedy got what he wanted: the Soviets pulled the missiles out in exchange for an American promise not to invade Cuba. So Cuba was locked into rule under a totalitarian regime until the present day.

One might think this made Fidel Castro happy—it did not. He smashed a looking-glass and shouted that Khrushchev was "a man with no balls!"

Fidel Castro came close to causing the deaths of 500 million human beings. He had urged the Soviets to attack America first with nuclear missiles and assured them he would gladly sacrifice each and every Cuban person for the cause of worldwide Socialism.

The 42,000 Soviet troops and experts remained in Cuba and began extensive training of what was to become one the world's largest and most mobile armies. The Cuban Army would be used as mercenaries to execute Soviet policy on anti-Western military missions for two decades.

Kennedy had acquiesced to a Communist regime in Cuba in open military alliance with a nation that had publicly declared that it intended to destroy the United States. Former President Eisenhower called it "A Profile in Timidity and Indecision." The head of the American Strategic Air Command, Curtis LeMay, told Kennedy: "It's the greatest defeat in our history."

The American Liberal Press declared Kennedy a hero. But they saved their hagiography for Fidel Castro. Castro, American Liberal writers wrote, was "steeped in democracy," a "passionate humanitarian," "soft-spoken, shy, and sensitive," a man who reminds them of the "connection between Socialism and Christianity," who possesses "encyclopedic knowledge." Norman Mailer said that Fidel Castro was "the first and greatest hero to appear in the world after the Second World War." Abbie Hoffman topped that when he wrote: "When Castro stood erect, he is like a giant penis coming to life, and when he is tall and straight the crowd immediately is transformed."

Fidel Castro loudly defended the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Cuban soldiers were more readily admitted by Socialist revolutionaries in African countries than would have been Soviet soldiers because they were not white. In 1975, the first Cuban troops landed in Angola—under Soviet naval protection. In 1976, Cuban troops were fighting to impose Socialism on Ethiopia, as well as in Central and East Africa. In 1979, Cuba established a satellite regime of its own in Nicaragua. Over the years, the Soviet Union gave Cuba $10 billion worth of military equipment to wage war against democracy.



The Legacy of Fidel Castro

In the final analysis, Fidel Castro represents a horrible warning to the enemies of Free Enterprise. Cuba was perhaps the richest country in Latin America before Castro. In the first two decades of Socialism, Cuba's national income diminished by more than one percent each year while most countries in the world experienced dramatic leaps in standards of living. Living standards declined relentlessly while Castro kept promising that Utopia was just around the corner.

The Cubans might have starved to death had not the Soviets propped up Castro's regime with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of food. By the 1990s, Cuba had sunk to the lowest standard of living in Western Hemisphere, tied with Haiti, with most Cubans going hungry to bed.

Ordinary Cubans have long rejected Castro by voting with their feet and their outboard motors. 20 percent of the Cuban people now live in the United States, having risked their lives to cross shark-infested waters in everything from inner tubes to rickety fishing vessels to escape their oppressed and impoverished country. Many of the best educated Cubans left the island, especially after Castro confiscated all private businesses in 1968. In 1980 alone, 150,000 refugees fled Castro for America from the port of Mariel. In a nice touch, Castro also released 100,000 criminals from prison and insane asylums and sent them to America.



Che Guevara

Che Guevara is the ultimate fashion accessory for the American Left. He is romanticized by Leftist historians and Hollywood types as a warm and loving humanitarian. For one example, see the film Che (2008) starring Benicio Del Toro.

The truth about Che Guevara is that he was a psychopath and fanatical Communist. He wanted a worldwide system of Communist slavery for all human beings, which he envisioned as some sort of utopia.

Che Guevara personally executed many people whom he felt did not sufficiently agree with his ideas. He also personally organized Cuba's forced labor camps for Fidel Castro.

After the Cuba Missile Crisis, Che Guevara said this in an interview with the London Daily Worker:

"If the missiles had remained, we would have used them against the very heart of the United States, including New York. We must never establish peaceful coexistence. In this struggle to the death between two systems, we must gain the ultimate victory. We must walk the path of atomic liberation even if it costs millions of atomic victims."




To drum up tourism for Cuba, Fidel Castro made a speech in 1992 in which he touted the advantages of Cuban prostitution. Cuba had no AIDS epidemic because early on Castro had quarantined every person on the island who tested positive, thus stopping the spread of the killer disease before it could germinate through the general population. This marketing campaign worked as in 1999, Cuba entertained 1.7 million sex tourists, second in the world only to Thailand.

The Cubans in America flourished. By 1995 they had started 750,000 new businesses. The two million Cubans living in America generate a Gross Domestic Product eleven times higher than Cuba itself—with eleven million inhabitants. But over the years, Fidel Castro constantly blamed the United States for every ill that befell Cuba.

American textbooks, written by Socialists, call all of this a "success," and are filled with pro-Castro propaganda that is so mendacious it is beyond belief. It is hard to believe that American Leftists such as Hollywood movie types would tout a nation as a success where everybody is dirt poor, there are no elections, dissent is repressed, state censorship dominates, prisons are full of political prisoners, there is no rule of law, and where not even the most basic freedoms exist. I do not see Sean Penn, Danny Glover, or Harry Belafonte giving up their Malibu homes and multi-million dollar bank accounts to live in a Cuban hovel. Atheism makes for strange bedfellows.




In 1971, Castro arrested the popular Cuban writer Heberto Padilla because he didn't like his latest book. He was eventually released after being tortured into signing a confession that he was a political deviant. This caused many Latin American artistic types to stop supporting Castro. Many artists and writers fled Cuba if they could.

My father became the first private pilot to fly into Communist Cuba when he was hired by State Department in 1987 to fly out a Cuban political prisoner, Jose Pujals Mederos, who had been in prison for 27 years and 22 days. Senator Ted Kennedy rode along.

In 1963, a Castro supporter and fellow Marxist named Lee Harvey Oswald, murdered President Kennedy.

This story is dedicated to my good friends, the Herrera family, whose patriarch escaped from Cuba with his wife and children in 1968. Although the Herrera family had to leave everything they owned behind, and came to America penniless; before long were living a solid middle-class lifestyle. Only in America is this possible. There have been no sightings of people fleeing the United States on rafts to go live in Cuba.

My sources for this article include: A History of the American People by Paul Johnson; The Fifties by David Halberstam; The Penguin History of Latin America by Edwin Williamson; The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties by Jonathan Leaf; and Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties by Paul Johnson.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 12, 2016:

colorfulone ~ Thank you ever much for taking the time to read my article. I am so glad that you found it to be interesting and I appreciate your kind comments. I agree wholeheartedly with you assessment of the man.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 29, 2016:

Saw your post on Facebook, James, and decided I needed to read your article. Its hard to believe anyone can be so evil as Castro, he must have known the devil personally. It makes me feel angry, and very sad because of all that horrible things this man imposed on so many.

I sure as heck Obama doesn't go to his funeral.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2016:

cynthggt~ I sincerely appreciate your kind compliments!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2016:

Red Oaks~ Thank you very much for your outstanding comments. I agree with you 100%.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2016:

Thank you chicken for your wise words.

Cynthia Taggart from New York, NY on January 28, 2014:

Great article! Wonderful hub.

Red Oaks from Starkville, MS on April 01, 2013:

Sorry for the typos, I'm typing with my phone.

Red Oaks from Starkville, MS on April 01, 2013:

Outstanding Hub! Indeed, government schools and universities do not tell this version. Somehow Nixon's straightforwardness with Castro is not mentioned. When we think of Nixon we think of Watergate. When we think of JFD, we think of his bravely saving the world from nuclear war. Notice: leftists don't mention Socialism; they yammer about the nuclear weapons that threatened the "world."


chicken on March 07, 2013:

chicken and the sea and the sea and the chicken indeed

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 07, 2013:

NYC— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I am glad that we are in agreeance. Your comments are brilliant. I appreciate you for sharing your insights with us.


NYC on January 04, 2013:

Before Castro, Cuba was ahead of it's time and it was indeed the richest country in Latin America. I can imagine if Castro never came to power, how successful and developed Cuba would have been now.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 10, 2012:

bjg5160— Thank you very much for taking the time to come by and read my article on Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. Empathy? Bias? Propaganda? The mark of propaganda is untruth and I dare say I do not believe there is one false word in my article. I see imbeciles running around the USA with their Castro, or more commonly, Che Guevara T-Shirts on and they have no idea what these two wonderful men actually did. They only suspect that they hated Jesus as much as they do and that seems to be enough to win their admiration.

I do appreciate your gracious compliments and kind congratulations. Welcome to the HubPages Community! :D


bjg5160 on December 05, 2012:

Very well written with good incite, but extremely biased. No real sense of empathy here. It almost reads like propaganda...if that was your assertion then well done! Not to say that I don't agree with nearly everything you've written, just some critiquing where others have solely praised you. Congrats on a fine piece...

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 09, 2012:

minkat— Welcome to the HubPages Community! When your first Hub is done I will come over and read it. :D

I am honored that you would share my work with your friends and family! That is high praise indeed. Thank you very much, Kathy, for your kind compliments.


minkat on November 08, 2012:


I just found your hub today. I am so intrigued by your work. Can't stop reading. I will share with friends and family. GREAT WORK


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 30, 2012:

Vladimir Uhri— Hello again my friend! I know you come from a Socialist/Communist country and so who better than you to rebuke the pie-in-the-sky dreamers living off the fat of the land in the free West who theorize about Socialism/Communism but unlike you have never suffered under that brutal system of oppression themselves.

I sincerely appreciate your insightful and thoughtful comments about this, Brother. You are a delightful human being and a blessing to HubPages.


Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on May 17, 2012:

Hello James again. I notice that "jandee" made some remark which is incorrect. I came from socialistic (communistic country). That time Cuba was darling of Soviet and Slovak communists. We sent a lots help to them. *** I would like to make another point. Slovakia was also window for inspection (including Red Cross) for Hitler and later for Soviets. But one see country only what they wanting to show you. It is propaganda and nothing else.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 17, 2012:

GmaGoldie— I am glad you enjoy my Hubs and the resultant conversations that ensue.

Well, I had an aviation company for 14 years. We sold fuel, sold planes, chartered planes, operated a full-service FBO, had a huge maintenance facility, painted planes, installed new interiors, and had an FAA certified Flight School for beginners up through business jet instruction. A one-stop shop, one could say. The whole thing went under in 2009. Now I am a writer for HubPages, living up in your neck of the woods.

My father is still flying the rich and famous down in Orlando as a contract pilot. At 77, he still has perfect health and amazingly, perfect eyesight. :-)

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on May 11, 2012:


I return to your hubs often. Always enjoy the dialogue you have opened. I do wish to hear more about your flying. I didn't know your father was a pilot too - fascinating.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2012:

old albion— Welcome to the HubPages Community! I enjoyed reading your profile page. My uncle Walter DeCock (R.I.P.) used to spend a month or so each year in Majorca. He had a house there.

Thank you for the gracious accolades, Graham. I look forward to reading many of your Hubs in the days to come. I appreciate the visit and your kind comments. I am grateful to you for the voted up and interesting.


Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on May 08, 2012:

Hello James. A great hub. Full of interesting information, so well researched with credits given, excellent. Your research is first class and your presentation is spot on. I remember all the incidents you cover, the missile crisis was very disturbing at the time. There was indeed a great fear of war.

Voted up and interesting.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 14, 2011:

Fullerman5000— Thank you very much for the laudations, my friend. I am well pleased that you enjoy reading my Hubs. I appreciate you reading them and leaving such warm words.

Ryan from Louisiana, USA on September 12, 2011:

Once again another history lesson well put in writing. I love reading your hubs because I'm learning as well as being entertained. Great work.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 05, 2011:

marwan asmar— Thank you for your kind compliments, sir. I am glad that you found this to be an interesting piece. I will come by soon to see what you've been writing here on HubPages.

Marwan Asmar from Amman, Jordan on September 04, 2011:

Very nicely written it keeps the reader interested on what is going on next. You are right he was the darling of the left at one time. He might continue to be for some.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 02, 2011:— You are quite welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read it. I am grateful for your gracious compliments.

I do see a powerful moral and political lesson in this Hub. I hope lefties who read it will carefully consider what they want the future of America to be. Another Cuba? Lord, I hope not! :D

James from upstate, NY on September 01, 2011:

JW-A convincing story with an obvious moral-socialism sucks and the lefties support it anyway. Castro and his murderous sidekick Che Guevara probably would have made great US Senators in the Democratic party had they immigrated to the US- as for Castro,Guevara and the Democrats,great minds think alike. Thanks for writing this excellent Hub!-WBA

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 22, 2011:

GmaGoldie— Hey! It is great to hear from you! I see you haven't published any new Hubs in five months. I am glad to see you are still with us.

I agree that this subject has been sorely neglected. Your comments are outstanding. You wrote:

"Freedom is the most precious item and yet we must fight for it." And "America has a wonderful legacy but only IF we uphold our forefather's philosophy."


What an amazing story you shared about the man on the plane. You were courageous to hand him the slip of paper about Jesus after he let it be known he admired Castro and along with that—naturally—he exuded negative energy. God Bless You for that!

Thank you very much for reading my article and offering your laudations to my work here. I sincerely appreciate your excellent post and you are quite welcome. :D


Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on August 20, 2011:


This subject has been sorely neglected here and abroad. The family we purchased our home from was leaving for Cuba in 1960 on the very day Eisenhower declared the desire of the US to replace Castro - perhaps March 16th. The family was packed and at OHare to visit fellow farmers in Cuba - both families raised beef. Sadly their family trip was cancelled, fortunately, it was cancelled before it even began or any of the further turmoil began.

Freedom is the most precious item and yet we must fight for it. Open communication, anti-harrasment, stopping stalking, halting cyberbullying are the duties of all of us. We send soldier to war and yet we don't even express our opinions.

We are a democracy and we are stronger when we all speak up. The Internet is lessening the elite academics and the media - the Internet has the power to bring the world closer - IF we let it.

America has a wonderful legacy but only IF we uphold our forefather's philosophy. The historical references you give are key to understanding what we as Americans should be. Barring Charlie Chaplin I pray never happens again in America.

While traveling back from Dubai, we were under severe security. The man I was sitting next to was traveling back from visiting Somalia. I had to sit next to this man for 6 hours. Strangely, the seat was available at the last moment - up in the front of the plane.

Even stranger yet, I had to fill out next of kin forms before I boarded.

Then I sat next to this man who made me uncomfortable. I love foreigners but he was filled with negative energy.

For the sake of light conversation I asked him where he was traveling from and to. And while I normally ask about family, I didn't feel comfortable with him at all so I asked about traveling and where he would like to travel to - he replied Cuba! When I quizzed him why, he stated he admired Castro!

I firmly believe my conversation with this man was taped. I firmly believe he had planned harm to that plane.

He asked why I didn't want to visit Cuba. I replied the US and Cuba hadn't been political friends for decades and left it at.

I felt sorry for the man who admired socialism. I felt he wasn't stable and didn't want to head into a conversation where I would contradict him. While I didn't want to ask about his family, I felt I must at this point. We couldn't talk travel, we most certainly couldn't talk politics so we talked about his family.

At the end of the plane trip, I handed the man a slip from my limo driver who was preaching about Jesus - I didn't understand why it was handed to me - I loved Jesus - I didn't need the slip of paper with the website on it. Oh, but this lost soul I was speaking with who wanted to support socialism needed this website name and by a miracle from above, the slip of paper was in my pocket. I handed to the man I was deathly afraid of and have prayed for him daily.

I know socialism has benefits and I know poverty leads many to that political mindset, I pray for the Internet to someday reach all countries and all ears and have an open discussion on freedom and the freedom of communication.

Thank you for sharing a subject that the US has shunned. Americans and our foreign friends all need this information.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 18, 2011:

Hello, hello,— Thank you for taking the time to read my article, which is dedicated to my great friends the heroic Herrera Family that escaped Cuba in the nick of time.

I so appreciate your comments here because unlike elite academics in their ivory towers, and the mass media in America, and the public school and university ideology, you have actually experienced the baleful effects of rule by Socialism.

You said: "People fled with only their clothes on their back"

This should show to any thinking person how deep runs the innate feelings in the human heart that always longs for freedom and liberty.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 18, 2011:

ruffridyer— That is funny! I'd say the majority of Third World dictators love to dress up in military garb. That is funny! Thank you for visiting and commenting. :-)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 18, 2011:

Another brilliant work of yours, James. Very detailed and interestingly written. I lived in the '50s and '60s West Germany/East Germany situation. Where I live the Wall was closed by and we heard every week of people being killed. The worst was Peter Fetcher who was lying shot in no-mans-land bleeding slowly to death and calling for over two hours for help. It was transmitted over the radio. The Stasis were standing there holding up guns. The West Germans could not do anything because the West was threatened with Russian tanks rolling over and most properly with nuclear attack.

People fled with only their clothes on their back because anything would have been straigthaway cause suspicion. When they open the border to East Germany there were bomb craters from the war, dilap;itated houses and the factories look from the Middle Ages. The terrible West had rebuilt the whole country which crippled West Germany.

I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU THAT THOSE COMMUNISTS SHOULD GO AND LIVE IN THOSE COUNTRIES. People can believe in whatever they like but then live up to your belief.

I was surprised about Harry Belafonde.

I read an article written by a retired 'spymaster' and he too stated that the government in the '50s and '60s, at the height of the Cold War, told the MI5 to find any spy working for the Russians. He told the government that it is mostly the Eaton, Oxford, Cambridge and Harrow boys which are totally committed and they should look in their own government. He also wrote that they were all for the Nazis before. In other words, always ready to stay on top.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 17, 2011:

KeithTax— It is not true that those on the right want "no government," That would be anarchists. Those on the right want "limited central government" just as did our Founding Fathers.

I did list my primary sources for this article at its end: "My sources for this article include: A History of the American People by Paul Johnson; The Fifties by David Halberstam; The Penguin History of Latin America by Edwin Williamson; Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties by Paul Johnson."

You wrote: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Are there any references? I would like to check them out before I subscribe to such an accusation."

I will provide any references you want if you tell me to what you specifically refer.

Viva Fidel! Viva Che! Castro is the most honest and courageous politician I've ever met." Jesse Jackson

Meeting Fidel Castro were the eight most important hours of my life." Steven Spielberg.

"Very selfless and moral. One of the world's wisest men." Oliver Stone

"Cuba's Elvis." Dan Rather

"A Dream come true." Supermodel Naomi Campbell

"Socialism works. I think Cuba can prove that." Chevy Chase

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 17, 2011:

Dim Flaxenwick— You are most welcome. Thank you ever much for the accolades.

Wearing a Che Guevara tshirt is idiotic, to be sure. And I am pretty sure 99 percent of the people who do so are ignorant of the man and his philosophy. In fact, I just came across him in a book I was reading last night. He said some shocking things, which I will add to this Hub this morning.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 16, 2011:

Wayne Brown— You are most welcome, my erudite friend. Your comments are fabulous. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your insights with us here. I appreciate the visitation too.

I agree with you that "It can't happen here" are famous last words. 17 men started the USSR and eventually enslaved hundreds of millions of people.

250,000 people have jammed secular humanism down the throats of 300,000,000 Americans with little in the way of tough obstacles.

A small band of determined men can do incredible things.

Caveat Emptor!


ruffridyer from Dayton, ohio on August 16, 2011:

I always found it funny that years after the revoloution Castro still dressed up in fatigues. It was like he expected to have to retreat back into the mountains at any time.

Keith Schroeder from Wisconsin on August 15, 2011:

With over 1500 clients in my office I never once heard this. Politics always comes up when talking taxes. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Are there any referneces? I would like to check them out before I subscribe to such an accusation. I know the right wants no government at all, but the left wants to ne Cuba? As for Hollywood, I think if it were legal for Americans to visit Cuba they would. Some would stay. Then Cuba would turn Capitalist.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 15, 2011:

cristina327— You are most welcome, my dear. I am pleased that you enjoyed this piece of work. Thank you for leaving such gracious compliments for me to read. God Bless You!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 15, 2011:

John Sarkis— You are most welcome. Thank you very much for the affirmation and encouragement.

I am well pleased to hear from a Cuban on this topic, and grateful to you that you expressed approval of my article. I appreciate the visitation.


Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on August 15, 2011:

Absolutely brilliant work here, James. I was a child at the time of the ´Cuban crisis´ and The Bay of Pigs debacle, but it was serious enough to be talked about at home in Wales.

All I really understood at the time was that it was very scary. Yet, today I still see the ocassional Che Guvara T shirt and wonder if these young people really know who he was. As you say if Cuba is so wonderful.... go live there.! Fabulous article. Thank you.

Wayne Brown from Texas on August 14, 2011:

James, Cuba is a mirror reflection of how easy it is for a capitalist country to fall victim to socialist lies. In fact, we are deeply in the midst of such an effort as our Poser-In-Chief attempts every method to lead America down that road. First, he must break us financially and since he has only four years, possibly eight, to do it, the rush is on. The promised transparency is there...he is a socialist hiding in plain sight and those who worship at his altar are blind to the blatant socialism he espouses just as the people of Cuba were prior to Castro taking over. Those who cry that it cannot happen here have to only look toward Cuba to see that it can and will if we continue in our current directions. Castro, touting himself as a "man of the people" is apparently not a "man enough" of the people to join them in the squalor of the poorness choosing instead to steal the revenue of the country and line his own pockets with it. Here is yet one more man who cannot die fast enough to stand in front of the Lord and receive his just due for all the unholy and unjust things he was done in his lifetime. Meanwhile, we have to contend with Fidel Obama in our neck of the woods. Thanks for a good look at evil. WB

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 14, 2011:

crystolite— I am glad you enjoyed this article. Thank you for the high praise indeed. I appreciate this visit and your kind comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 14, 2011:

kashmir56— Thank you for the laudations! I appreciate the voted up as well as you hitting the interesting and awesome buttons for me. Good of you to visit and comment, friend. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 14, 2011:

Prasetio! Thank you for the accolades, my friend. You never fail to brighten up my day with your warm words. I surely appreciate the visitation and the voted up!

James :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 14, 2011:

stars439— It is a joy to read your comments, as always, my brother. You wrote:

"Anyone who likes Castro has got to be nuts. The man wanted our country obliterated by atomic bombs."

That is what I call cutting to the chase. Well said!

Thank you for visiting. God Bless You!

Cristina Santander from Manila on August 13, 2011:

Excellent hub which presents an excellent expose about the corruption and greed in a socialist government. I find it very interesting and educational. Thank you for sharing this great wealth of information.Remain blessed always. Best regards.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

cameciob— Hey! I am glad to hear from you! Thank you very much for the accolades! I will have to come over soon to see what you've been writing. Good of you to come. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

Tamarajo— You wrote: "How powerfully persuasive propaganda can be.

This is a great read for anyone thinking socialism sounds like a good idea the evidence says otherwise."

Thank you for these excellent remarks. I am well pleased that you found this Hub to be educative. Thank you for visiting me!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

Alastar Packer— You are quite welcome, my friend. I am grateful to you for the laudations. I enjoyed reading your thoughtful remarks too.

Thank you for reading my work. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

Gypsy Rose Lee— Thank you for taking the time to read my article about Fidel Castro. I surely appreciate your kind compliments and excellent comments.

I wish I could live in Europe and teach English like you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

Kaie Arwen— You are most welcome! :-)

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Castro and Cuba. I feel for the Cuban people and I hope this nightmare ends for them soon.

Thank you for the gracious compliments. I always love to hear from you!


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

WhatBigJohnThinks— I agree with you. Maybe that is because George Soros is connected financially to 180 media outlets? Thank you for visiting and commenting. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

Robert— Hello, my old friend. It's nice to see you here. Thank you ever much for the compliment.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 13, 2011:

drbj— I am stunned and saddened by your personal story of the death of your son at the hands of one of the criminals Fidel Castro unloaded on us. I cannot imagine the grief that must go with such a tragic loss. Please accept my belated condolences.

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on August 13, 2011:

Great hub James! Being a Cuban, this hits home. As in your previous hubs, you've detailed all the events that took place leading up to the Cuban Revolution in an eloquent fashion. I think most Cubans would agree with what you've said - present company included....

Thanks and take care of yourself


Emma from Houston TX on August 13, 2011:

I have being visiting other hubs but I find your great among others.keep it up.I enjoyed it.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on August 13, 2011:

James great and interesting and fact filled hub about the Castro dictatorship .

Awesome and very interesting and vote up !!!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 13, 2011:

This was great information. You are the best, James. I love all your hub. You open my knowledge with your talent. Thank you, brother. I am impressed with this. Vote up!


stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on August 12, 2011:

James I remember the Cuban Crisis well. Anyone who likes Castro has got to be nuts. The man wanted our country obliterated by atomic bombs. He might look gentle in his old age, but he is nothing but a fart. God Bless You My Brother, And Dear Friend.Great Hub.

cameciob on August 12, 2011:

James, I think that what makes your articles unique is your personal style of writing, so vivid, so vibrant, besides the information you offer, that are the most important on the subject. It was a pleasure to read it. Totally shareble...

Tamarajo on August 12, 2011:

I had no idea Cuba was so successful prior to Castro. How powerfully persuasive propaganda can be.

This is a great read for anyone thinking socialism sounds like a good idea the evidence says otherwise. It does appear we are headed in that direction unfortunately.

Nice dedication for your friends. Learned a lot as always

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

Cardisa— Wow! I enjoyed your thoughtful insights. Thank you for making these remarks. I sincerely appreciate the visit. I agree with your assessment of Fidel Castro. It is very good that Michael Manley chose a better path in Jamaica. :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

moonlake— Thank you for sharing your powerful story with us. I appreciate your comments and this visitation. I need to come over and see what you've been writing lately. :)

If I may quote you: "What a dirt bag Castro has always been that's why so many Cubans put their lives in jeopardy escaping from Cuba."

Well put!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

PegCole17— Hello! I am glad you liked my article. Thank you for reading it.

I spent three months in Key West, playing in my band. We rotated each week from Sloppy Joes, to Rumrunners, to Dirty Harry's. 1991 is was. What fun! :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

Jandee— You are so sweet! I agree that Cuba has a rich culture. I love Cuban sandwiches and the music is cool too.

But I don't know what you mean by lies? Tell me ONE lie in this article and I will correct it for you. Thanks!


Alastar Packer from North Carolina on August 12, 2011:

SuperCalaFragalistic Mr. Watkins! Many new things learned in this-as Epiman would put it- Hubawesome of an article. Didn't know for example Castro was pushing the Soviets for a 1st strike. I for one wouldn't be here now if that had happened. Its interesting to have that connection during the Cuban Missile Crisis where the Generals were pressuring Kennedy for the same 1st strike. Thank God he said NO! That pic of the Bay of Pigs prisoners is haunting--they had to know their fate. Thank you James.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

Vladimir Uhri— Hello my friend! Always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you and you are welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

FGual— It is good to "see" you here. Thank you for the kind compliments. I surely hope violence does not break out in Cuba with the passing of this regime. It doesn't have to be that way. Why not have free elections and let the Cuban people decide? But that will be hard, just as men who have been in prison for a long time have to adjust to not having someone rule every second of their lives.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

dahoglund— It is an honor to have you visit my Hub. Thank you for sharing your insights.

The Bay of Pigs was a complete fiasco. Eisenhower rejected the idea because he was, of course, a soldier. Something like that operation cannot be done half or even quarter-heartedly.

The world was close to nuclear war. We are blessed that cooler heads prevailed.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

PETER LUMETTA— You are welcome, kind sir. I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful comments. Thank you for coming by to check out my article.

I think Cuba can have a great future if Socialism is dismantled, the Rule of Law established, and basic freedoms no longer squashed.


Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 11, 2011:

James you just wear me out. Another great one! While I was living in the states I always got a fright when I heard the name Castro and anything he was doing was suspect. He was too close for comfort. While a world away there was the Soviet Union and Khruschev. Now that I'm living in Riga, Latvia I've sort of switched places but at least I don't have to worry about any of them any more.

Kaie Arwen on August 11, 2011:

J- What a beautifully written wealth of information............ I'd read somewhere that Castro's fortune was in the quarter of a billion dollar range and was astounded. Great lesson here for everyone............. the man is no hero, and his government is not one to emulate. Thank you for all of your hard work! Kaie :-D

WhatBigJohnThinks on August 11, 2011:

Funny how the praise from the media over Castro has been mirrored by the praise of our own President.

Robert on August 11, 2011:


Great job! The wannabees are coming for you James. Perhaps your dad will make another trip and take them all there without landing the plane.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 11, 2011:

This was an exceptional story of Castro and his rise to power, James. I can attest to its veracity since I live in a city where the population is 52% Latin. The majority of the Cuban population is hard working and responsible and thankful that America welcomed them when they fled Cuba.

You mentioned the 100,000 Mariel refugees that Castro sent to Miami in the 1980s when he emptied the jails, prisons and asylums. I have particular reason to hate that monster, Castro, for that act since one of those criminals was responsible for the death of my youngest son, a police detective, who was killed in the line of duty when attempting to apprehend this Cuban felon.

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on August 11, 2011:

Another wonderful history lesson on a 'madman'...I am serious. It really seems disrespectful to call him that but power has made him mental. He had nothing better to do when he was young. He was not struggling in poverty. He saw loop holes and he clogged them with his own theories and plots. He is a liar and a murderer and I am thankful that our own Michael Manley did not follow suit.

moonlake from America on August 11, 2011:

What a dirt bag Castro has always been that's why so many Cubans put their lives in jeopardy escaping from Cuba. I also remember the Cuban Missle Crisis, my husband was in the military. I remember when they called the soldiers to base. We were all glued to the tv. It was one of the scariest times of our life. Castro and Khrushcev would have taken the US down and killed millions if they had got the chance.

Good hub.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 11, 2011:

Hello James,

I lived in Key West during the Cuban Missle Crisis. We were 90 miles away from the situation. Those were different times where "duck and cover" was still taught in the schools.

You've raised some interesting points here about the rise to power of this man, most that I didn't know. Very interesting article that brought back a different time for me. It was The Cold War.

Jandee on August 11, 2011:

James you absolutey give out the'Blah,blah'

what a load of codswallop you come up with.

Having very recently returned from Havana I can assure your readers that you are a complete 'Drivalist'absolute tissue of lies.. If only your home were as wealthy in culture as is Cuba,

Oops! Only a short while ago who was sending out the begging bowl to keep their home ???????


Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on August 11, 2011:

This is great Hub James. Thank you very much.

FGual from USA on August 11, 2011:

Fantastic story that I can relate to well. Half a century has passed and the Castro dynasty continues. I have given up trying to understand it. I feel that the end is near yet I fear for the outcome, which could become a chaotic, bloody power struggle.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on August 11, 2011:

I was in college at the time of Castro's revolution and the bay of Pigs.I was not overly political but I remember that other students I talked to were undecided about Castro and what he stood for.I did not know that Eisenhower rejected the Bay of Pigs idea. I had thought that the reason Kennedy went for it at first was because it was already to go.It was wrong to start the invasion and then back out,in my opinion.I was in the reserves at the time of the missile crisis. At first all we were told was that all enlistments were frozen.I don't think any of us knew how close we were to a nuclear war.

PETER LUMETTA from KENAI, ALAKSA on August 10, 2011:

James a very powerful article. Your bias is very evident but it works in this context. With Castros decline in power and his brothers rise, what kind of future do you see for this country? The rhetoric of the last few years has definitely been toned down but nothing new to replace it. Thanks for your excellent work as usual,


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 10, 2011:

Gypsy Willow— Thank you for being my first visitor! You are welcome and I appreciate you and your comments. Please let me know the results of your investigation. :-)

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on August 10, 2011:

What a scary story again expertly crafted. It has spurred me into a determination to investigate this for myself. Thanks for bringing it to my attention

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