Former President Fidel Castro of Cuba has passed away at age 90. The longstanding dictator lead a rebellion in Cuba and came to power in 1959 at age 32. He formed a Soviet-style socialist government and proceeded to lead Cuba until 2008, when, for health reasons, he handed the reigns to his brother Raul Castro.
Castro’s alliance with the Soviet Union was a dire concern for the U.S. The 1961 Bay of Pigs attack was a CIA attempt to overthrow Castro using ex-patriot Cubans. It notably failed after President Kennedy withdrew air support and the small counter revolutionary force was wiped out.
Castro was a dictator who treated his opponents and his people brutally. While Castro has not actively held power in Cuba for many years, he is a symbol of emnity and betrayal in the United States, especially to the Cuban population in Miami. Thousands of Cubans fled Castro by boat, and many died in the process.
This is end of an era. With Fidel Castro gone, it is a possibility that relations can improve. While Raul Castro is a secondary symbol of this same enmity, the the door could be open for a thawing of relations.
Author’s note: I’m my own view, Castro was a substantial detriment to the Cuban people. He kept them economically depressed for over 50 years, and was the catalyst in nearly bringing about world wide conflict several times. I don’t think of this man with reverence. I think of him in the same vein as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Saddam Hussein.