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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 2, 2007 / 12 Teves 5767

Castro's true legacy is a trail of blood

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was on New Year's Day in 1959 that Fidel Castro's guerrillas toppled Fulgencio Batista, and a week later that Castro entered Havana and launched what has become the world's longest-lived dictatorship. This week thus marks the 48th anniversary of Castro's revolution — and the last one he will celebrate, if the persistent rumors that he is dying prove to be true. Which makes this a good time to ask: What will be said about Castro after his death?


For decades, journalists and celebrities have showered Cuba's despot with praise, extolling his virtues so extravagantly at times that if sycophancy were an Olympic sport, they would have walked off with the gold. Norman Mailer, for example, proclaimed him "the first and greatest hero to appear in the world since the Second World War." Oliver Stone has called him "one of the earth's wisest people, one of the people we should consult."


The cheerleaders have been just as enthusiastic in describing Castro's record in Cuba. "A beacon of success for much of Latin America and the Third World," gushed Giselle Fernandez of CBS. "For Castro," Barbara Walters declared, "freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on earth." Covering Cuba's one-party election in 1998, CNN's Lucia Newman grandly described "a system President Castro boasts is the most democratic and cleanest in the world."


During a 1995 visit to New York, writes Humberto Fontova in Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, a blistering 2005 expose of Castro and his regime, Cuba's maximum leader "plunged into Manhattan's social swirl, hobnobbing with dozens of glitterati, pundits, and power brokers." From the invitation to dine at the Rockefeller family's Westchester County estate to being literally kissed and hugged by Diane Sawyer, Castro was drenched with flattery and adoration at every turn.


When Castro dies, some of his obituarists will no doubt continue this pattern of fawning hero-worship. But others, more concerned with accuracy than with apologetics, will squarely face the facts of Castro's reign. Facts such as these:

  • Castro came to power with American support.

    The United States welcomed Castro's ouster of Batista and was one of the first nations to recognize the new government in 1959. Many Americans supported Castro, including former president Harry Truman. "He seems to want to do the right thing for the Cuban people," Truman said, "and we ought to extend our sympathy and help him to do what is right for them." It was not until January 1961 that President Eisenhower — reacting to what he called "a long series of harassments, baseless accusations, and vilification" — broke diplomatic ties with Havana. By that point Castro had nationalized all US businesses in Cuba and confiscated American properties worth nearly $2 billion.

    Well before he came to power, Castro regarded the United States as an enemy. In a 1957 letter — displayed in Havana's Museo de la Revolucion, Fontova observes — the future ruler wrote to a friend: "War against the United States is my true destiny. When this war's over, I'll start that much bigger and wider war."

  • Castro transformed Cuba into a totalitarian hellhole.

    Freedom House gives Cuba its lowest possible rating for civil liberties and political rights, placing it with Burma, North Korea, and Sudan as one of the world's most repressive regimes. Hundreds of political prisoners are behind bars in Cuba today. Among them, writes Carlos Alberto Montaner in the current issue of Foreign Policy, are "48 young people [imprisoned] for collecting signatures for a referendum, 23 journalists for writing articles about the regime, and 18 librarians for loaning forbidden books." Political prisoners can be beaten, starved, denied medical care, locked in solitary confinement, and forced into slave labor. Castro long ago eliminated freedom of religion, due process of law, and the right to leave the country.

    He also wiped out Cuba's once-flourishing free press. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Cuba is one of the world's leading jailers of journalists, second only to China in the number of reporters behind bars.

  • Castro stole Cuba's wealth.

    While Cubans grew progressively poorer under communism, Castro exploited them to become one of the world's richest people. Foreign companies doing business in Cuba must pay a significant sum for each worker they hire — but most of the money goes to Castro's regime, while the workers receive only a pittance. Castro also controls Cuba's state-owned companies, whose profits account for much of his wealth. Castro insists that his personal net worth is zero, but in 2006 Forbes magazine estimates the amount to be $900 million.

  • Castro shed far more blood than the dictator he replaced.

    According to the Cuba Archive, which is meticulously documenting the deaths of each person killed by Cuba's rulers since 1952, Batista was responsible for killing approximately 3,000 people. Castro's toll has been far higher. So far the archive has documented more than 8,000 specific victims of the Castro regime — including 5,775 firing squad executions, 1,231 extrajudicial assassinations, and 984 deaths in prison. When fully documented, the body count is expected to reach 17,000 — not counting the tens of thousands of Cubans who lost their lives at sea while fleeing Castro's Caribbean nightmare.

    "Condemn me, it doesn't matter," Castro said long ago. "History will absolve me." But Castro's ultimate day of judgment draws near, and history is not likely to be so kind.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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