Castro: A “Towering Historic Figure?”

Posted on December 3, 2016 by Robert Ringer Comments (35)

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A couple of years ago I gave a speech in the Cayman Islands and my son accompanied me on the trip. On the day of our arrival, we had lunch at the hotel’s outside café, and it was especially enjoyable because our waitress was an intelligent, pretty young lady with an engaging personality.

She introduced herself as Solana, and because she was so nice and outgoing, we hit it off with her right away. She explained that she was a Cuban citizen and that she was in the Caymans on a work visa. That surprised me because, at the time, I had no idea that Cuba allowed any of its citizens to work in foreign countries.

Without giving it a thought, I jokingly asked her, “Gosh, you’re not a communist, are you?” Instantly, her beautiful smile turned to a cold, somber expression and she replied in a terse tone, “I don’t like to discuss politics.” Her response took me aback. Just like that, this charming, vivacious young lady turned into a foreign agent right out of a James Bond movie.

Over the next few days, my son talked to Solana quite a bit, and I was hopeful that something serious might come of it. Unfortunately, it was not to be. But in their first conversation, she apologized for being rude to his father (I didn’t consider it to be rude, just interesting) and reiterated that she just didn’t like to get involved in political discussions.

Unfortunately, my son finally lost touch with her, but I’ve never forgotten that tense exchange during our initial meeting at the hotel in Grand Cayman. To me, it underscored what it must be like to live in Cuba.

About a year and a half after that encounter in the Caymans, Fidel mercifully took his last breath, and as soon as I heard the good news, Solana came to mind. I had to believe she was smiling, at least on the inside. But to the extent she heard left-wing apologists praise Castro, she must have been saddened.

Geraldo Rivera is a good example of what the Radical Left’s useful idiots had to say about Castro’s death. Though I admit to having gone out of my way to avoid watching him over the years, I’ve seen enough of him to be able to say that the man never ceases to amaze me with his indefensibly ignorant comments.

Thus, it didn’t surprise me when, on Hannity, he described Fidel Castro as a “towering historic figure.” At one point, Geraldo emphasized that it was beyond dispute that Castro was a charismatic leader. I can’t disagree with him on that. Oh, and by the way, so was Adolf Hitler. In fact, Hitler was the most charismatic leader of the 20th century. The man was absolutely mesmerizing, but in between his wild rants, he found time to slaughter millions of innocent people.

My point is that Castro’s charisma is irrelevant. The man was a mass murderer, a kleptomaniac, and an unabashed suppressor of human rights, and that’s how he should be remembered. How well I remember him having Cuban citizens whom he judged to be enemies of the revolution tied to trees and murdered in cold blood by revolutionary firing squads. I wonder if Geraldo found those images to be “charismatic.”

In trying to make the case that Castro was sadly misunderstood, Geraldo went on to say, “I think it’s very easy to have a simplistic view that he was all awful for Cuba and the world and I just don’t think that’s accurate. I think the Cubans have a tremendous sense of pride over his legacy.” He went on to say that “I think he will be remembered fondly. … There are aspects of what he left behind that I think will be remembered.” 

The one thing I can’t argue with is that there are aspects of what he left behind that will be remembered. Just ask any of the more than 1.5 million Cuban-Americans who live in South Florida. These are people who saw their friends and relatives imprisoned, tortured, and executed … saw their family businesses stolen by the Cuban government … and who escaped their island prison in dangerous, makeshift boats, leaving most of their possessions behind, in an effort to reach Florida and start a new life in a foreign country. Sadly, many never made it.

Geraldo’s opinions don’t mean much, as he’s finally on his way out at Fox News, where he has long been relegated to token appearances. But what is now a fixture in our wannabe socialist culture are millions of college students who buy into the absurd fiction that communist dictatorships are utopias.

If I were a Cuban-American who lost family members — or most of my possessions — during Castro’s reign of terror, I would be very angry at apologists like Geraldo. After more than sixty years of oppressing an entire nation, Fidel is glorified as a “towering figure” in world history?

These left-wing apologists seem to have no concern at all for the family members who were lost and the wealth that was stolen from millions of Cubans. Nor do they have any feelings for the lost years of those who have lived under Castro’s oppressive regime for more than sixty years.

With Geraldo’s glowing praise of the deceased Cuban tyrant, he fell right into line with Comrade Obama and his socialist allies throughout Europe and around the world, most of whom had nothing but kind words for the Western Hemisphere’s most notorious mass murderer. In some cases, the words of journalists and foreign leaders were nothing short of outright gushing praise for the leader who brought mass poverty and tyranny to his country.

The reason every communist regime in history has brought death, enslavement, and economic disaster to its people is because communism is a political and economic system that was conceived in failure. Plain and simple, it defies human nature. People — all people — seek to better their existence, and it takes the brute force of a Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, or Fidel Castro to suppress that instinct.

When people are punished for producing, they simply stop producing. It’s not at all complicated. Russians discovered this simple truth the hard way. Within a few years after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, conditions were so bad in Russia that Lenin was on the verge of being confronted with a counter-revolution.

To ward it off, he invited Western capitalists in to help industrialize the Soviet Union. And, sadly, many major U.S. corporations played the role of useful idiots and accommodated Lenin, thus saving him from his own communist system.

Like other communist countries, it’s a virtual certainty that Cuba will increasingly implement reforms that will move it more and more in the direction of freedom and free markets. And, as in most other communist countries that have collapsed under the weight of an unworkable system, Raul, like big brother Fidel, will quietly die and be praised by socialist dictators and liberal heads of state around the world.

Once Cuba embraces capitalism and a democratic political system, I’d love to have the opportunity to ask Solana the same question, and I’ll bet this time she would smile instead of frown and be perfectly willing to give her opinion of communism. Having worked at a beautiful resort hotel in the Caribbean and grown up in a prison-state like Cuba, you can bet she knows full well that communism is an anti-liberty system.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

35 responses to “Castro: A “Towering Historic Figure?””

  1. Charles B says:

    I wonder if Geraldo was staying in Al Capone's vault October 16 – 28, 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crises. If we had a nuclear war with the Soviets that might have been a good shelter.

  2. Phil says:

    I have the pleasure of working with a Cuban guy in mid 50s, and the stories he tells of how his mother and father escaped that island are indeed more riveting than any Bond movie I have seen. His mother was able to get out early; she was a professor in Cuba of languages. Castro's savages prevented his father from escaping, so a year later his dad built a raft and with two other relatives floated to the Florida keys, where they were hung up on a tiny island and rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard within 3 days. Both worked menial jobs around Miami to support their kids, who have done quite well for themselves. Nobody appreciates freedom and understands tyranny like those who have lived under it.

  3. Reality Seeker says:

    Good article.

    Stefan Molyneux does a great video presentation: "The Truth About Fidel Castro | The Cuban Revolution".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EhlTI0fte0

    I think the really important lesson of history is how dangerous it is when young people are fomented into Marxist revolutions. That's why people like Bernie Sanders (and the millions of young people who buy into his Marxism) pose a real danger to the few remaining American freedoms. It all starts out as a big, political joke. Bernie is laughable, and so is Jill Stein. But, like the weather, the political climate can rapidly turn into a blizzard. This seems to catch the ignorant masses by surprise… e.g., the Castro revolution.

    I don't underestimate the "snowflakes" or their ignorance. In fact, ignorance should never be underestimated. Another thing that should't be underestimated is the inveterate sense of absolute entitlement that is now part of the psyche of tens of millions of Americans both young and old. Back in the day, Ludwig von Mises called them "socialist", which is really just a euphemistic term for communists. I prefer the term collectivists. Collectivist is what hundreds of millions are… and, unfortunately, "stupid is as stupid does"; and collectivist is as collectivist does, viz., completely ruin freedom..

    Yes, the collectivist snowflakes are falling. Currently, they are melting because America is experiencing somewhat of an Indian Summer in the form of the Great White Father Trump… The Great White Father shall keep the snowflakes in check, for now, but winter is still on its way…. Right now, the political weather isn't so bad because the Great White Father is gathering together a group of medicine men to form his cabinet. They will all do a rain dance. It is the rain dance of Big Gov….borrow, spend, print and grow the government— which is also a form of collectivism.

    I can hear the Big Gov. drums beating. And, look! The Trump Tribe is doing an economic rain dance! — so the U.S. economy can be well watered and produce a bountiful crop! There's just one problem; however, the growing season has long past. Fall has arrived. The first frost has happened. And the snowflakes are already falling….

    Good luck to the Great White Father and his "Mad Dog" warriors, because I don't think smoking a peace pipe is going to change anything long-term… In the end, maybe even before the first term of the Great-white-Chief, somebody is going to get scalped…

  4. Tasine says:

    I have never liked Geraldo's thinking, if "thinking" is a proper word to use in discussing him. Our political left? None of them has a conscience, a soul, a logical thought, manners, love, empaty or honesty. Once one KNOWS this, there is no reason whatsoever to listen to a word they say……..they despise all who disagree with them………just like Fidel Castro……birds of a feather, so to speak.

  5. TheLookOut says:

    Robert, another great insightful article.
    What an opportunity for all the lefties that were going to move If Trump won.
    They can now trek over to Cuba, and enjoy the thing they embrace(communism).
    A monument needs to be erected in Cuba inscribed with all the names Fidel, and
    Che murdered.with an intro from Geraldo.

  6. Figmo says:

    Fox News lost integrity with its "fair and balanced" nonsense. I hope you are right that Geraldo is on his way out. While you are at it get rid of Williams and Coombs as well. When they come on, I'm grateful for the remote. I can change channels immediately without having to listen to their predictable drivel. They should dump that useless amateur "journalist" Kelly as well. She is more a piece of eye candy than a journalist and when "The Kelly File comes on, I check out what's on Fox Business or News Max

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      We must be using the same remote. Kelly is a psychopathic egomaniac whose self-love no bounds. She is the worst thing that ever happened to Fox. Though she's alone at the top of my press-remote list, Juan Williams is close behind, but he has an excuse: He's a grade-A, certified idiot. Colmes isn't even worth mentioning.

  7. Ferd says:

    Robert,
    There are a lot of people who wish to leach off of a system that favors them. They all voted for Hillary, bernie, and Jill. They are everywhere and they resent wonderful people like you who are strong independent hard working and successful. Castro, Obama and Pelosi live on the other side of this equation. I love your positive outlook, though. Thank you for being you.

  8. Rick G says:

    Fox News should fire Geraldo! As a matter of fact, they should never have hired him in the first place. Having him on there is supposed to make that network "fair and balanced", but Geraldo is so far to the left, you need about forty Joseph McCarthys to "balance" Fox News out! I would guess too, no one would hire him anyway, and Fox News felt sorry for the bum, so they hired him. And as for that Red, Barack Hussein Obama, he needs to do us all a favor and go back to Kenya with is "wife' Michael Robinson, I mean Michelle Robinson, Lols!, with his fake birth certificate where he was born. Better yet, I would suggest both relocate to that "workers paradise", North Korea. Both would fit in so well. And take Crooked Hillary, Rip Off Artist No Refunds Jill Stein, and Communist Bernie along too! All he ever did in office is hobnob with and glorify Marxist dictators, Muslim extremists, and ISIS, never any of our true pro-freedom, anti-Communist allies.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      The remarkable historical note is that roughly half the population (including many conservatives) have a clue as to who the Obamas really are and what they really believe in.

      • Stefani Woodams says:

        Yes, I feel like the kid in the story "The Emperors New Clothes". Obama really has nothing on but all the adoring masses feel he is well dressed! The Obama's are "glass half empty" people. Remember Michele's terrifying statement "Some people will have to give up some of their pie so others can have more!". They did their best to redistribute pie and in doing so put more people on public dole, put us deeply in debt and drove the pie holders into hiding or out of the country. At least Donald Trump is a "Pie Baker". Hopefully more kitchens will spring up now!

    • Rosedala says:

      Most of the times that I have the misfortune of seeing Gerald on Foxnews when I turn on the TV ….he makes me puke!!!
      Rick…you made me laugh so hard!!! That was ALL we needed (transgenders) to complete the lunatic government we've been suffering for 8 years!!! LOL!!!

  9. D_Striker says:

    Being "old", I remember that America played the big role in ditching Batista and replacing him with Castro. Not remembering much of how all that came about, I did some searching and found a good history at http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/north-am… (rather long but well worth the read).
    As to Rivera, I had always seen him as an obnoxious punk idiot, but little did I know!

  10. Clay Ziegler says:

    I wonder how Mrs. Lillian Friedman Rivera (Geraldo’s mother) and Mr. Cruz (Allen) Rivera (Geraldo’s father) would feel about Mr. Gerald Michael Rivera’s (Geraldo Rivera, their son) exalting the late Fidel Castro (Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz). Mrs. Rivera is of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent. Since Fidel Castro was nothing more than Adolph Hitler “Lite,” I cannot believe either one of them would be “thrilled.” You’d might be able to ask Mrs. Rivera (I believe she is still alive), but Geraldo’s father passed in November of 1987, so he won’t be answering any questions.

    Being raised “mostly Jewish”, Bar Mitzvah and all; I’m surprised at the way Geraldo turned out. He passed the bar, and then went on to represent the likes of the Puerto Rican activist group, the Young Lords, later called the Young Lords Organization, in New York’s Spanish Harlem; the Young Lords Party. They are a Puerto Rican nationalist group. Their Ideology was basically; Anti-Capitalism, Anti-Fascism, Anti-Imperialism, Pro Marxism–Leninism, and Pro Revolutionary Socialism, with an extreme Left Political Position.

    It should be noted that Rivera changed his name from Gerald to Geraldo, sometime between 1969 and 1970, at the urging of Al Primo (Albert T. Primo), a television news executive, who offered Geraldo a job as a reporter. Mr. Primo was unhappy with the first name “Gerald;” he wanted something more identifiably Latino. That was one of the first times, of many, that Geraldo “prostituted” himself for advancement; what a guy!

    Anyway, today I would encourage Mr. Geraldo Michael Rivera to change his name to Mr. Toilet Paper Rivera. I say this because, anyone who believes that Fidel Castro was a “Towering Historic Figure,” is at best, toilet paper. They are good for nothing more than wiping residual fecal matter from your posterior. And if he is not toilet paper, then Geraldo ES un montón de hugh de materia fecal!

  11. Clay Ziegler says:

    I wonder how Mrs. Lillian Friedman Rivera (Geraldo’s mother) and Mr. Cruz (Allen) Rivera (Geraldo’s father) would feel about Mr. Gerald Michael Rivera’s (Geraldo Rivera, their son) exalting the late Fidel Castro (Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz). Mrs. Rivera is of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent. Since Fidel Castro was nothing more than Adolph Hitler “Lite,” I cannot believe either one of them would be “thrilled.” You’d might be able to ask Mrs. Rivera (I believe she is still alive), but Geraldo’s father passed in November of 1987, so he won’t be answering any questions.

  12. Clay Ziegler says:

    I'm sorry. My first commented was truncated. Here's the complete comment.

    I wonder how Mrs. Lillian Friedman Rivera (Geraldo’s mother) and Mr. Cruz (Allen) Rivera (Geraldo’s father) would feel about Mr. Gerald Michael Rivera’s (Geraldo Rivera, their son) exalting the late Fidel Castro (Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz). Mrs. Rivera is of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent. Since Fidel Castro was nothing more than Adolph Hitler “Lite,” I cannot believe either one of them would be “thrilled.” You’d might be able to ask Mrs. Rivera (I believe she is still alive), but Geraldo’s father passed in November of 1987, so he won’t be answering any questions.

    Being raised “mostly Jewish”, Bar Mitzvah and all; I’m surprised at the way Geraldo turned out. He passed the bar, and then went on to represent the likes of the Puerto Rican activist group, the Young Lords, later called the Young Lords Organization, in New York’s Spanish Harlem; the Young Lords Party. They are a Puerto Rican nationalist group. Their Ideology was basically; Anti-Capitalism, Anti-Fascism, Anti-Imperialism, Pro Marxism–Leninism, and Pro Revolutionary Socialism, with an extreme Left Political Position.

    It should be noted that Rivera changed his name from Gerald to Geraldo, sometime between 1969 and 1970, at the urging of Al Primo (Albert T. Primo), a television news executive, who offered Geraldo a job as a reporter. Mr. Primo was unhappy with the first name “Gerald;” he wanted something more identifiably Latino. That was one of the first times, of many, that Geraldo “prostituted” himself for advancement; what a guy!

    Anyway, today I would encourage Mr. Geraldo Michael Rivera to change his name to Mr. Toilet Paper Rivera. I say this because, anyone who believes that Fidel Castro was a “Towering Historic Figure,” is at best, toilet paper. They are good for nothing more than wiping residual fecal matter from your posterior. And if he is not toilet paper, then Geraldo ES un montón de hugh de materia fecal!

  13. John says:

    Why you are even paying attention to a misguided idiot like Gerlado, the same guy who said:
    “I have interviewed Donald Trump many times and been with him many times, and I have tapes,” Rivera said on special edition of Fox News’ “The Five” Sunday. “My brother and I have been starting to go through the tapes now and there are statements that, in the context of the current climate, would be embarrassing.”
    and never produced the tapes, I mean, cmon, please, can we move on to something a little more relevant, to somebody who really has some kind of influence on anything?
    More appropriate would have been to comment on the Canadian Prime Minister's comments, at least he is the head of state who embarrassed himself and all Canadians.

  14. Randall Burkhardt says:

    Thanks Robert for another on the mark analysis that gets to the crux of the matter. Expected nothing else from the Tortoise. My only wish for Christmas is more Ringer commentary…more often.

  15. Johnny Twosheds says:

    I suppose Geraldo would praise Hitler because – heck – he "got the trains running on time," he was nice to his dog,and, of course, Eva Braun thought he was HOT! Or Chairman Mao, because he was said to be able to make General Tso's Chicken like nobody's business. And Stalin – old "Uncle Joe" for tormenting those pesky, intolerant Christians for decades. and Pol Pot for his environmental work – he sooooo much to reduce the population of an already overburdened planet. Now Mother Teresa, on the other hand, was a mean pro-life witch who should reviled and forgotten in the ash-heap of history. Liberals are warped beyond repair.

    • Rosedala says:

      Ha, Eva Braun should've better had learned to say things as they were for….how could a scrawny man, only skin and bones, a superlative egoist and gross jerk be so hot??? Unless she were the perfect masochist!

  16. Phil Colbert says:

    And Justin Trudeau, the "pretty boy" PM in Canada, who never had a real job, (just like his dad, just like Obama) had lots of praise for Fidel. But the "Bolshevik Revolution" wasn't a real revolution like the one in Cuba. It was conceived of and financed on Wall Street, for the purpose of creating a permanent enemy for the U.S., to cause insurrection and justify trillions of $ in military spending

  17. Rocketman says:

    Years ago, I worked with a Cuban immigrant who's family managed to get out of the country one step ahead of the secret police. Hear lots of stories how Castro made a bad situation into a living hell.

  18. John says:

    After reviewing all the comments I note that I could not agree more with every single one of them! Castro was truly an evil murderous bastard! Geraldo Rivera and others of his ilk are grossly ignorant of the facts, not only about Castro but also of his associate, Che Guevara! The "useful idiots" like Geraldo and also what seems to be most folks in the Hollywood culture, are either naive or are being purposely subversive as followers of the socialist utopia religion! It is very unfortunate that these folks could not have lived in the Cuban hell under Castro's regime! Back to Geraldo, I truly hope he fully retires from the so called news business. His commentary is, at best, almost as nauseating as that of Megyn Kelly, the overly glamorized screwball of Fox news.

  19. Mark Lucas says:

    Mr Ringer–Thank you for your wisdom and insight. My opinion on Geraldo, Megan, Juan, and the other 'counter-balances' to Fox and any other conservative outlet is to not have them on. Since when does the other outlets that are so left leaning have a conservative on? The simple remedy is to not pay attention to them. Our country has been divided for years, and it's not going to become undivided.

    • Rosedala says:

      "Geraldo, Megan, Juan, and the other 'counter-balances' to Fox and any other conservative outlet is to not have them on. "

      YEAH!!! About time to get rid of the trash, to cleanse the one of the only few news outlets that one could listen to some degree of comfort!

  20. Scott theczech says:

    I like a good debate and counter vailing opinions, but FOX ain't it. They are going to begin losing market share as their marketing doesn't match their message.

  21. Orin says:

    I'm still perplexed in how someone can rationalize their approval for a communist regime, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of its many negative consequences.

    These are a few possible alternatives:
    1. they are firmly entrenched in their long held ideology and lack the humility to admit they might be wrong
    2. they lack the empathy to understand the implications of actually living under such a system
    3. they accept the fact that freedom is sacrificed but actually think this is a reasonable exchange for a perceived guarantee of housing, employment, health system, 'equality', etc

    You know, having listened to many discussions on Cuba in the last few weeks, I've concluded than many people just don't value freedom as highly as I do. And what's fundamentally unsettling is that they probably don't value my freedom highly either…

    • Jim Hallett says:

      Orin, this is the REAL problem with the whole "progressive" mindset. They do not value freedom, and surely NOT your freedom or my freedom. It is all about wielding power to enslave, and not stopping short of using violence, lies and other tools of manipulation to achieve their goal. College campuses with all their Che Guevara T-shirts ramble on about the glories of communism, but I don't see one of them moving to these communist havens like Venezuela (when is Sean Penn going to move and carry the torch of his ol' deceased buddy, Chavez?), Cuba, North Korea, et al. Trying to discuss freedom with a "progressive" is a waste of time, because all they see and understand is BIG government and more handouts to them, and a complete rejection of freedom, property rights, or true capitalism (NOT the crony capitalism that is on display most of the time in America).

      • James Hughes iii says:

        You are an erudite man with a skill of clearly and quickly analyzing the liberal,progressive and leftist ideology. I value your comments.

    • Jean says:

      It's easy to assume communism is great when you have no responsibility to speak of. Think about it – the snowflake generation considers it normal to live at home until they are 26, sponging off mom and dad and even being covered by their parents' health insurance. They are already living in a communist utopia. We oldsters left home at 16 – 18 – 21 at the latest!

      In addition, every leftist from Marx forward believed that despite all of the failures of communism and communal living, "they" could do it better. One reason that liberalism appears to be a mental disorder is that it demands that the true believer disbelieve in the realities of both biology and human nature. The same people who sucker for television advertising (believe me – I've sold plenty of Slim Jeggings, California Psychics memberships and Ab Rockets to snowflakes) refuse to believe that human nature hasn't changed since Adam and Eve, and that the results of imposing any totalitarian ideology will be the same as they have always been, regardless of the "good intentions" of the ideologue.

  22. theczech says:

    So well stated. In many cases it may be a little of all three, esp in the ill-informed and confused minds of so many.

  23. Nasdaq says:

    Check what Cuba did in Africa – especially Angola. Reeducation camps and chemical weapons.

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