Fidel Castro has passed.
His modern reign unparalleled. Sure Elizabeth II is the record book response but she is a figurehead at best, tax burden on a normal day, and the physical representation of Old Europe at worst. Fidel Castro created the mythology that propped his name up over generations. A relevant figure for eleven sitting presidents.
Neither devil or saint, a man who made a nation. A member in a fading club. Cuba under Castro became both more worldly and isolated in time and space. A ninety percent literacy rate and a robust education system is very commendable. His violent oppression of dissenters. He brutalized all deviations including social norms. He did grow more liberal over the decades. He remained unmoving in many visible ways. The most obvious being the cars of Cuba. Eisenhower models still transport citizens two generations removed from the birth of the revolution. When Cuban American relations thawed in recent years he spoke openly against the developments. Not as headstrong as to allow the revolution to fail, he legalized American currency for a short period to stabilize the economy. He was a leader above all.
His death closes an era, the end of the Cold War titans. As Putin and Trump take the stage, a new era begins. The reconnection with Cuba is good. I hope one day see Hemingway’s house. However Trump’s indifference to Russia is frightening. NATO does need all members to step up on their commitments. The West must stand for Freedom. We must uphold the constitution including the provisions against foreign emoluments. His business ties and diplomats spending money to curry his favor. He argues that he will remain above the money but still a call away from the company. Except he has continued to hold business meetings during the transition. We cannot be silent until he changes. American doesn’t need a Fidel.