April 17, 2008

What Gorby said

U.S. mistaken to demonize Fidel Castro, Gorbachev says at Hard Rock appearance

Former Soviet leader speaks at Hard RockFormer Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev spoke Wednesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where he accused the United States of demonizing Fidel Castro and failing to appreciate what Castro accomplished for Cuba.

Exactly what brought Gorbachev remained unclear, since he's not on a speaking tour. He said he came at the invitation of the Seminole Tribe, which owns the entertainment complex, and a tribal council member issued a written statement expressing pride in hosting the former Soviet leader. The week before his talk, a Hard Rock Live newspaper ad gave Gorbachev billing equal to Paul Anka and Eric Clapton but lower than Larry the Cable Guy. The tribe gave away tickets.
And:Gorbachev said the United States botched the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, appearing only interested in seizing political advantage and continuing to spread money to defense contractors.

"The U.S. government made a big mistake from the breakup of the Soviet Union," he said. "At that time the Russian people were really euphoric about America and the U.S. was really number one in the minds of many Russians."


dmarks said...

The statements in support of Castro, many of them false, are an example of what I referred to earlier of Gorbachev's consistent support of despots, fascists, and imperialists.

(For starters.... of course Castro's conquest was a "popular revolution". The people loved it, because it was against the law not to. Many thousands of people were slaughtered in the early years because they did not like Castro).

Rob said...

You think Castro could force people to like him against their will? Not likely.

Killing people who don't support you doesn't make you more popular. It makes you less popular.

Here's some info on why Castro remains popular among Cubans:


Over the years, there have been rumours that the CIA targeted Castro for assassination, resorting to techniques as crude as an exploding cigar. No matter how hard the Americans tried to isolate Castro, the more his popularity seemed to grow at home. It didn't hurt that his government provided free medical care, education and housing to a population that had known poverty under previous governments that seemed to be friendly to wealthy foreigners.


Historian Jane Landers has been conducting research in Cuba since 1991 and noted the continued popularity of Castro despite periods of great deprivation and episodes of sometimes brutal repression. “I was struck by the current generation of Cubans who have known no other leader and seem to think Castro will live forever,” she said. “While Americans would like to think that no one wants to live under Castro’s autocratic regime, these citizens have grown up in the system. Also, there is a constant campaign to promote Castro’s personality through televised and personal appearances as well as ubiquitous posters and grafitti.”