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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Che Guevarra - Freedom fighter or terrorist? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Che Guevarra - Freedom fighter or terrorist?
Shane Roe
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This topic came up in another discussion I was having. I know that there are many knowledgable people here at Ornery, so what are your thoughts on this revolutionary?
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Everard
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Both?
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DonaldD
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Yes?
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canadian
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Isn't he that t-shirt guy?
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RickyB
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I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to suggest the obvious. [Big Grin]

Che? el hombre con la motocicleta, no?

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Daruma28
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Neither.

Murderous Commie Bastard.

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Eric
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Damn...Daruma beat me to it.
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RickyB
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Really? You don't consider him a terrorist then?

Now tell me, Daruma, who do you sympathize with more, or at least understand more - the tyrannical Batista (who's selling the country to the mob) or Fidel and Che, determined that this has to stop?

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javelin
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How about a murderous commie terrorist bastard that seemed to honestly feel that he was doing the right thing for the people of his country, and his loved ones?
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Richard Dey
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Che was a physician, a straight physician. He was led astray when Castro got jealous of him and drove him out of Cuba.

The scene in his too-long life I liked best was when Woody Allen had to go to the local hot-dog stand and get him and their followers a thousand hot dogs, with and without, or whatever it was. It's the only Woody Allen scene that ever made me laugh (my sense of humor is utterly prole).

Viva Batista! Sin has no meaning like Havana gave to it.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
Neither.

Murderous Commie Bastard.

Now come on. I think we should ignore some of the things he did in his lifetime and focus primarily on his real goal: Strengthening America's capitalist economy with pictures of his face.
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RickyB
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Jav - watch it. You're showing signs of nuance.

TommySama - LOL

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javelin
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[Big Grin]
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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Really? You don't consider him a terrorist then?

Now tell me, Daruma, who do you sympathize with more, or at least understand more - the tyrannical Batista (who's selling the country to the mob) or Fidel and Che, determined that this has to stop?

Neither.

You're offering me a false choice. Just because Che was a murderous Commie bastard, and I merely point out that fact (well, I'm not sure about the bastard part, but he was certainly murderous and certainly a Commie) doesn't mean I supported the corrupt Batista regime...although the people of Cuba were generally better off under Batista. The people supported the revolution because they believed Castro's propaganda only to find out that they had just jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

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Shane Roe
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Well, how about an original reference for this quote that's been bandied about: "To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary...These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold machine motivated by pure . We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall!" --Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

I've seen this numerous spots on the web, but no references to where or when he said it. Perhaps it's made up.

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Everard
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"although the people of Cuba were generally better off under Batista."

Although that has quite a bit to do with US involvement in cuba...

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Haggis
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Damn...Everard beat me to it.
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RickyB
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"although the people of Cuba were generally better off under Batista."

Were they? Child mortality-wise? Literacy-wise? Malnutrition-wise? I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if you're wrong on most of those - especially before the fall of the soviet union.

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Alexi
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Ricky is right. As communists, the country had soviet support for several years, which, while not US investment, is about the next best thing for putting a nation into the modern world. They probably ended up quite a bit better off. Of course, the minute Castro dies it will all fall apart, but that is just the way of governments based on charisma.
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RickyB
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It's been falling apart ever since the end of the 80's. But while the Russians were footing the bill, Fidel most definitely delivered on his promise to improve the lot of the really poor in Cuba. At what cost? Key question. But he did.
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Daruma28
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Here's 159 Cubanos who were definitely much better off under Batista.

Anyhow, I forgot where I read it, but under Batista's regime, Cuba still had a large middle class.

Now they are all equal.

But of course, some animals like Castro and his cronies are more equal.

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Daruma28
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As I said though...calling Castro and Guevara what they are doesn't mean we have to praise Batista.

Batista was very bad for Cuba.

Castro and Guevara were very VERY bad for Cuba.

But Ricky, I still fail to see how Gulags, summary executions, and a pervasive police state are justified by high literacy and infant mortality statistics. Since when did we start taking statistics put out by communist regimes as truth anyhow?

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Everard
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" Since when did we start taking statistics put out by communist regimes as truth anyhow?"

How about the CIA factbook?

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Richard Dey
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Oh, Castro has his successor -- but Fidelito is gay. I suspect that there will be blood in the streets as shoots his way to the throne [Smile] !

The problem with visiting Cuba these days is that we have the freedom of 'Americavilles' -- and you get to eat in people's homes. The problem is that these are 'the chosen people' and in no way to be convinced that they are suffering because they are carefully cultivated by 'the way things are'. You have to use dollars -- and the price of rice and beans is nothing favorable.

Outside Americaville, kids line the roads to the airport to sell whatever they've come up with -- but they run the risk of getting shot. They'll even sell you camera shots of where they got shot! The kindly tourist will just sprinkle dollar bills out the window and keep going.

You know, women go off to Cuba and are wowed by the fact that the streets are safe and that the new hotels have toilet paper. Yeah right, they're safe the way the streets of East Germany were safe.

But when the walls come down, the rats will scurry. It is in fact, a nasty and dangerous police state in which everybody is spying on everybody else. It's a nation of fear, but you have to give Castro credit for his propaganda; he's been able to teleport that fear to the big bad Americans amazingly well.

The Cubans know that the majority of Americans who visit are left-wingers -- and naif, but they don't like Americans nonetheless. They swallowed most of the rhetoric. They do believe that the emigres were traitors.

Imagine a paradise where your neighbor eyes you enviously because you may have gotten a bigger bag of beans. That's what your life's worth.

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RickyB
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Wow, 159! Sorry, but that's not a lot in terms of a revolution/civil war. I'm sure Guevara&Fidel were responsible for a lot more deaths.

As for the Gulags and so on - As if Batista didn't have them. No, he had 5 star hotels for people who opposed his rule. Please.

As for statistics - I believe those of the communists at least as much as I do those of a kleptocracy. Since both regimes were non-democratic, I think infant mortality and poverty are pretty good indicators as to which would be more tolerable.

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"although the people of Cuba were generally better off under Batista."

Although that has quite a bit to do with US involvement in cuba...

Yeah I'm sure that heavy US investment in Cuba under Batista and US economic sanctions against Castro didn't have anything to do with Batista's performance looking better on paper [Smile]
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Jesse
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Daruma, you ever notice how few Afro-Cubans (Hey, they still call themselves that. It's CUBA.) jump on boats to come to the States?

I'm sorry, a blanket claim that "most Cubans were better off under Batista" doesn't stand unless you can back it up with facts. That means infant mortality stats, average life expectancy, malnutrition figures, and so on.

Read up on sugar plantations. Communism doesn't have to work for it to be perferable to conditions that were comparable to those suffered by most slaves in the American South before the civil war.

Cuba is no workers Utopia. Life there isn't easy. People don't have luxuries we take for granted. It's a police state. The Government is repressive. Thousands have died in Cuban prisons. People are almost entirely denied three of the Four Freedoms.

It isn't hell on earth. It isn't anywhere near the worst conditions that people currently live under. It is not without certain advantages over the previous regime. Over the last 50 years, and answer honestly, would you rather have been a Cuban or a Haitian?

"Would you rather have Batista or Castro" might seem an unfair hypothetical question to you. I'm sure it seemed an unfair question to many Cubans who had to answer it real life.

Given that one super power backed each of those tyrants, that was the only choice they really had. The Constitutional Republic so many of them had fought and died for, for over 50 years, was denied them by the US. Most of them opted to find out if the other side was full of crap too.

Wouldn't you?

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livermeer kenmaile
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I'm struggling for something to add but I think Jesse's added the basics up quite nicely enough.
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RickyB
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Jesse is on a roll of kick-ass posts lately [Smile]
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John L
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What I like best about this disturbed little Commie is that he is DEAD, along with his brand of Collectivism. [Wink]
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RickyB
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Ho-ho! A voice from the past, and from the nether regions of the vast right-wing conspiracy! [Big Grin] How've ya been, John?
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John L
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I'm alive, believe it or not. I don't have much time to get out, as I now own Ai-Jane, and am also site administrator at ItsAllPolitics.com, which is quite large, with about 3500 registered members. It keeps me hopping, to say the least.

Anyway, we were explaining to a new member as to how we came up with the "Ai-Jane" name, and naturally Uncle Orson and this site came up. I dicided to make one of my infrequent visits. [Big Grin]

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RickyB
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Congrats! is it cool running a website? Is it an actual job - do you make a profit on the site?
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Daruma28
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It always seems like you liberal Democrats constantly seek to defend Castro and Che. Why?

You really believe all this garbage that Cuba is better off under Castro than it was under Batista?

Man oh man....

You want facts to back up my assertions? Ok...

quote:

You can find these facts in "The Cuban Economy" a publication by the United Nations and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) of 1997.

* Cuba owes $18.3 billion dollars to Russia,(The Miami Herald 5/26/1998)
* The province of Habana has 21% of the population and people from other provinces of Cuba are not allowed to cross into Havana.
* The availability of public transportation decreased 70% between 1990 and 1996 .
* Construction activity decreased 400% during the same period of 1990 and 1996.
* Telecommunications is outdated and dates back to the 1930's and 1940's .
* It is estimated that $8 billion dollars will be needed for the reconstruction of power in Cuba.
* Sewer system is outdated and dates back to 1930 and 1950.
* In 1959 there were 11 prisons. Today there are more than 300.
* In the 1950's Cuba had 58 daily newspapers. Presently only one exists.
* In the 1950's -Cuba ranked eighth in the world in number of private radio stations. Presently privatly owned radio stations are forbidden.
* Cuba's infant mortality rate of 32 per 1,000 live births in 1957 was the lowest in Latin America and the 13th lowest in the world, according to UN data. Cuba ranked ahead of France, Belgium, west Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, all of which would eventually pass Cuba in this indicator during the following decades.
* Presently Cuba has one of the largest abortion rates in the entire world
* Within Latin America, Cuba ranked second only to Venezuela in 1958 in number of automobiles per capita at 24 per 1,000. Today its transportation system is a complete disaster.
* During the late 1950's, Cuba ranked second only to Uruguay in Latin America, with 169 radios per 1,000 people. (Worldwide, this put Cuba just ahead of Japan.)
* In terms of television sets per capita, 1950's Cuba was far ahead of the rest of Latin America and was among the world's leaders. Cuba had 45 television sets per 1,000 inhabitants in 1957, by far the most in Latin America and fifth in the world, behind only Monaco, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
* During the 1950's, the Cuban people were among the most informed in the world, living in an uncharacteristically large media market for such a small country.
* In 1957, Cuba had more television stations (23) than any other country in Latin America, easily outdistancing larger countries such as Mexico (12 television stations) and Venezuela (10). It also led Latin America and ranked eighth in the world in number of radio stations (160), ahead of such countries as Austria (83 radio stations), United Kingdom (62), and France (50), according to the UN statistical yearbook.

I go those form the "Facts & Figures" page of this website, The Way My Fatherland Was & Developed Before Castro a site by a Cubano Doctor.

Have fun researching his site if you all care to.

As for me, the mass exodus of Cubano's from Castro's stalinist regime is all the evidence I need to know that Castro has been much worse for the people of Cuba than Batista -- which I again have to stress that pointing that out does not mean I support Batista, nor his corrupt brutality. Saying Stalin was terrible doesn't mean I'm FOR Lenin (although that too is another case of one dictator being worse for his country than his predecessor.)

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RickyB
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We're not *for* Che or Castro, just don't agree that they're as bas as some would have.

As for the data above - I'd have to see it from the UN directly. The one about infant mortality is particularly suspicious. I read the opposite, and if confirmed it would indeed cast some doubt on the assertion that Batista was worse for Cuba.

Also about the above data - facts about decline after 1990 are irrelevant to the argument. No one denies that without the USSR, Cuba is up shyts creek.

The data about cars, radio stations and television stations is not irrelevant, but is kinda obvious. These areas will always suffer under communism.

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flydye45
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So exactly how much oppression does socialized medicine exonerate, Ricky? Sure he has gulags, but the kids have nice teeth. No one is allowed to leave, but the women are free to negotiate their affections to rich Euro-trash. There is no freedom of speech, travel, association, but he's against George Bush, so hey, he can't be all bad. [Roll Eyes]
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Jesse
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1) Cuba owes Russia 18.1 Billion. How much of our debt did we sell to China last year?

2) As I said: Cuba is a Police State. Did I need to use all caps or something?

3) That sucks. Sorry, but, fewer Busses is one of your prime examples of suffering?

4) Yes. Socialism as practiced in Cuba is an inferior economic engine to the American System of...bastardization of economic models.

5) Pretty lousy news for Cuban kids who want to play WoW.

6) How far behind is our Electrical Distribution grid again?

7) Much of the sewer system of central Los Angeles dates back to 1900.

8) I SAID it was a police state.

9) 10) Which of the Four Freedoms did you think I meant they were deprived?

11) Wow, Cuban infant mortality did not DECREASE as fast as mortality decreased in 13 other countries. Where does the US rank on that list again?

12) Everone has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. I could say a given country ranked 122nd in abortions per woman, and say it was in the "highest" 122 countries, then simplify it to "one of the highest".

13) Remember the part about Cubans not having many of the material luxuries we take for granted?

14) No comparison number.

15) Same.

16) 17) Can you guess which of the four freedoms I'm talking about?

I talk about people being literally worked to death on sugar plantations and you try to rebutt with 45 televisions per thousand people under Batista? To top it off, you can't offer a similar number in the current day?

How long was the Cuban Cue for green cards under Batista? How many Mexicans, Guatamalans, Salvedorians, ect. die in deserts every year trying to make it into the US?

Do we boycott those countries? Did Tienamen lead to a 40 year trade embargo? How about the '68 massacre of some 800 students in Mexico City?

Why don't you cite mexican migration as the reason we should declare economic war on Vicente Fox?

I think I've made it clear before that I perfer our muddled and confusing, ideologically impure system to just about anything else on Earth. In fact, if anyone on this board deserves the label conservative, in it's rawest meaning, it's probably me.

It's NOT that Cuba isn't bad. It's that Cuba is far LESS bad than a great many other nations who we have granted most favored trading nation trading status to.

The fact that Cubans have maintained their standard of living, and have alleviated the immense suffering of many who were previously at the bottom of the social pyramidis a testament to their strength, not Castros.

Should I try to muster up tears for the few who had their property siezed or be happy for the many who learned to read, whose children saw a doctor for the first time, who can now eat daily? Can I do Both?

Is that ok with you, or do I need to pretend we live in an overly simplistic world of black and white, in which I should hate who I am told to the degree I am told, or be labeled a simple minded communist sympathizer?

I consider it an affront to human rights that free speech is quashed in Cuba. I also consider it an affront to human decency that the US, stepping in when the Cubans had almost forced the Spanish out of their country, then proceeded to dictate to the Cuban people what their Constitution would consist of, forcing the inclusion of clauses which established aparthied and allowed the US to intervene in Cuban affairs at any time.

If an advocate of free markets can write off the deaths of children from malnutrition, the loss of hands and feet un-compensated among those cutting cane, the denial of medical care to those who cannot afford it in critical situations, debt-slavery, and the extraction of a nations resources under the terms of contracts literally negotiated at gun-point, as "the mere cost of doing business", then why shouldn't a dedicated communist write off similar abuses of another class in the same manner?

I feel sorry for Cubans who worked their entire lives to build small businesses, to gain relatively well paid positions in hotels, to educate themselves and become professionals, only to lose their wealth to a socialist revolution. I feel sorry for those who were murdered after being captured serving as members of Batistas army.

Castro is guilty of more than one War Crime. So was Che. Still, neither of them started Class Warfare.


You, Daruma dear friend, have a heart that bleeds even more easily for the sufferings of the top 20% of any society than mine does for the sufferings of the bottom 80%.

[ June 05, 2006, 11:32 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
It always seems like you liberal Democrats constantly seek to defend Castro and Che. Why?

You really believe all this garbage that Cuba is better off under Castro than it was under Batista?

Man oh man....

Unfair comparison and you know it. As I've already pointed out, America invested very heavily in Cuba under Batista, and then removed all investment and set about doing its damnedest to discourage the entire western world from doing business with Cuba under Castro. Do you really think its surprising that the economy of a small tropical country next to the United States performed crappily after the United States told the whole world that Fidel Castro has cooties? [Smile]
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flydye45
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Nuclear missles perhaps makes us a bit biased. [Roll Eyes]
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livermeer kenmaile
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"It always seems like you liberal Democrats constantly seek to defend Castro and Che. Why?

You really believe all this garbage that Cuba is better off under Castro than it was under Batista?"

My following comments are really a side-tangent off the Che-Castro opic, but they mark an underlying theme of much of such debate:

We don't seek to *defend* them, but rather, we seek to balance the historical perception of a given region or history, wherein one side (knee-jerk lefties) tends to cast Che (who really DOES look good on a t-shirt, yes? that cool beret and... girls think he's sexy) and Castro as the white knights of this tale, while knee-jerk rightists tend to portray them as Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

By the way, at the start of my above paragraph, 'we' means 'those whom Daruma tends to call liberal Democrats as a convenient label'. I'm not denouncing such labeling, for convenience IS convenient and I like conveneince. But I do state here my personal independence from such labels, which are necessarily too broad and too vague to provide more than passing convenience before getting to the details and depth of an issue.

We don't seek to *defend* Castro any more than you seek, I hope, to *defend* Batista or, for that matter, our old ally, Saddam Hussein or the Shah of Iran, who certainly seems to have been better overall for Iran than the Clerics who deposed him, but still was a nasty mothafokker.

"That sucks. Sorry, but, fewer Busses is one of your prime examples of suffering?"

That's funny. America has fewer buses and trolleys per capita by far now than it had before WWII. This is the result of aggressive lobbying by Detroit allied with the natural allure of vehicular independence, not the sign of better or worse regimes in pre-or-post 1939 America.

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