San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fidel Castro Will Be Vilified, Not Revered

Dear Tico Times:

I agree with Ms. Sheila Low-Beer’s opinion that President Oscar Arias erred when he compared Augusto Pinochet with Fidel Castro (TT, March 9). The two are completely different except in their disregard for human rights. Pinochet saved Chile from a horrendous economic collapse into a communist state with skyrocketing inflation, loss of civil liberties and all the trappings of a communist dictatorship all at the inept hands of Salvador Allende.

Fidel Castro, on the other hand, succeeded in making Cuba a communist satrap of Russia, murdering thousands of Cubans (many of them his former followers), forcing many other thousands to flee, and killing off or jailing all dissenters.

The other day I read that a Cuban man was released from jail at a Cuban prison after 30 years behind bars. His crime? He was an old compañero of Castro’s who disagreed with Castro’s push toward making Cuba a communist dictatorship.

Just what possible debt can the world owe to a despot such as Fidel Castro? The mentioned “Cubans who work for change” – are either dead, fled Cuba or are in prison. As to Castro’s being “articulate” – is long-windedness equated with articulation? He certainly has a reputation for that!

And what is this fascination with Ernesto “Che” Guevara? Along with a bit of charisma, he was also a cold-blooded, psychopathic killer reputed to have personally killed more than 300 people whose crime was to disagree with his boss, Fidel Castro.

Yes, Castro will certainly go down in history, though not admired. He’ll go down alongside other mass murderers –Stalin, Hitler, Hussein, Idi Amin, Mao, etc.

As an aside, letter writer Ken Hayes of Texas is neither my father, Ken Hayes, nor my brother, Ken Hayes – a long-time resident of Costa Rica and developer of a small resort on Isla Jesusita. Both are long dead. Though I enjoy his letters, I don’t believe Ken Hayes and I are related.

Lew Hayes



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