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Fidel Castro: dictator or revolutionary? A necessary differentiation by someone who knew him

Fidel Castro was a revolutionary not a dictator. Cubans understand this even if Westerners don’t. His actions were always focused on improving the lives of Cubans – which is the opposite of what dictators do. If he had sometimes to act in an authoritarian way it was because the US left him no choice.,




After watching CNN, MSNBC, France 24 and RT report on the death of Fidel Castro, their adjectives ranging from ‘despot’ and ‘dictator’ (US) to ‘revolutionary’ (France) to ‘world revered leader’ (RT) let me take a moment to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Fidel Castro did not pull off a one-man coup, as did Fulgencio Batista not once, but twice. Batista was a dictator whose goons tortured and killed those who protested his rule under a US tutelage that benefitted only the 1%. Fidel, Raul and Che gathered 80 men who fought a two-year war in the mountains against Batista’s better-armed military, beating it fair and square, forcing him to flee to the US.

The summary executions that soon became the only thing Americans were told about the Cuban revolution were in fact not carried out by Fidel, but, as both admitted to me, by Raul and Che, in the same spirit in which the Ceausescu’s (husband and wife) were executed in Romania when their Communist dictatorship fell — as ‘people’s justice’. According to Che, Batista’s crimes were known by all, and the new regime had more important things to do than set up trials in which negative testimonies would have been overwhelming.

Cubans today are mourning Fidel because they know he wasn’t in it for the money, but because he was determined to make life better for them while never bowing to their powerful neighbour. Every channel I heard noted that he had outlasted eleven US presidents, all but the most recent ones having unsuccessfully plotted and schemed to eliminate him.

One story I was told during my two year stay in Cuba was of an infiltrator into the rebel army who slept next to Fidel and confessed the next morning that he had been sent to kill him, but could not do it once he got to know him.

Having experienced the energy and charisma of this man, I was not surprised, and I believe these traits go far to explain why his death caused sincere mourning among Cubans young and old. Fidel literally incarnated the Cuban energetic love of life.

Call it paternalism if you like, the overwhelming majority followed him through thick and thin because he not only prioritised schools, hospitals — and the arts! — he taught them through example to be proud of who they were: the only people on earth to have successfully resisted the United States, from Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick to JFK’s Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Seeing Raul’s emotion as he announced the death of his brother on television reminded me of how special the relationship between them was: the younger one revered the older one as much as the Cuban people did, but he was no minor figure: he created and led a people’s army that quickly became self-sufficient in food and offered higher education to many of its recruits, ultimately becoming president.

Some will say that ‘the Castro brothers ruled with an iron fist’, but how else does one resist the most powerful nation the world has ever known? They arrested (and often rehabilitated) those who tried to sabotage their efforts, because failing to do so would have turned Cuba into another Haiti, as most Cubans – better informed than most Americans in matters that really count – know full well.

Cubans crying in Havana, especially the younger ones, do not want to see their country once again turned into a playground for the US 1%.

Americans who refer to Fidel Castro as ‘a brutal dictator’ refuse to see their own government’s school-to-prison pipeline, or the fact that instead of taking political prisoners, it assassinates its opponents with drones.

Dictators are in power for themselves, while revolutionaries, most of whom are born into the upper class, take power for the Other. Their authoritarianism stems from the refusal of the 1% from which they emerge to share — as stunningly illustrated by those who are dancing in the streets of Miami, hoping to turn the clock back in the land they abandoned.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”





Via RT

Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career



Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.


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