Dick Polman has had it with the lionizing of Fidel Castro. Even granting, as I do, that the government he overthrew was rampant with corruption and Havana was a playground run by the American mafia, Castro has many faults and, especially in the early years, was quite the despot.
The amnesiacs and ahistorical romanticizers should study the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. That’s when Fidel urged Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to consider launching a first nuclear strike on the eastern seaboard of the United States. In a letter to Krushchev on Oct. 26, he said that if the Americans try to invade the island, “that would be the moment to eliminate this danger forever, in an act of the most legitimate self-defense. However harsh and terrible the solution, there would be no other.” (My italics).
That advice was too much even for Khrushchev, who subsequently told Fidel in writing that government leaders can’t allow themselves to be “swept away by the popular feelings of hot-headed elements…If we had refused a reasonable arrangement with the U.S., a war would have left millions of dead and survivors would have blamed their leaders.”
I remember the Cuban missile crisis, the press conferences on television, the pictures of missile carriers with their missiles at rest, the contemplation of death.
Yes, even kids understand death.