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Monday, 5 December 2011

BBC: 'Castro the libertarian'

On teletext (or whatever we're now calling it in the new millennium) and presumably also online, the BBC has an obituary of the Brazilian footballer Socrates that includes the following line: "But Socrates' heroes included famous libertarians Fidel Castro and Che Guevara...". A libertarian is "a person who believes that people should be free to think and behave as they want and should not have limits put on them by governments". In what conceivable sense are Castro or Che Guevara libertarians? They weren't 'libertarians', they were communist revolutionaries. Why this matters beyond mere semantics (not that I am anti-semantic) is that the Castro regime in Cuba is actually a grotesquely anti-democratic one. To call Castro a 'libertarian', when his family's regime is one which makes it illegal for Cubans to say "I'd like someone else to be my country's president", is not only stupid, but also genuinely offensive - offensive not only to me, but to all the Cuban people whose human rights are being abused by the disgusting Castro government (http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cuba/report-2011).

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