The 50-year tantrum

Ever try to stay angry at someone -- intensely, constantly, chronically angry -- for 50 days?

How about 50 years?

Such is the Cuban "revolution" -- the 50-year-old trumped-up grudge against the United States that serves as the Castro family's reason to live. To live very well. On the backs of some of the poorest people in the hemisphere.

This is something to light a cigar over?

It is in the minds and in the populist prattle of leftist dictators inspired by Fidel, such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez -- who calls the failed Cuban experiment in mind control "the mother of all the revolutions going on in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Yes, and how's that working out for you?

How many desperate Cubans have risked or sacrificed the choppy 90 miles of sea between their island prison and Florida simply to escape the breast of the "mother of all revolutions"? How many families has Castro separated, as he has forced millions into exile? How many miserable lives has the mother of all revolutions birthed in her 50 years?

Castro's 50-year tantrum is something to mourn, not celebrate. It has kept 11 million people hostage to his Marxist whims, thousands of them in prisons over the years for daring to speak out.

If the United States is the problem, if we are the focus of evil, then pray tell us: Why are millions coming here every year from all over the planet, including Castro's little paradise on concrete blocks?

And while blathering righteous indignation toward the bully to the north all these years, Castro and his thugs have wrongly imprisoned his own people, confiscated private property and apparently forgot to call free and fair elections and reinstitute the 1940 Constitution within his first 18 months in power. Fifty years later, he still hasn't gotten to that little chore.

But, wait. It's all our fault. Right. Forgot that one.

Maybe the embargo against Cuba is out of proportion. Certainly we have better relations with China and Russia, which are much bigger and more problematic communist enclaves.

And there can be no disputing that the embargo hasn't worked. The Castro brothers get all the cigars and brandy they like, no doubt, while ordinary Cubans suffer.

But it's myopic, brainless America-bashing to blame the United States. Castro has always worn the ruby slippers; he's always had the power to close his eyes, click his heels three times and make the mean old embargo disappear.

It is Fidel Castro, and now his successor, little brother Raul, who have chosen this stalemate for 50 years. Blame them, and no one else.

Maybe something can come of talks between Fidel's little brother and a President Obama, who has said there would be no preconditions. But how can you expect someone to simply drop his 50-year tantrum without concessions -- and what have the Castros done to deserve it any?

The poor people of Cuba could have used some leadership over these 50 years -- particularly now, with the global downturn and the island still suffering from three devastating hurricanes last year. With a little humility, the Castros could have brought an end to the standoff with America, to the great benefit of both peoples.

But it's been more important to keep the tantrum going. At any cost.

It has been one of the great tragedies of the Western Hemisphere. And this month it's starting its second 50-year run.

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Wed, 03/29/2017 - 23:51

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