I am absolutly over the introduction line to any article with "Fidel Castro, Jesuit educated"! as its attention grabber. Any literary introduction should start like this, "Fidel Castro, cold-blooded murder, totalitarian, hedonist, commie-rat, God-hater!" In this great article entitled, Fidel Batista! Fidel Castro Out-Thugs Fulgencio Batista by Larry Solomon . Solomon explores and refutes the leftist pro-Fidel crowd.
Here is an excerpt.
But unlike today, Cuba's economy under Batista was powerful, both domestically and in exports, and it was becoming increasingly diversified. Under Castro, its economy is in tatters, nowhere more so than in the sugar industry that Castro once promoted so heavily.
Last summer, Castro announced a shut down of half of the country's sugar mills. "We had to act or face ruin," he explained. As he told NBC News just this week. "It cost us more to produce sugar than what we could sell it for."But if Batista bested Castro in virtually every broad socio-economic indicator, he paled in comparison when it came to controlling either the electoral process or the populace. Castro executed thousands of political opponents after he came to power, imprisoned tens of thousands and caused hundreds of thousands to flee to exile.
Where Batista won a disputed election, a Castro election leaves no room for dispute: Castro allows no opponents, no opposing viewpoints to appear in the press, and, because that might not be enough, his political machine ensures a good turnout by keeping tabs on who votes and who doesn't: In last Sunday's national election, Castro managed a 90%-plus "yes" vote, not quite as impressive as Saddam Hussein's 100% but, among dictators, respectable enough.Those who revile Batista often point to a decadent economy that relied on mafia-run casinos, prostitution and other demeaning jobs servicing tourists. Tourism was important under Batista - Havana was an east-coast alternative to Las Vegas, complete with the sex and gaming, and the same mafia owners - but never as important as tourism has become today.
Cuba's once diversified economy is gone and Castro is now putting all of his hopes in attracting tourists. To do this, Castro's Cuba now permits prostitution, it winks at sex tourism - tourist guide books even include sections on the country's once-taboo gay and bisexual scenes - and, as under Batista, the country unabashedly invests heavily in tourism.Earlier this year, Castro inaugurated a US$100-million resort on the island's northeastern coast, broadcast nationwide, to underscore the importance the government places on the new five-hotel complex of 944 rooms able to house 1,500 tourists. Tourism is now Cuba's No. 1 source of foreign income, with 1.6 million visitors generating about US$2-billion last year. More tourists come from Canada than from other important sources of foreign exchange, chiefly Germany, Britain, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Castro, like Batista, is eyeing one other important tourist market. "Our friends from the north are not in this list," Castro said with a grin, referring to Americans that can't travel to Cuba due to U.S. government regulations.