Professors at universities across the United States are mourning the death of tyrant Fidel Castro, who built a repressive regime that according Human Rights Watch robbed Cuban citizens of basic civil and political freedoms, jailed homosexuals, and punished all forms of dissent.
Many professors at universities across the United States have praised Castro for his efforts in combating colonialism, capitalism, and racism.
Erik Loomis, a professor of history at the University of Rhode Island, praised Castro as a champion of social justice, calling the dictator “a tremendously complex person who attempted to rebuild a society around ideas of justice while also refusing to allow democratic institutions to form.”
Loomis goes on to add that in his several decades at the helm of leadership in Cuba, Castro brought “outstanding medical care and education to his own people and the poor around the world while limiting the ability of educated people to use their skills at home.”
He called Castro, along with Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara and communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, “an inspiration for billions of people around the world seeking freedom from colonial overlords.”
Like Loomis, 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders came under fire during the Democratic primaries for an interview he gave in 1985 in which he praised Castro for his efforts in bringing healthcare and education to Cuba.
Althea Spencer Miller, an assistant professor at Drew University, praised Castro in a lengthy Facebook post in which she cited his efforts in bringing healthcare and education to the citizens of Cuba.
His complex life and politics were vilified here in the US. But for me as an anglophone Caribbean person, he represented the provision of educational opportunities through scholarships, health opportunities, and national, social, and cultural opportunities. Those opportunities were delivered without financial strings attached, did not increase the indebtedness of our countries, nor create political servility to his ideology… A complicated, contradictory human being has passed. Undoubtedly, he improved the lives of many actually forcing upon them the conditions for that improvement. There is much still to be done in Cuba but he took that country way beyond what it had been under the former tyranny.
A director at Human Rights Watch explains that Fidel Castro conducted a repressive that robbed citizens of civil and political rights: “As other countries in the region turned away from authoritarian rule, only Fidel Castro’s Cuba continued to repress virtually all civil and political rights,” said José Miguel Vivanco, a director at Human Rights Watch, a progressive human rights advocacy group. “Castro’s draconian rule and the harsh punishments he meted out to dissidents kept his repressive system rooted firmly in place for decades.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org