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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro and other failed leaders

"A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past," said Fidel Castro (1926-2016) the failed leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
It's surprising Castro lived to be 90 years old, given how many millions of people were planning for his early death and seeing the celebrations as a result of his ultimate demise on November 26, 2016.
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Fidel Castro (1925-2016)

Regardless of how vilified Fidel Castro was after the Cuban Revolution failed, the fact is, he died in the leadership role he took by force. It was an armed revolt conducted by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement and its allies, against the authoritarian government of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. The revolution began in July 1953. It continued sporadically until the rebels finally ousted Batista on 1 January 1959, replacing the government with a revolutionary socialist state. The 26th of July Movement later reformed along communist lines, becoming the Communist Party in October 1965.

Fidel Castro outlived his life expectancy causing decades of economic hardships on the Cubans living in the island nation just 90 miles from Key West, Florida. He was the example of leadership without a plan for implementation.  In fact, a study of Fidel Castro's leadership style shows how dangerous one man's unchecked control is, especially when no one was allowed to live who opposed him.

Other failed leaders, to name a few were Russia's Joseph Stalin who purged his enemies and Adolf Hitler who murdered his opponents.  

In today's current events, Syria's evil President Bashar al-Assad and Russia's Vladimir Putin are a few who come to mind as failed leaders. Obviously, Putin is too egotistical to admit his leadership is "failed". Maybe his unhealthy alliance with the American businessman Donald Trump will turn things around for Putin. Shudder at the thought of being friends with a former KGB agent, in the days when Putin was adept at attempting to co-opt American spies by stealing their intelligence, while in Europe.

One man's leadership can destroy nations. For example, Cambodia's now dead former leader Pol Pot (1925-1998), led a genocidal movement. Pot was an evil communist leader who led the Khmer Rouge terror movement in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During that time, about 1.5 million Cambodians out of a total population of 7 to 8 million died of starvation, execution, disease or overwork. Some estimates place the death toll even higher. One detention center, S-21, was so notorious that only seven of the roughly 20,000 people imprisoned there are known to have survived. The Khmer Rouge, in their attempt to socially engineer a classless peasant society, took particular aim at intellectuals, city residents, ethnic Vietnamese, civil servants and religious leaders. An invading Vietnamese army deposed the Khmer Rouge in 1979, and, despite years of guerrilla warfare, they never took power again. Pol Pot died in 1998 without ever being brought to justice.

Sadly, there are dozens of examples of how one man, or a determined, and ambitious leader, someone who rules without morals or principles can bring entire civilizations to the brink of disaster. Like Fidel Castro predicted in his quote about "revolution", these leaders force the difference between the past and the future.

In my opinion, our American Democracy appears to be on the brink of a similar "revolution", one brought about by deceitful "false news", a campaign of fear and slander against all opposition. Donald Trump sucked his support for his 2016 election from the right wing extremists who want to make America "white" again.

In fact, rich Donald Trump has lived the mirror opposite life of the humble Fidel Castro. Yet, they have shared an insatiable ambition to control and have power over others, regardless of how they could obtain their goals.

I suspect Donald Trump's leadership will be a failed effort to bring about a social revolution in the United States; but if he lives as long as Fidel Castro, he only has 20 years left to do it. Moreover, when it's time for the ultimate and natural demise of Donald Trump, as will inevitably happen, (Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Hitler and Stalin) there will be dancing in the streets in cities throughout the world, just like the joyous Cubans are doing in Florida's "little Havana's", today.

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