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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/6/16

U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro

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Part I -- Rejoicing At the Death of a Hero There was something both sad and disturbing about popular American reactions to the death of Fidel Castro on Friday, 25 November 2016. According to the New York Times, news of his death caused much of the Cuban American population of south Florida to "fill Miami's streets with song." Those were songs of "rejoicing" rather than dirges. We will examine why these celebrations occurred later in this analysis. However, first we want to give Senor Castro his due. Fidel Castro was the man who led the successful effort to overthrow the brutal and reactionary dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista -- a dictatorship that had the backing of the U.S. government. The Castro-led victory of 1959 began a long period of transformation for Cuba, raising the country from a starkly poor Third World condition to a modernizing socialist state. Here are some of that country's achievements under Castro's leadership: -- The expansion of nationwide public education, which uplifted the Cuban population from being largely illiterate to being mostly literate.

-- The introduction and development of a modern and accessible public health care system, which all but eliminated death from curable diseases and greatly reduced the infant mortality rate.

-- The expansion of services, such as the electric grid, sewage systems, and a reliable water supply, into the countryside.

-- The establishment of programs of sustainable development as the nation's economy diversified according to environmentally safe guidelines. This did involve redistribution of large landed estates to over a quarter million peasants.

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-- A significant reduction of both racism and sexism through education and new laws.

-- A considerable reduction of economic disparities.

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Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
Statehood
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.

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