1. Exquisite Tweets from @alexvtunzelmann

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    And yet he made it to 90. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre, Alejandro!

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    Fidel Castro was a very controversial figure - but to understand him, you have to see him in context. I wrote this: amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/184739…

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    He could be a harsh dictator. There were summary executions (at the beginning), imprisonments of journalists, harassment of opponents.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    At the same time, he was a big, swaggering bastard who threw out mafia, beat the USA and made Cuba a world player. Many loved him for that.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    And the Cuban govt's achievements in healthcare, education, welfare etc are real - though balanced by equally real losses of freedoms.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    Anyway, I'll be on Sky News at around 10.10 talking about this more.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    One more thing - my book looked at the three big independent Caribbean nations in the 1950s & early 60s. Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    All were dictatorships. Batista's Cuba, Papa Doc Duvalier's Haiti & Trujillo's DR were all horrific and (to an extent) US-supported.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    Compared to what went before & what else was happening in Caribbean, Fidel's revolution by far the least toxic regime. Very popular at time.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    The legacy of slavery & plunderous colonialism had brutalised the Caribbean and ensured kleptocratic, murderous dictatorships.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    In that context, Fidel Castro - even with all his enormous flaws - looked like a liberator to many.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann

    Here's hoping for true freedom and liberation for all Caribbean peoples in the future.

    Reply Retweet Like

    alexvtunzelmann

    Alex von Tunzelmann