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David Codrea writes [via]: “Authorized journalists” are outdoing each other coming up with superlatives for dead Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Some are comparing him to George Washington, others are calling him a “folk hero,” and all are gushing over the superiority of socialized medicine and centralized communist indoctrination of the young. The problem is, like so much of the agenda-driven narrative the media feeds the public, Cuban health care ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Per a National Review summation, Cuba has a three-tiered system, one for rich foreigners, one for party officials, and one for the workers and peasants:

Then there is the real Cuban system, the one that ordinary people must use — and it is wretched. Testimony and documentation on the subject are vast. Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper. And basic medications are scarce. In Sicko, even sophisticated medications are plentiful and cheap. In the real Cuba, finding an aspirin can be a chore. And an antibiotic will fetch a fortune on the black market.

Like the self-important provincials they are U.S. media luminaries then wonder why they’re increasingly irrelevant to flyover America as their extreme “progressive” biases become impossible for anyone with open eyes to ignore. That, of course, necessitates further (and wholly transparent) efforts to suppress the truth by calling anything threatening the narrative “fake news.”

Meanwhile, mindful of his role as Prevaricator in Chief, Barack Obama reframed the very real record of the dead tyrant’s evil legacy, referring to it as “the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation,” and concluding “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

History has already recorded and judged the enormous impact of Marxist totalitarianism, as have Castro’s victims, their survivors, and those who fled his tyranny. Still, in several ways, Obama has a point: History is written by the victors, communists rewrite it to serve their purposes, and those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

The media’s infatuation with Castro is hardly new, and at the time he was leading the insurgency against the admittedly tyrannical Batista regime, many were enamored of a romantic, Robin Hood-like image, something he took pains to cultivate until such time as power was his and the need for masks was over. And he didn’t just fool the “liberals.”

GUNS Magazine (full disclosure: I am a field editor for the magazine, writing their monthly “Rights Watch” column) published “Where Castro Gets His Guns” in its March 1959 issue – the report noted Castro had just taken over the country as the issue was going to press. The article appeared to fully buy into distancing him from the communists, and even cited passages from the Declaration of Independence and made favorable comparisons to our own experience at throwing off the yoke of tyranny.

From the editor’s preview:

THE American Revolution was a popular revolution. It differed from more recent types in that there was no mass defection of government troops, no palace coup by military junta. The people formed their own militia, took their own guns to war. The revolution in Cuba (recognized by the U.S. the instant it succeeded) was such a struggle. Few of the military went over to Castro until the last minute. Yet he got guns, and good ones. From where? From the U.S., mostly, just as we in our turn had earlier got guns from France, from the Marquis de LaFayette. The ease with which Castro got guns should serve as a signal to the embers of neo-fascism elsewhere. The story “Where Castro Gets His Guns” is history written today.

As an aside, in an eerie reminder that history repeats itself, author William B. Edwards cited a CIA source admitting the U.S. government secretly allowed half of the guns smuggled to Cuba to get through, and recounted how smuggled Russian and Czech arms were being planted on dead revolutionaries by the Batista government “to discredit the revolution.” Fast and Furious similarities, anyone…?

The Cuban revolution was no American one, and Castro’s embracing of communism after convincing the world he was a freedom fighter should remind all who can think of the “fool me once” adage.

As should Castro’s pointed question when making his case that the people no longer had legitimate need of guns, and that his administration should be the only ones wielding a monopoly of violence: ¿Armas para que?

( classifies Cuba’s gun regulation as “restrictive.” Larry Pratt at Gun Owners of America fleshes out how that works in practice, recounting “Castro moved against private gun ownership the second day he was in power. He sent his thugs throughout the island using the gun registry lists — compiled by the preceding Batista regime — to confiscate the people’s firearms.”)


Read the entire March 1959 issue of GUNS Magazine, including “Where Castro Gets His Guns.” Try not to get too distracted by the offerings and the prices, and then spend some time going through a treasury other classic issues of freer days gone by.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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  1. We need to stop arming groups
    Secure our borders
    Deport the invaders
    Limit immigration as we did in 1924

    And stop trying to be the worlds welfare office/police force..

  2. Oh but this was just one time. The US would never arm it’s “enemies” again… and everybody lived happily ever after.

      • I remember watching a documentary of sorts regarding Syria in ’08/’09 and seeing buildings and barns stacked to the ceiling with empty boxes of “non lethal grenade launcher”(s) from FNH. Hundreds of empty blue boxes. P90’s, FS2000’s, and a variety of other small arms.

        • The Syrian refugees who Obama and the democrats are bringing into this country are the same people who decided to start a civil war by violently attacking their duly elected government rather than pursue a peaceful agenda of change.

          They will do the same thing here in time.

      • Arming another country or a revolution is one thing . . . Arming three sides in a conflict is the cluster f**k that is American foreign policy.

        The Kurds, the Iraqi government (Shias), and Sunnis of almost every stripe have all been armed by the good ole U.S.A. People warned that arming the Iraqi government (and so well) would lead to weapons in the hands of some bad groups by being stolen or sold on the black market. That fear materialized. Alarm bells went off when we bought Sunni tribesmen w/ weapons and cash (remember the “awakening councils”). Those weapons made it into the hands of some groups we are supposed to be against including ISIS.

  3. Dictators and Communists are all the same (as liberals, progressives, globalists, POS (D)) and Southpark properly portrayed what position they’ll all get with satan.

    Dictators all come from human weakness to hunt them.

    Make sure you hate enough.

  4. This is one of those things that looking back seems really stupid, but hey mistakes were made and that happens in every human endeavor.

    While the US should do better in it’s foreign policy machinations mistakes will continue to be made as long as people are there to make them. We simply cannot withdraw from the rest of the world. While “playing world policeman” is an unenviable job we can do it in a much smarter and cheaper way. However, we cannot stop doing it.

    Britain held the world together for the most part until the end of WWII when we inherited the job. Yeah, it’s a shitty job but trust me, at this point there is no one else you’d rather have with that job. No one else can/will do it in a even remotely fair way and while US policy does tick people off we generally have the best interests of the planet overall in mind. Overall we’re pretty benevolent. The Chinese, Russians or anyone else most certainly will not have anyone’s interests but their own in mind and they will set the entire fucking world on fire.

    Sometimes you draw the short straw and get a shit job. Well, that happened to us as a country circa 1945. Suck it up buttercups because it ain’t gonna change and what Obama managed to fuck up in the Middle East with his “hands off” approach is just a small taste of what will happen if we unilaterally withdraw from our current role in the world.

    • “No one else can/will do it in a even remotely fair way”

      And therein lies the problem. That is advocating spending *my* money, sacrificing *my* sons, in order for Southern Bumfuck to be free to tell me to kiss their ass. Pyss on a “fair way”, the world should know they’d better solve their own damn problems without us, if we have to gun up we will arrive and kill everything we see until all we hear is crickets. If we have to do it again within XX years, we will also make their country a U.S. possession forever. I’d bet we would not have to do that a second time in the next 1000 years.

      • “…in order for Southern Bumfuck to be free to tell me to kiss their ass.”

        Your sons make their own choices. No one put a gun to my head to make me enlist and they won’t do it to your kids either.

        On top of that; this isn’t about “freeing” other countries. Nationbuilding is a fools errand. Containing geo-political threats so that they don’t boil over and cause mass chaos is what we’re talking about here. It’s about ensuring a stable world order where Iran doesn’t shut down the Straight of Hormuz while the Chinese take over the Straight of Malacca (both of which are now real threats thanks to Obama’s candyass policies). Either of those would fuck the world and us with it. You might not care now, but if either of those things happened, trust me, you would care and you would care A LOT.

        We’re not an island. What happens in the rest of the world affects us greatly. Don’t like globalization? Well you need to invent a time machine and go back… oh, 2000 years or so.

        The simple fact is that pussyfooting around invites bad actors to do bad things which, down the road, makes major wars inevitable. Stability leads to trade and healthy markets which lead to tranquility and we’re the only ones who can provide the necessary stability.

        In fact, if you’re really worried about your sons then you want us playing policeman in a smart way because otherwise the shit gets deep real goddamn fast and suddenly the draft comes back because we have no other choice.

        As for the rest of your post: While going Roman has it’s appeal it will rapidly over-extend us and deplete our resources. Unless you’re going to strip the areas you take over there is no point. In fact, even stripping the area of resources probably won’t make it worth taking over a lot of the shitholes around the world.

  5. The rifle on the right is a Johnson M1941 made in Providence, RI. It was probable captured during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

  6. Of course the USA armed Castro and his minions…. Castro claimed to be fighting for democracy and freedom for the people of Cuba. As soon as he was in power he turned his back on those who had supported him and accepted support from the USSR. Judging by the way he has ruled Cuba all these decades, he was a commie from long before the revolution. Of course, once Castro was in the driver seat, and the US realized they had been duped, they searched for solutions, i.e. assassination, revolution, etc., which led to a number of reported assassination attempts, followed by the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

    Fulgencio Batista, who Castro overthrew was a dictator who ruled harshly, and extorted money from American businesses (chiefly hotel/casinos owned and operated by the Mafia). The Mafia wanted him out because they were tired of paying extortion, and they pushed the US Government to get rid of Batista and replace him with a “friendly” president.

    It has been my opinion for many decades that the US makes a huge mistake when they try to buy friendship. This does not mean I advocate isolationism. I have no desire to be forced to learn Russian, Chinese, Spanish, etc. If I want to learn, OK. (I hate it when I call a business and I get, “PRESS 1 to continue in English.”)

    • Castro was a communist long before he became dictator. He became a communist after being indoctrinated at his university. In 1948 he was a leader of communist-inspired riots in Bogota, Colombia. He took over a radio station there and broadcast “This is Fidel Castro. This is a Communist revolution.”

      The State Department knew it too. A career diplomat named William Arthur Wieland was vice consul in Bogota at the time. Wieland eventually became head of the State Department’s Caribbean Desk. He purged anti-Castro employees, including the American ambassador to Cuba, Arthur Gardner. Gardner made several reports about Castro to the State Department, warning that Castro was a communist.

  7. Well yeah. From Reza Pahlavi,Afghanistan’s “freedom fighters,South Vietnam and various other sketchy regimes the US has made some serious blunders. Hindsight is 20/20. I hope we can trust our next president?

  8. The American Revolution was hardly “popular” just as many Americans were Patriots as much as Loyalists. The majority didn’t care either way.

    As for arming the enemy, I never hear anyone bitching about lend and lease to the Soviets during WWII.


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