Fidel Castro: Better Than The DEA, But Still Pretty Much A Bastard
Still, I wouldn't want that misconstrued as support for Castro apologists. Castro should've figured out his system wasn't working the day he had to seal the borders and refuse to allow anyone to leave his pestilential country. For all the many, many problems that exist with the modern American (and British!) governments, they have two traits which make them undeniably better than Cuba's: one, citizens are free to openly criticize their governments with no fear of the secret police punishing them or their families; and two, if you live in America or Britain and really, really hate it, your government will not stop you from leaving the country and trying your luck somewhere else.
I've been a salaried or freelance American journalist for about four years now, and over that time I've personally offended or pissed off multiple government officials, including one state attorney general; a governor; a few US senators and congressmen; multiple congressional aides; four different police chiefs; a half-dozen mayors or head selectmen; and too many state- and city-level representatives to count. I've also published harsh and usually insulting criticism against two sitting US presidents and multiple high-ranking military officers.
How many times I was arrested for what I wrote? Zero.
How many times did police or other agents of the state assault me, or threaten to, for what I wrote? Zero.
How many of my friends or family members were arrested or beaten for what I wrote? Zero.No Cuban journalist who's criticized his own government has ever been able to make the same claim. Make no mistake: Castro was and is a horrid dictator. He's still better than the DEA, but that's damning with faint praise; Castro's better than Hitler and Kim Jong Il, too.