Fidel Castro destroyed Cubans' prosperity, but he didn't take their freedom

To the editor: Can we please stop the fiction that the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro took away the rights of his people when he seized power in 1959? Cubans had no rights under Castro’s predecessors. You cannot take something away from people that they never had in the first place. (“In Miami's Little Havana, Cubans whoop, dance and reflect as they celebrate Castro's death,” Nov. 26)

What Castro did take away was the economically viable middle class that had been allowed in Cuba. Many Cubans had accepted the tradeoff of moderate prosperity in return for political obedience. Castro replaced that with the allegedly classless communist system, which in fact benefitted only the select few in the highest levels of the government and military and devastated the Cuban economy. 

Many of those thousands of Cuban refugees arriving in the U.S. over the last 50 years under the guise of anti-communist political asylum were in fact economic refugees. 

Tom Lockhart, Long Beach


To the editor: A Castro, namely Raul Castro, who previously enforced Fidel’s draconian rule, continues to rule that unfortunate island nation. There is no truth to “after Castro” until the last brother is in the ground. 

Steve Reich, Oxnard

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