Adam, one of my co-bloggers at Revealed Preferences has a fitting obituary for Fidel Castro.
"By any reasonable standard, Castro was a disaster for his country. He leaves behind an impoverished land virtually devoid of freedom, where the most banal opening constitutes a major reform. His party won praise for Cuba’s education system, even as it imposed strict censorship, banned private libraries and cut its people off from the world. It won accolades for a healthcare system in which infant mortality is reduced by aborting “substandard” fetuses and doctors are rented to foreign governments like chattel. Castro’s recklessness came close to triggering global nuclear war. His destruction of Cuba’s economy left people on the brink of starvation when Soviet aid collapsed. Many Cubans preferred to float through shark-infested waters on precarious rafts rather than endure his socialist paradise. And not once did Castro give Cubans an opportunity to choose a path different from the one he imposed on them.
"But while his plaudits were thoroughly undeserved, the intense hatred he received from some quarters was bizarre. Obviously, it’s normal that his victims and their families would despise him. But how did the ruler of a small country with only modest strategic importance become the great bogeyman of the conservative movement? By the undemanding standards of dictatorships, his was not an unusually harsh one. Never mind Hitler, Stalin or Mao; he was not even a Saddam or a Pol Pot. Why did his tyranny merit so much attention?"Read the whole thing here.