Pass the cigars

Oh look! Fidel Castro is dead.

Nil nisi bonum, I can hear my gentlest readers thinking. Speak “naught but good” of the dead (for at least a few days). As the Romans could tell you — even their mortuary assistants — this is just good manners. And wise tactics, should one happen to be surrounded by the dead man’s admirers (as one always is on the Internet, today). I’m in favour of good manners, to a point — passed by Castro more than sixty years ago. He was, from his early manhood, a hardened Communist thug. With that bearded “charisma.”

Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro — among Castro’s spiritual heirs — is quoted by the BBC: “Revolutionaries of the world must follow his legacy.” For once I agree: they should all drop dead.

One could enter into a long recitation of Fidel Castro’s monstrous crimes; itemize from the scroll of the coldly murdered; the imprisoned and tortured; the exiled, at the risk of their lives; nod to a whole people enslaved, their whole lives on the Cuban plantation. One might spend the morning contending with the coolies of political fashion in the West, who have embraced so many real monsters; yet go hog wild over a little waterboarding. Or with media that instinctively applaud the crushing of media and free speech in foreign countries, provided only that the perpetrators claim to serve the progressive cause, on what we might call “the left side of history.”

But no, not today. Today we have something to celebrate.