Thursday, December 01, 2016

Fidel Castro, Stephen Harper, and the Con Scumbags

I wasn't planning to write another post about the death of Fidel Castro, and the ugly way the Cons and the Con media went after Justin Trudeau for daring to eulogize him.

I thought I had said everything I wanted to say here. 

But then I saw that even though it's been six days since Trudeau delivered that eulogy, and even though he has announced that he won't be attending Castro's funeral.

The depraved Con propaganda machine is still going after him.

In their usual satanic colours, and as only they can.

So I was glad to see Heather Mallick write that Trudeau's eulogy doesn't need an apology. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said kindly words appropriate under the circumstances (death). Fidel was a “remarkable leader,” which he was, “who made significant improvements to the education and health care of his island nation,” which he did. 

What went unsaid was that Castro had also offered Canadians decades of cheap vacations on a special island where Americans couldn’t go. We were, like, free to travel because we were totally not like the States. It was a point of pride.

And point out the hypocrisy of the Cons...

In 2015, 800,000 Canadians travelled to Cuba, spending $708 million, says StatsCan, and that was a quiet year.

Any Conservative who deplores Trudeau’s measured praise of Castro should be deploring the Cuba vacationers who are their voters.

And the hypocrisy of the Americans.

It’s fair to criticize Castro’s spying on his own people and his prisons. But the U.S. spies on its own people, has the highest prison-population rate in the world, and set up Guantanamo Bay, a prison and torture camp on Cuban land.

So in that vein, I thought I'd also remind the Cons that in South Africa, Castro is remembered as a hero. 

Nelson Mandela once wrote that “there is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” It is almost as if Mandela had Fidel Castro in mind when he wrote those words.

A man who inspired my great hero Nelson Mandela, as he languished in jail.

An internationalist who later sent his soldiers to help destroy the apartheid regime at the epic battle or battles of Cuito Cuanavale...

In the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola, which lasted from 1987 to 1988 and was one of the largest battles on African soil, Castro committed thousands of elite Cuban troops to fight for freedom. That bloody battle buried the apartheid regime’s military ambitions and paved the way for the peace accord mediated by the United States and signed in 1988.

While back in Canada, the Con's future leader, the icy nerd Stephen Harper, was working to support the apartheid regime and keep Mandela in jail. 

In 1989 Harper was a member of the Northern Foundation (NF) about the same time that he became policy chief of the Reform Party. The exclusive mandate of the NF was to counter the serious efforts of the Canadian government of Brian Mulroney to pressure the South African government to release Nelson Mandela from prison and to end apartheid.

And if he was still in power, would no doubt be banging out the same message his Cons are banging out or vomiting out today...

For he made them in his own image.

Even though Harper had no problem slobbering over the death of the brutish Saudi tyrant and head chopper King Abdullah.

As he slobbered over him in life.

And that's all I have to say, as the poor but proud Cubans prepare to bury their hero. 

Except this: the Cons are the ones who should be apologizing for their disgusting behaviour. And so should their fallen leader Stephen Harper...

For he was a little man.

The Cons are little people. Nasty little RepubliCons.

And Fidel Castro was a giant...


  1. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Thanks for these columns Simon!

    1. hi're welcome. I feel I owe it to my friends on that poor but beautiful island, for all the sunny times they have given me...

  2. Anonymous9:40 AM

    The Harper RepubliCons are the most disgusting bunch of hypocrites I've ever had the displeasure to have known. Until the remnants of Harper are excised from this band of deplorables, they shall remain the biggest sack of shit to have ever formed a political party. Long may they rot as the opposition.
    That old image of Harper captures him perfectly Simon. Creepy, racist Steve.

    1. hi JD...yes they are hypocrites, and they certainly are disgusting. They have absolutely no class, and don't know when to keep their mouths shut. Their crass attempt to try to hurt Justin Trudeau by putting down the Cubans at a time when they are mourning their much loved leader really is unforgivable. And yes, isn't that one of the scariest pictures of Harper ever? It clearly reflects his cruelty, and makes him look like a serial killer...

  3. Anonymous10:58 AM

    The whataboutism is strong here. I guess it has be, though, if you're defending the indefensible...

    1. Really? I saw a column based on facts about actual events.

    2. Anonymous9:07 PM

      Guys, go ahead and cheerlead for Castro and his regime to your hearts' delight. Unlike Cuba, this is a free country. But please don't try to pretend it somehow puts you on the side of freedom, democracy, or an open society. Because you've shown your true colours these past few days, and it has been an utterly appalling spectacle of breathtaking hypocrisy and first-world privilege.

    3. Anonymous's 10:56 & 9:07,

      At this point it's difficult to tell if you actually believe the drivel you've typed here (in which case you're idiots) or if you know that you're hypocritical hacks going through the motions.

      Either way, you're contemptible.

    4. Anonymous10:55 PM

      You got me there thwap. Steven Harper paid me to write those comments. Because it's inconceivable that anyone in his right mind could possibly take issue with the celebration of your fave dictator.

    5. Anonymous12:48 PM

      Anon - Whenever "whataboutism" comes up, it's because you're taking a moral stand on something you clearly maintain two standards on. What that makes clear is that you don't really have any firm principles and just want to use Fidel's corpse to flog your political opponents.

      Simon, on the other hand, acknowledges that the relationship between Canada and Cuba has brought a lot of badly-needed business to Cuba and to Cuba's proud people, business that only the relationship between Castro and Pierre Trudeau could really facilitate. He has also demonstrated that he can maintain both that Castro was authoritarian and kept a tight leash on political opposition and freedom of expression while at the same time acknowledging how important Castro was not only to his people, but to people all over the world.

      Because if this is your standard, if this is the man that you're holding up as somebody worthy of nothing but disdain, I will ask you to maintain that same standard for Vladimir Putin, the Saudi King as Simon indicated... but also Henry Kissinger, whose policy choices resulted in a lot of right-wing human-rights-trampling dictators to come to power, notably Augusto Pinochet. This is assuming you have standards at all; my experience is that conservatives these days have little in the way of principles.

    6. Anonymous4:49 PM

      Please do tell me what my opinions are regarding Putin, the Saudi king, Henry Kissinger, Vlad the Impaler or any other bad egg who I am not talking about here. It was Castro that Montreal Simon and his friends were praising. In objecting to this, I am not obliged to issue a disclaimer on every other vile regime out there. I am getting a real sense of deja vu here from the nearly identical arguments I had a few years back with the Pinochet fan club...

  4. Anonymous2:18 PM

    "So I was glad to see Heather Mallick write that Trudeau's eulogy doesn't need an apology."

    You mean the Toronto Red Star defended Trudeau's statement? Wow, what a surprise. Right up there with shockers like Ezra Levant supporting pipelines.

    From the article itself...

    "We were, like, free to travel because we were totally not like the States"

    In other words...

    "Ya so like, Castro wasn't like, all that bad, so like, lay off Trudeau ok?"

    Top notch journalism right there folks. Sounds like two teenage girls talking on a bus.


    1. hi MC...Since you've never been to Cuba, like millions and millions of Canadians, you don't know what you are talking about. But those of us who have been there know of the special friendship between Cubans and Canadians, and it's worth celebrating...

    2. Anonymous11:59 AM

      "Since you've never been to apartheid-era South Africa, like millions and millions of Canadians, you don't know what you are talking about. But those of us who have been there know of the special friendship between White South Africans and Canadians, and it's worth celebrating..." I seem to recall hearing that sort of thing once upon a time, too...

  5. Anonymous4:17 PM

    I am currently watching the Conservative's speak on their opposition motion on Cuba and must say what hyperbole and hypocrisy....such an exercise in verbal diarrhea! Really who cares what they have to say!!!!

    1. hi anon...I can't stand to listen to the Cons Cold War posturing. They will use anything to attack Justin Trudeau. It is as you say all verbal diarrhoea and they should be ashamed of themselves...

  6. Anonymous4:28 PM

    All this blather and talk about PM Trudeau calling Castro a "remarkable" leader... At the very least was Fidel not Remarkable?........ worthy of being or likely to be noticed especially as
    being uncommon or extraordinary

    1. hi anon...even those who didn't like Fidel, are admitting that he was a remarkable leader. He defied the U.S. for almost 60 years, survived dozens of plots to kill him, and although he was the leader of a small and impoverished island, he was a giant of the 20th Century...

  7. The Justin Trudeau honeymoon is over
    Editorial: Justin Trudeau was booed at the Grey Cup game. He should get used to it.

    Donald Trump could happen in Canada. It’s already begun.

    But thankfully...

    Kellie Leitch’s constituents turn against her
    A ‘Not my MP’ movement is gaining steam in Leitch’s rural riding of Simcoe-Grey, north of Toronto

    1. hi David...the reason Trudeau was booed had nothing to do with Castro, and everything to do with the fact that the stadium was full of Calgary Stampeder fans. I know because I live near the Roger's Centre and my neighbourhood was full of them...

  8. Anonymous1:17 PM

    This is what gets me: shit-talking Fidel Castro after he died is one of those things that any numbskull can do. "He's a scary Commie, boo!" Requires no knowledge of Cuban society, no knowledge of Cuban history, no knowledge of the Revolution, no knowledge period. Makes for an easy throw-away tweet to establish a moral high ground, hence why all the deplorables (Leitch, Cruz, Rubio et al) came out in droves to do it.

    What does that say about people's intellectual curiosity? I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about Cuba. I've never been there, likely never will. But from what I read up on following Fidel's death, it struck me that there likely wasn't a path for Cuba to take that both kept US interests from straight out plundering the island the way they were under Batista, while at the same time maintaining a free and open democratic society the way Canada does. Making an enemy of the US the way Castro did clearly makes you a target, and the US really wants to do to Cuba what it's still doing to Puerto Rico. So the only way Castro saw to maintain the Socialist model that delivered Cuba from Batista's rule was to clamp down on any dissent. I'm not saying that's right or just in any way, but in the end, we clearly talk about Cuba differently than we talk about say, Guatemala or Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic. If nothing else, Castro put Cuba on a unique global footing that none of his contemporaries did.

    But everybody seems content with the intellectually lazy "grr, bad Commie!" It's just... insulting to my intelligence on that level.