is it ever justified to overthrow the government?

Fidel Castro, in the Havana Declarations makes the case that it is lawful and even a duty to overthrow a regime that is tyrannical

There is a lot of written material that support this position from the US declaration of independence to writings by Locke, Greeks and Roman philosophers, and even from Africa and Asia where it was the practice in some places to send to the maker a tyrant.

Why, then, do we have few insurrections when obviously we can count many countries living under a despot?

Don’t lend your support to crooks

In this Stoic meditation Massimo Pigliucci offers caution not to support leaders who drag their offices to the mud. I think he needs a session with out government. I am not sure whether there is any low they can go beyond where they have reached. But I am reminded that incompetent people are never short of surprises. When you think they can’t surprise you further, they outdo their last incompetence with something even worse.

And maybe Carl Sagan was right about politicians.

The words of Castro in History will Absolve me, can be used to refer to the present regime in Kenya. He said, in part

The previous regime was guilty of petty politics, theft, pillage and disrespect for human life; but the present regime increased political skulduggery fivefold, pillage tenfold, and has increased a hundredfold the lack of respect for human life.

The graft is mind boggling. The incompetence is beyond speech. Extrajudicial killings, demolitions and evictions the less said the better. And I am just beginning. And the same fellows are lined up to be in the next regime. How can a whole country be so collectively duped to elect thieves, idiots but I repeat myself.

In the same essay/ defense, he notes, of the Batista regime but which seems to be a mirror copy of the Uhuru/ Ruto regime

His regime brought merely a change of hands and a redistribution of the loot among a new collection of friends, relatives, accomplices and parasitical dregs that constitute the political retinue of a dictator.

Have you a warm day, will you.

Cuba and Fidel

I have recently read two works by Fidel Castro. The two works are History will absolve me[ spoken in 1953] & My life: A spoken autobiography [ a collaborative work with Ramonet].

In the two works, that are half a century apart, Fidel remains the same. Always the visionary and very self critical. He says from the onset, which I doubt anyone would disagree, that no one is born a revolutionary, circumstances shape the person and for him this happened at different points in his childhood.

In his book, he talks about the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US supported attempt at counter revolution in 61, 2 years after the revolution. The US support ouster of Chavez, and in many places in Latin America.

He has utmost admiration for Olaf Palme of Sweden, Trudeau Snr, for JF Kennedy, for Juan Carlos of Spain among other leaders through the decades he was the head of the revolutionary council.

He talks about the success of education in Cuba. And how they have managed to achieve that success.

I said at the beginning of this post, he was self critical, yes, he was. In 1952, he says he was a utopian communist. All they knew then was how to carry out a revolution but not how to run a government. In a way, he is glad they didn’t succeed then, arguing that the power arrangements between the USSR and USA at that time would have been disastrous for them and the US would have likely become an occupying force in support of Batista.

He makes no apology for the times they have had to use the death penalty.

He has a good memory. The autobiography was done when he was already advanced in age, but he remembers a lot of things from the past, books he read and so on.

He introduces us, the readers, to great fighters of Cuban independence thought such as Marti, who he has at a pedestal, a saint, if you may.

He talks greatly and fondly of Che.

He is a friend of the third world and of humanity. In a way, he is a great humanist and hoped for a world where we all lived in harmony.

The article and the book are great reading, regardless of how you see Fidel.