Actually I’d say we need to remember his policies too, which were horrific. But point taken.
(From The Guardian)
Castro was an authoritarian. As JFK said of the revolutionaries: “They promised individual liberty and free elections. They promised an end to harsh police-state tactics. They promised a better life for a people long oppressed by both economic and political tyranny. But in the two years since that revolution swept Fidel Castro into power, those promises have all been broken.”
That was 1960; the 50-odd years ensuing, even though they brought a softening on matters like homosexuals and microwaves, didn’t alter the key thing that really mattered; Castro was a dictator.
You can say the principles that drove him were superior to, say, those driving Saddam Hussein; that it’s hard, having won by command and control, to shake the idea that those are the only tactics by which you win; that he’s had a bad rap from western governments that are perfectly happy to turn a blind eye to other, more self-serving dictators. But you cannot make a defence of strongman politics, even if he’s your strongman. You cannot fete Castro as a noble failure while deriding Tony Blair as irredeemable. Principles are like relationships; they don’t mean anything if you won’t put them in order of importance.