Face the Nation Guest: Castro Put ‘Healthcare, Education’ ‘Front and Center’

During a Sunday filled with liberal media elites praising dead communist dictator Fidel Castrol, CBS’s Face the Nation was no different. CBS consultant Julia Sweig seemed to write off the focus on Castro’s atrocities, “There is the analyst that will say look this guy took power, shutdown speech, put people in prison, had a human rights legacy that was quite challenging and difficult for many people who were on the other end of it.

That’s right, locking up and murdering people for having a different opinion, or being gay is just “challenging and difficult.” But according to Sweig, his real legacy is what he did for the people he didn’t kill:

On the other hand, he rewrote the social contract in Cuba in a small island nation which he put healthcare, education, culture, and the capacity for Cuba to have an independent foreign policy front and center as part of his legacy. And in Cuba --and I think we have to understand that there are 11 million people in Cuba-- that legacy will be digested as giving Cuba a place on the world stage.

During the introduction to the segment, Moderator John Dickerson described Sweig as, “a senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the author of Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. She’s also a CBS News Cuba Analyst and has been advising American companies doing business in Cuba.” She had also traveled to Cuba and spent some time with Castro himself, and even suggested that he “mellowed with old age.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, an editor for The Atlantic, quickly contradicted Sweig noting that while people say Castro helped with healthcare, education, and culture, “The joke is that there are three things that Fidel Castro did not do well for the Cuban people, which was breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

He then tore into the dictator’s real legacy:

And so you are looking at a guy who impoverished or kept his country in an impoverished state because he refused to open up to capitalist reforms. And obviously, on the political front we will remember him in America as a guy who suppressed freedom. I mean, there is no way around the fact it is a single party communist state and remains so.

Goldberg actually traveled with Sweig to Cuba and was the last American journalist to interview the communist dictator. 

Transcript below: 

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CBS
Face the Nation
November 27, 2016
10:40:49 AM Eastern

JOHN DICKERSON: Julia, let's historically look back at the full career of Fidel Castro where-- what should history think of him?

JULIA SWEIG: Well, it is a long and complex career. There is the analyst that will say look this guy took power, shutdown speech, put people in prison, had a human rights legacy that was quite challenging and difficult for many people who were on the other end of it.

On the other hand, he rewrote the social contract in Cuba in a small island nation which he put healthcare, education, culture, and the capacity for Cuba to have an independent foreign policy front and center as part of his legacy. And in Cuba --and I think we have to understand that there are 11 million people in Cuba-- that legacy will be digested as giving Cuba a place on the world stage.

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: But there are three things that many Cubans will say Castro did well, healthcare, education, culture. But the joke is that there are three things that Fidel Castro did not do well for the Cuban people, which was breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And so you are looking at a guy who impoverished or kept his country in an impoverished state because he refused to open up to capitalist reforms. And obviously, on the political front we will remember him in America as a guy who suppressed freedom. I mean, there is no way around the fact it is a single party communist state and remains so.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro