Update 14:16 | Matthew Sheffield. The level of excusing and tip-toeing around the truth about Castro is staggering. As of 2:13 ET when you do a Google News search for "Fidel Castro" you come up with 7,520 results. Add the word dictator after it and you come back with 1,417. That's 81 percent less.
Just a few headlines from major newspapers as Fidel Castro has called it quits as dictator:
- Castro resigns, ending era in Cuba (LATimes.com front page)
- Fidel Castro to step down as Cuba's leader (LATimes.com article)
- Fidel Castro will step down after 50 years at Cuba's helm (Miami Herald)
- Castro resigns presidency (BaltimoreSun.com front page)
- Fidel Castro resigns Cuban presidency (AP article at BaltimoreSun.com)
None of those articles directly referred to Castro as a dictator. Here's how AP's Anita Snow danced around the matter of Fidel's autocracy, conceding that "detractors called him a dictator" while throwing in the favored defense leftists often throw up for Castro (emphasis mine):
His ironclad rule ensured Cuba remained communist long after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism across Eastern Europe.
Castro's supporters admired his ability to provide a high level of health care and education for citizens while remaining fully independent of the United States. His detractors called him a dictator whose totalitarian government systematically denied individual freedoms and civil liberties such as speech, movement and assembly.
Photo via The Raw Story.
Update 13:20 | Matthew Sheffield. More headlines:
- BBC: Castro bows out. The Cuban leader Fidel Castro has announced that he is stepping down after nearly half a century in power.
- Reuters: Castro exit augurs economic, not political change. Cuban leader Fidel Castro's retirement from politics after nearly 50 years in power could usher in gradual economic reform...
- U.S. News: Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president today after ruling the island nation for nearly a half century, which was the longest reign in the world for a head of government.
- Christian Science Monitor: Fidel Castro retires as president of Cuba. For the first time in nearly half a century, Fidel Castro has stepped down as president of Cuba.
- MTV.com: Fidel Castro steps down as Cuba's leader due to failing health
- Kudos to CBS for playing it straight: Ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro resigns overnight with a letter e-mailed to Cuba's state media.
- ABCNews.com: After almost half a century in power, Cuba's Fidel Castro is stepping down. He made the announcement overnight on the online edition of ...
- ABC's "Good Morning America:" The world's longest-serving political leader is leaving on his own terms, having survived efforts by ten different U.S. presidents to bring him down
- New York Times: Fidel Castro resigns as Cuba’s president. Fidel Castro stepped down Tuesday morning as the president of Cuba after a long illness.