Counterpunch’s venomous attack against Fidel Castro

Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.

A version of  this article was posted on September 25, 2010, on the

The venomous and desecrating Counterpunch article of Alexander Cockburn of September 17, 2010, “Autumn of the Driveller”, (, on Fidel Castro, would only be shocking and astounding to those who have failed to detect the bombastic positivistic arrogance, absence of theoretical grounding and clarity, and one-sided pushiness of his assertions-which are delivered in an anti-developmental form, as if these are the only possible explanations of facts that are being analyzed.  So far, no critical articles have been posted on the Counterpunch in reaction to this provocation. Either none have been submitted or those that have been, have been censored.  Even though Counterpunch claims to be opposed to censorship and all for the freedom of speech-of which, it is a beneficiary-it is very likely that this critical article will be censored.  (It was submitted to the Counterpunch first, and was censored, as expected).

There is no need here to mention or list the innumerable great politico-economic and intellectual accomplishments of this great world-historical revolutionary leader of the Cuban revolution-accomplishments that have not only benefited and radically changed the lives of generations of millions of Cubans, but also those of countless millions of people throughout the Third World-frequently in the most difficult and dangerous areas-where thousands of Cuban doctors and teachers have worked selflessly for decades.  He continues to be revered in Cuba as well as throughout the world by all the genuine anti-imperialists and victims of injustice, inequality, aggression, and capitalism.  No other living political leader deserves such respect and reverence.

Castro is 84 years old and he has just stepped into the public political and intellectual life after a long and very serious illness, during which he continued his pursuit of justice, peace, and freedom from imperialism, through studies and writings.  His reflections have addressed some of the major issues and problems that mankind is currently facing.  By and large, these have been on the mark and have accurately identified their causes and possible solutions.  It is indeed very courageous and generous of Castro to continue to benefit mankind with his profound revolutionary wisdom and practical experience that he acquired in face of having to deal with incredible odds and dangers, constantly created and thrown at him and Cuba by the most powerful imperialist country in the history of this planet.  It is no exaggeration to state that his own survival-as well as the survival of Cuban socialist revolution-under constant conspiracies, plots, and attacks of US imperialism, for five long decades, have been nothing short of a miracle. 

Cockburn picks out Castro’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, his opinion about the importance of Bilderberg Club that he seems to have developed from Daniel Estulin’s ‘The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club”, his assessment of the role of rock music and Beatles in diversion of the energies from serious revolutionary thought and actions to hedonism and shallow and musical “revolution”, and his doubts about the US government’s version of “facts” on 9/11, and then releases his venom against Castro on that basis.

Castro was obviously misinterpreted and misrepresented by Goldberg in the interview and Castro himself explained that in an article, “Fidel’s message at the launch of La contraofensiva estratégica”, in the Granma International, after the interview.

Web link:   There is no reason to doubt his explanation.  As far as the secretive Bilderberg Club is concerned, Castro may have exaggerated its importance but it is certainly one of the major power houses of imperialists, along with the Trilateral Commission .  In addition to Daniel Estulin, various British and American writers and others, like David Icke, Jim Tucker, Jesse Ventura, and Alex Jones, have also arrived at similar conclusions about the Bilderberg Club.  In regard to the rock music, many writers, e.g. Allan Bloom in his “Closing of the American Mind”, have pointed out its diversionary, de-sublimating, crudefying, vulgarizing, and hedonistic effects on hordes of young people, whose brute, undeveloped, and un-sublimated hedonism was exaggerated and reinforced by this music and who were cleverly and methodically trapped by the rock stars and music companies for extraction of enormous profits and wealth.  Media, politicians, writers and others all jumped on the bandwagon and played their role in the production and elevation of the rock culture.  This was, and continues to be, a major diversionary force in the capitalist-imperialist cultures, sapping the energies of countless young people into vulgar hedonism, and away from the development of higher forms of human nature and culture.  It is to the credit of Castro to have identified and expressed his views on this major problem in the imperialist culture.  Cockburn’s ridicule of Castro, in connection with his doubts about the US government’s version of events and facts, is also totally poisonous and unwarranted.  There are numerous US and international scientists, engineers, and writers who have raised very important questions about the validity of the government’s version and some have concluded that some of the most important facts were excluded from it and its explanations about some of the events were impossible, e.g. sudden demolition-like collapse of Building 7-which was not hit by the planes- long after the direct impacts on and collapse of the Twin Towers.  Discovery of the high explosive, Nanothermite, at the site, also raises important questions and doubts about the government’s version.  David Ray Griffin’s article, “Left-Leaning Despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement: Do You Really Believe in Miracles?”, contains extensive factual information and analyses in this regard (Web link:

Cockburn is supposedly a leading leftist writer in the US.  Naturally, the question arises: Why did he stoop to such vulgar and petty insults and name calling to a great revolutionary leader, like Fidel Castro, who had succeeded in the establishment, preservation, and development of the only socialist revolution in this part of the world, so close to the superpower and godfather of all imperialisms, its mortal enemy?  After the betrayal of socialism in the former USSR and Eastern Europe, many insincere and hypocritical pseudo-socialists, some wearing the masks of socialism, including Trotskyites, anarchists, and others, openly expressed glee at that greatest misfortune and setback in history for the Soviet and East European people, as well as for the whole mankind.  Now they are hoping and expecting the same to happen in Cuba.  Followers of the Fourth International are particularly disgusting in this regard.  It is totally understandable that a small and poor country like Cuba is experiencing extreme difficulties and problems in this most perverse moment of history, in which the giants of socialism have betrayed it and have become capitalists and imperialists.  It is truly surprising that it has maintained the basic structures of socialism intact, like free healthcare, free education, housing for the entire population-free or at minimal costs-, a ration system to guarantee the supply of essential food items to all its citizens etc., even after the betrayal of socialism in other countries.  Before that grand betrayal,Cuba had developed extensive trade and other relations with those countries and its economy was able to maintain full employment.  Even after that, the unemployment was kept to a minimum, never exceeding 3 percent.  According to some current figures, it now stands at 1.7 percent.  However, all the unemployed still have the basic and substantial human rights mentioned above.  The recent news about the transfer of 500,000 state employees to non-state sector is now being manipulated to the maximum by the enemies of socialism and revolution in Cuba, even though the full details of that are still unknown.  Instead of understanding, empathizing, and identifying with the great difficulties of Cuban revolution at this most sinister stage of history, the so-called self-satisfied and conceited “leftists” in the US, like Cockburn, have started ridiculing, insulting, and desecrating it and its leader.  This is the climax of obscenity and decadence.  The fact is that these “leftists” have not been able to do anything practical and effective against capitalism, imperialism, injustice, and evils in their own society or anywhere else.  All they do is unleash torrents of abstract and empty words that leave everything as it is.  They and those under their influence get caught up in such solipsism, which appears to them to be more real than the reality.  They also start developing a false sense of grandeur within that solipsism.  But deep inside, they are aware of their failures and envy those who succeed in actually bringing about the revolutionary changes that they claim to want to bring about in their own society.  It is doubtful if such people would actually want to bring about revolutionary changes in their society, even if they were given the power to do so.     

The key point of this reaction to Cockburn’s article is that his nasty personal attacks against Castro are totally obscene, unjustifiable, and unwarranted.  If he disagrees with some of his positions, he could have done that without such personal attacks.



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