Our Ken is at it again! Mayor plans party for Castro's Cuba and the Revolution - Political Quote

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Our Ken is at it again! Mayor plans party for Castro's Cuba and the Revolution

Ken Livingstone is many things, gadfly to the right, socialist extraordinaire and a natural leader. One thing Ken is not, is boring.

Now he is upsetting a good many with his plans for a London-wide street party to celebrate 50 years of the Cuban revolution. The £2million pound festival will take place all over the city and will centre on Trafalgar Square.

According to Ken he has the support of the Cuban government for a massive festival "to celebrate 50 years of justice in Cuba."

"The Cuban revolution of 1959 was an extraordinary event not just for Cuba but for the region as a whole and I have never concealed my support for this fact. "

I am not a fan of Castro. You can read why here. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Castro has been good for Cuba and that Cubans are better off under him then under the likes of the former dictators like Batista (backed by the US) who killed and tortured those opposed to his regime.

The excellent education and health of the Cuban people is to be admired and would not have occurred without Castro. However Castro continues to repress those who dissent against his regime and he regularly imprisons opponents of the government. This is not on.

Ken Livingstone was right when he called the Cuban Revolution a "highlight of the 20th Century". It was a massively popular public uprising against a brutal, murderous and unjust regime and such a revolution would have been welcomed by the US had it occurred in Iraq anytime within the last 15 years.

But times change and as Castro once said "A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past." Today Castro is the past and it is time for him to go.

That said, I have no objection to Ken's plans. I only hope that all aspects of Cuba will be celebrated and that the celebrations will support an end to the repression of dissenters and a democratisation of the Cuban system.

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