In his review of Nick Caistor’s book Fidel Castro (September/October 2013), Richard Feinberg writes that “it is surely too soon to issue a definitive verdict on the reign of Fidel Castro.” But it is certainly not too soon, if one considers the evidence. Today, Cuba produces virtually nothing at all. It floats dead in the tropical waters. After being supported for years by the Soviets, the country’s economy now relies on Venezuelan aid and, bizarrely, international tourism.
Feinberg’s review is notable for not including even once the word “communism” or the word “dictatorship.” Feinberg claims that Caistor’s book “sums up the current assessment of most centrist Cuba observers.” Yet Castro was one of the most polarizing figures of the past half century. Perhaps Feinberg still has not made up his mind about Castro, but the verdict is in, and has been for a long time.