I AM amazed at the shallowness of Simon Beck's recent article, 'At last, Castro has conquered America', (South China Morning Post, 26 October). Does Mr Beck suggest that Castro being made a celebrity by the press and fashionable status-seekers during his recent visit to the US makes him or his policies in any way successful? To understand that Castro has been a total failure you need only look at what he has accomplished since declaring himself king of his little Caribbean paradise 33 years ago. The answer is not much.
In reality, he is a communist dinosaur who chose a communist system that has been a complete failure. Chile and Colombia are excellent examples of how capitalism and democracy work for Latin America. Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua got the message, when will Fidel? Castro has done no better than make Cuba a beggar nation, living off handouts from the Soviet Union in exchange for the military convenience of his nation's proximity to the US. Americans haven't forgotten how he once appeared on an American talk show, The Jack Parr Show, speaking of friendship with the American people and shortly afterwards pointed nuclear missiles at them.
Now, he comes to the US with his finger firmly on the guilt button telling Americans they owe him US$40 billion (HK$309 billion), the cost of the 33-year embargo. Why does the press cut Castro so much slack? Cuba has the worst human-rights record in Latin America. Can you imagine what we would hear from the press if the US aided and abetted a right-wing government with the same human-rights record? Dr Castro, let your people go! L. ALLEN Discovery Bay