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Russian State Television Gives Fidel Castro a Soviet Send Off

The World According to Russian State Television

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While the Western world was divided in its reaction to the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro – with politicians like British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized for their warm words for Castro – Russian politicians and state television were more united in their final goodbye to the Communist strongman.

“The role Castro played for humanity is overwhelming,” propagandist-in-chief Dmitry Kiselyov told viewers during his weekly news shows. “Castro,” he added, “was a thinker of planetary scale.”

Kiselyov, who usually decries any sort of revolution (except those who work in Russia's favor), called Castro's 1959 takeover of the Caribbean island a “true revolution.” Fidel Castro, he said, up to this day captures a “real rebel spirit” for young people [except for Russians, of course, who should not rebel.]

Kiselyov's Cuba segment was dominated by nostalgia for the 1960s and probably would have been no different to how Soviet television would have covered Castro's death. Kiselyov played a clip of the 1962 Soviet hit “Cuba My Love”, performed by Soviet pop star Muslim Magomaev and written for the occasion of Castro's first visit to the Soviet Union.

“Castro gave us the slogan 'Motherland or Death',” Kiselyov reminded viewers with images of Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev on the Red Square. Castro even made his mark on Soviet fashion, as Russian men in the 1960s grew beards to look like the Barbudos – Cuba's bearded revolutionaries.

But above all, Kiseylov says, Castro was a “priceless” ally, who was “ready to place nuclear missiles and point them at the United States.” The whole world, he said, watched as Castro “built a new order under America's nose.”

Castro, he said, is a hero for surviving a record number of assassinations including numerous ones by the CIA. “Whatever Washington did – poisoned his cigars, sent female killers, planted bombs in shells on beaches, sent snipers and gangsters – Castro ruled Cuba for almost half a century,” Kiselyov said.

In his ten minute segment on Castro's Cuba, Dmitry Kiselyov failed to mention the fifty years of repression on the island. He showed America the finger and for that, he will remain a hero in Moscow.

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