Visual impairment is no fun in most cases. It is certainly not a choice and impacts the life of every affected person in a HUGE way. “Normal” seeing people expect that they have a field of vision of a good bit more than 180 degrees (including peripheral vision). So, imagine how it would affect you if out of 180 degrees a massive piece of that semi circle was missing. Blacked out or so hazy that you can’t make out what is there.
No severe medical condition regarding his eyesight is known about Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland. But it seems that the piece of that semi circle that he can’t seen can easily hold between 10,000 and 100,000 people. Because that’s the number (10,000-100,000) that were killed by the state in Cuba. At least 78,000 are estimated to have died trying to flee Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. (see www.quora.com/How-many-deaths-was-Fidel-Castro-responsible-for )
Fidel Castro was a brutal dictator in Cuba! Yes, there are some good things that he did in the areas of medicine and education, for example. But any absolutist leader will achieve SOME positive things and wil help SOME people. Even Hitler and Stalin did some positive things.
But how can you completely ignore the oppression of the people of a whole country, the killing of up to 100,000 and the fact that in all Castro’s years in power, he didn’t allow a single free election? How can you be soo blind that you talk of Fidel Castro as a leader “whose view was not only one of freedom for his people but for all of the oppressed and excluded peoples on the planet”. Freedom of his people!?!?!?!? He killed 78,000 who were prepared to risk their lives to get away from that freedom! He did give his people so much freedom that they weren’t allowed to vote once in nearly 50 years? And Fidel Castro the dictator, the oppressor allegedly cared about “all of the oppressed ..on the planet”?
No big problem, if Mr Higgins (or Comrade Higgins) has that opinion. Still wrong, but who cares about his ideology. But it was an absolutely shocking statement by a president of a democratic European country.