Fidel Castro was not so much a doctrinaire like Che but an opportunist– so argued Ambassador and IWP Professor Alberto Piedra at a recent IWP lecture. Through his personal experiences with the Cuban dictator and his regime, Amb. Piedra saw that what energized and held it all together was Castro’s ambitions. Communism was merely convenient window dressing, useful to practice in its totality because, at its root, the ideology depended on him for survival. Had it been otherwise said the Ambassador, had it been Nazism, for example, Castro would surely have sung a different tune.
No regime so dependent on a single leader–brusquely eliminating all competition–can survive, the Ambassador argued. Government works best when it focuses on being as much an instrument of dispute as a vehicle of policy. In other words, when government takes on a modest and restricted form, it is to the benefit of everyone and the public interest, generally. Ambassador Piedra expressed it as such: “governments exist for the benefit of men, not men for the benefit of governments.” Hence, he argued, communism is fatally flawed if it is a core element of a regime’s philosophy. It admits of no degrees of toleration on its march to utopia.