Peter Hitchens: Why The Left Shouldn't Mourn "Despot" Castro

27 November 2016, 15:54 | Updated: 27 November 2016, 16:22

Castro Hitchens

Peter Hitchens cuts through some of the coverage of Fidel Castro's death to make quite clear how evil he thinks the Cuban leader was.

Stig Abell asked Peter to give his take on the benefits of the Cuban communist regime, something that the commentator met with scorn.

"The difficulty is they're mostly based on what the Cuban state has told people about itself," he said. "Many claims are made about its healthcare but those of us who are used to our own healthcare who went and tried Cuban hospitals and doctors might not find them as admirable as they're told.

"Literacy levels are high but you must remember what they have to read once they're learned to read - which is mostly heavily-censored propaganda."

Stig also asked Hitchens for his take on the glamorous coverage afforded to Castro in some British newspapers, something Hitchens decried as a "1960s hangover".

See more of Hitchens' thoughts in the full interview above and below, Dr Stephen Wilkinson gives the other side of the argument with this ardent defence of the Cuban leader:

Meanwhile Stig opened his show with some of his own doubts about Castro's achievements in power and the price Cubans paid for that.

"This was a figure who was willing for America to be destroyed in a nuclear strike.

"After he took power, his regime became renowned for the execution of political opponents....He closed down newspapers and he suppressed free speech.

"Is the man behind this someone who should be lionised and remembered as a handsome, heart-throb hunk?

"People might say he presided over a fair and equitable education system and health system. But is that any different from saying that Hitler made the trains run on time?"