Talk:Fidel Castro

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Good article Fidel Castro has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 6, 2012 Peer review Reviewed
April 19, 2015 Good article nominee Listed
In the news A news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on November 26, 2016.
Current status: Good article

Overuse of the "totalitarian label"[edit]

"Totalitarian" appears five times in the article. While it's mostly adequately sourced, it is given way more weight than it deserves. The sources may be "reliable", but it does not mean they are using the label in a way that is suitable for an encyclopedia. For example the Shah's regime in Iran was described as "totalitarian" (in part or in whole) in several reliable sources, despite it being infinitely more liberal than than the regimes we commonly view as "totalitarian" (Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia). But since, Anglo-American editors don't have a beef with him, his article does not contain this terminology, and rightly so. I don't have any iron-clad policy case here, but I do believe we should exercise more discretion in using this kind of language to avoid crying wolf. Perhaps others can weigh in on the issue. Guccisamsclub (talk) 11:49, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Nazi Germany was more liberal till 1938 than Castro's Cuba.Xx236 (talk) 09:22, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Neutrality of article and validity of citations[edit]

This article does not seem to have any strong bias. It is clearly written to give as complete a history of Fidel Castro as possible while sticking as closely as possible to the irrefutable facts, neither favoring him nor painting him in a negative light.

Similarly, I checked a few citations. The citations come from a wide range of sources. Every source that I checked was reliable and did not present too much bias.

In conclusion, I believe the article to be neutral and void of any strong bias, and I consider the sources to be generally reliable. Njaradat (talk) 03:42, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 February 2017[edit] (talk) 14:55, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

No reference whatsoever to his relations with women & his sense of masculinity resulting or indulged by it? Ann Louise Bardach interviewed him in Vanity Fair & wrote a book detailing it. He is credibly thought to have slept with tens of thousands. That & no mention of his wives or children despite significant detail elsewhere within the personal section that make it at the very least problematic. How is it not an invitation to doubt the entirety of the article when so much is missing here?

Not done That proposal sounds like plain vandalism. The article is semi-protected precisely to keep such nonsenses out of it. Cambalachero (talk) 14:59, 22 February 2017 (UTC)


As it is this article has too much POV to be useful.I don't expect given the controversial nature of Castro in the U.S. this to change as there are far too many people with agendas contributing to this page.OSlatter (talk) 23:35, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Welcome to suggest changes if you have expertise in the area. Guccisamsclub (talk) 23:42, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Just wanted to explain my recent edits. Gott is somewhat known for his position supporting the left, I haven't seen many other biased opinions in the reception section except for maybe world leaders and Castro's biographer, so that is why I tried to attribute Gott's views. Also in the lede, it read like US policy against Castro came from nowhere when it was more due to his views and relationship with the Soviet Union. Just don't want to seem like I'm pushing a POV here, just trying to have what is read make sense.--ZiaLater (talk) 18:22, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
The reasons for American opposition to Castro (and for US Cold War policy in other cases) are complex and cannot be reduced to "Anti-Commmunism," per WP:NPOV and WP:V. Gott was not a member of any Communist party to my knowledge, and the allegations of his "ties" to Soviet operatives just that: allegations. More fundamentally, an established historian is a historian is a historian. We don't preface every statement by Robert Conquest with "MI6 propagandist and spy." Let's drop this issue: it's a non-starter. Guccisamsclub (talk) 18:34, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not that he is a spy or anything, he just sympathizes Castro. We could just as well put the opinions against Castro there as well, but the back and forth of sources would not be NPOV. And maybe we should try to provide the best reasons in the lede as to why the US opposed Castro so the sentence doesn't seem so weird.--ZiaLater (talk) 18:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Also, calling things "propaganda" or "mccarthyism" or whatever is not the best way to address things. Just trying to help.--ZiaLater (talk) 18:43, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm being frank, which is not the same as being "disrespectful." There were many reasons why the US opposed Castro: suspected/anticipated Communism was one, the Monroe Doctrine is another etc. I've already replied to the stuff about Gott. Guccisamsclub (talk) 18:53, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, Gott I'm not worried about since Castro is compared to Hitler and Mussolini later, which is pretty heavy POV too, but never mind. For US opposition, maybe word it as like "turn toward communism" and toward the Soviet Union? We should have an explanation.--ZiaLater (talk) 19:03, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Please read "Consolidating leadership: 1959–1960": your statement does adequately and neutrally summarize the sequence of events described. The US began to undermine the Castro government before any hostile alliance between Cuba and the USSR materialized and before Cuba became a one-party Communist state. The tendency to greater "hostility" was mutually reinforcing. Even "hostility" is a term that needs unpacking: Cuba faced far more hostility from the US than the other way around. The US also conducted coups against plenty of non-communist regimes during the Cold War, and plenty of colonial expeditions before that period which had nothing to fo with Communism. Guccisamsclub (talk) 19:21, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I read some of what John F Kennedy said in October 1960, before the Bay of Pigs incident in 1961. It seems like it has to do more with communism and USSR relations, as well as US property. I'm pretty sure we can find an explanation, it does not have to be a single answer but we need an answer.--ZiaLater (talk) 19:30, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
"as well as US property." The answers are provided in the body of the article, and they are far more encyclopedic than transparently ideological POV statements about the US defending it's business interests or the US opposing "Communism". Also, JFK is not a reliable source. This article makes it clear enough that anti-Communism/Communism was one of the reasons for US hostility, so your edit seems to beating a dead horse. BUT more importantly, it is just plain wrong to reduce the conflict to any one narrative, or to two mutually-exclusive or incomplete narratives. And before any grand narratives are inserted, they have to be exhaustively documented in the body of the article, which is not something you've attempted to do. Changes to the lead, especially in a GA-rated article, cannot precede careful documented research in the body.Guccisamsclub (talk) 19:50, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
The review of Gott's book by Adam Feinstein in The Guardian says it is "likely that Gott's book will remain the standard work on Cuba for many years to come."[1] Calling him a "Castro sympathizer" detracts from the fact that his assessment is basically how most scholars see Castro. Also, U.S. hostility to Castro pre-dates his embrace of Communism and the Soviet Union, which in fact backed Batista. Castro's embrace of Communism came as a result of U.S. hostility. And the embargo has been universally condemned. In October's UN vote, 191 nations condemned it, while the U.S. and Israel abstained.[2] TFD (talk) 20:39, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Alright, sounds good. My few edits were the only things I really found that stood out to me in this article that might have had to be changed. US part in the lede could be improved, but the article is more about Castro and not his relationship with other entities. Wasn't trying to place one POV, only trying to provide an explanation, but Cuban related articles seem to have many intricacies like other articles I devoted too much time to. Off to wherever Wikipedia takes me next! Thanks you two.--ZiaLater (talk) 22:13, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Positive and negative views in introduction[edit]

I realise this is probably a result of a good faith attempt to be "even handed", however, as the overall legacy of Fidel Castro and international opinion of him is positive, shouldn't less space in the introduction be given to supposed criticism? I notice, time and time again when it comes to articles on Marxist-Leninist or anti-imperialist leaders, military actions and alleged "human rights abuses" are attributed to the individual leader to the extent that is not applied to US presidents. On the article of Harry S. Truman for example, the introduction even allows excuses as to why dropping nuclear warheads on Japanese civilians was so great. This introduction does not give reasons as to why Castro may have had to move to suppress internal counter-revolutionaries forces. Claíomh Solais (talk) 21:47, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Apollo The Logician (talk) 21:59, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree also. But this being the English WP, edited and read by people in the English speaking world, mostly I would think living in the US, Canada and the UK, in this particular cultural universe, I don't think the "international opinion of him is positive." On the contrary, I guess that in this cultural universe the views and opinions about him are mostly negative, as you see below. warshy (¥¥) 22:07, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't. Your premise is incorrect: the "overall legacy and international opinion" is not a positive one. He has a god number of supporters, yes, but he's still the quintessential dictator, and has a lot of criticism as well. Truman, on the other hand, was not a dictator, and in fact there is a big number of people who do think that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the appropiate action in the context of the war. --Cambalachero (talk) 21:29, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
By the way, I'm from Argentina. --Cambalachero (talk) 22:52, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
Castro was a pall-bearer when Canada's PM, Pierre Trudeau died, and half of Cuba's tourists come from Canada. The anti-Cuba thing is more a relic of Cold War anti-Communism. TFD (talk) 05:35, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I find it awkward to talk about outdated discussions in a discussion that is still raising the issue of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagazaki. Cambalachero (talk) 12:31, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
The lede bends over backwards to avoid offending Castroites. There's not even a hint of his dictatorship until the fourth paragraph. Scaleshombre (talk) 15:55, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

A lot of these issues have already been fairly extensively debated on the Talk Page over the past few years. I'd recommend that anyone who wants to re-open this can of worms read back through the TP archives first. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:10, 16 June 2017 (UTC)