Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Castro in Havana, and while you should read the whole thing (linked below), here are some surprising nuggets:
[Castro] began this discussion by describing his own, first encounters with anti-Semitism, as a small boy. “I remember when I was a boy – a long time ago – when I was five or six years old and I lived in the countryside,” he said, “and I remember Good Friday. What was the atmosphere a child breathed? `Be quiet, God is dead.’ God died every year between Thursday and Saturday of Holy Week, and it made a profound impression on everyone. What happened? They would say, `The Jews killed God.’ They blamed the Jews for killing God! Do you realize this?”
He went on, “Well, I didn’t know what a Jew was. I knew of a bird that was a called a ‘Jew,’ and so for me the Jews were those birds. These birds had big noses. I don’t even know why they were called that. That’s what I remember. This is how ignorant the entire population was.”
“He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. “This went on for maybe two thousand years,” he said. “I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.” The Iranian government should understand that the Jews “were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here’s what happened to them: Reverse selection. What’s reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation.” He continued: “The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust.” I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. “I am saying this so you can communicate it,” he answered.”
As Goldberg noted, one should remember that “Castro is the grandfather of global anti-Americanism”, and he has been a severe critic of Israel. He has, also, denied his own populace even the most rudimentary civil and political rights.
However, its hard not to take at least some pleasure in the fact that his comments to Goldberg will no doubt pose a dilemma for Iran’s apologists and radical lefties the world over.
Gosh, given Castro’s statements about the Holocaust denying Iranian President – and this seeming new feud between such respectable “revolutionaries” – what are decent, respectable anti-American, anti-Zionist, anti-Imperialists to do?!