Dancing on the graves of dictators

There are infinite reasons why someone may celebrate: perhaps they have bought a new house, just had a baby, turned a year older or finished school. But how about celebrating the death of a political figure?

In the case of Fidel Castro, it seems more people are relieved and filled with joy than saddened or negatively affected by the news of his passing. There are videos of champagne popping in front of Versaille in Little Havana shortly after the announcement made by his brother, as well as in many different locations.

One may think, okay, politics aside is it not a bit twisted to celebrate someone finally dying? Is it amoral? Does it make you a bad person if you celebrate someone’s death?

However, one must take into account all that Cuban people have endured under Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. Separation from families, starvation, little to no access to resources and unjust prison sentences are just a few of the hardships people endured while he was in power. People feared for their lives and the lives of their loved ones whom they worried they may never see again.

Why should it be a question of one’s morality if they are relieved to hear that one of history’s cruellest, most unjust rulers is dead? What it should be, rather, is a deeper look into Fidel’s communist regime and what it cost thousands of people who were forced to suffer under Castro’s rule. Many view his death as a gateway into democracy.

It does not make you a bad person to celebrate the death of someone who caused years of heartache, deprivation, poverty and suffering. It does not make you a bad person to feel relieved that someone who took away your civil rights, your rights as a human being, is permanently out of the picture.

Even those who disagree with all that Castro did still believe that his death being celebrated is wrong, that it is a macabre, inhumane concept. But why? What Castro did to his people was inhumane. What he put them through is beyond some of our imaginations. If anything, Cubans deserve to celebrate if they choose to, as well as how they choose to, and the rest of us should stay out of it.

As people who cannot relate to the struggles Cubans have endured over the last several decades, we have no say in how they choose to feel or react to Castro’s death. If they wish to mourn, let them. If they wish to rejoice, let them.

It is no different than when people rejoiced the death of Osama bin Laden after he was killed by the U.S. military, a man who also did terrible things and was responsible for the deaths of many.

Feeling liberated because someone can no longer control you or your family, even if it is because of their death, is not a bad thing.