Castro’s Legacy Summed Up in His Three-Word Question about Arms

By David Codrea

¿Armas para que? Fidel Castro knew quite well. (Photo from GUNS Magazine, March 1959 issue)

USA – -( “Authorized Journalists” are outdoing each other coming up with superlatives for dead Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Some are comparing him to George Washington, others are calling him a “folk hero,” and all are gushing over the superiority of socialized medicine and centralized communist indoctrination of the young.

The problem is, like so much of the agenda-driven narrative the media feeds the public, Cuban health care ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Per a National Review summation, they have a three-tiered system, one for rich foreigners, one for party officials, and one for the workers and peasants:

Then there is the real Cuban system, the one that ordinary people must use — and it is wretched. Testimony and documentation on the subject are vast. Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper. And basic medications are scarce. In Sicko, even sophisticated medications are plentiful and cheap. In the real Cuba, finding an aspirin can be a chore. And an antibiotic will fetch a fortune on the black market.

Like the self-important provincials they are U.S. media luminaries then wonder why they’re increasingly irrelevant to flyover America as their extreme “progressive” biases become impossible for anyone with open eyes to ignore. That, of course, necessitates further (and wholly transparent) efforts to suppress the truth by calling anything threatening the narrative “fake news.”

Meanwhile, mindful of his role as Prevaricator in Chief, Barack Obama reframed the very real record of the dead tyrant’s evil legacy, referring to it as “the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation,” and concluding “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

History has already recorded and judged the enormous impact of Marxist totalitarianism, as have Castro’s victims, their survivors, and those who fled his tyranny. Still, in several ways, Obama has a point: History is written by the victors, communists rewrite it to serve their purposes, and those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

The media’s infatuation with Castro is hardly new, and at the time he was leading the insurgency against the admittedly tyrannical Batista regime, many were enamored of a romantic, Robin Hood-like image, something he took pains to cultivate until such time as power was his and the need for masks was over. And he didn’t just fool the “liberals.”

GUNS Magazine (full disclosure: I am a field editor for the magazine, writing their monthly “Rights Watch” column) published “Where Castro Gets His Guns” in its March 1959 issue – the report noted Castro had just taken over the country as the issue was going to press. The article appeared to fully buy into distancing him from the communists, and even cited passages from the Declaration of Independence and made favorable comparisons to our own experience at throwing off the yoke of tyranny.

From the editor’s preview:

THE American Revolution was a popular revolution. It differed from more recent types in that there was no mass defection of government troops, no palace coup by military junta. The people formed their own militia, took their own guns to war. The revolution in Cuba (recognized by the U.S. the instant it succeeded) was such a struggle. Few of the military went over to Castro until the last minute. Yet he got guns, and good ones. From where? From the U.S., mostly, just as we in our turn had earlier got guns from France, from the Marquis de LaFayette. The ease with which Castro got guns should serve as a signal to the embers of neo-fascism elsewhere. The story “Where Castro Gets His Guns” is history written today.

As an aside, in an eerie reminder that history repeats itself, author William B. Edwards cited a CIA source admitting the U.S. government secretly allowed half of the guns smuggled to Cuba to get through, and recounted how smuggled Russian and Czech arms were being planted on dead revolutionaries by the Batista government “to discredit the revolution.” Fast and Furious similarities, anyone…?

The Cuban revolution was no American one, and Castro’s embracing of communism after convincing the world he was a freedom fighter should remind all who can think of the “fool me once” adage.

As should Castro’s pointed question when making his case that the people no longer had legitimate need of guns, and that his administration should be the only ones wielding a monopoly of violence:

¿Armas para que?

( classifies Cuba’s gun regulation as “restrictive.” Larry Pratt at Gun Owners of America fleshes out how that works in practice, recounting “Castro moved against private gun ownership the second day he was in power. He sent his thugs throughout the island using the gun registry lists — compiled by the preceding Batista regime — to confiscate the people’s firearms.”)


Read the entire March 1959 issue of GUNS Magazine, including “Where Castro Gets His Guns.” Try not to get too distracted by the offerings and the prices, and then spend some time going through a treasury other classic issues of freer days gone by.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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David Codrea, you nailed it again. A great article. Obama had to choose his words carefully, here; because he knew if he said anything positive about Castro, he’d be raked over the proverbial coals. So he was reduced to saying things like, “…Castro impacted every Cuban’s life”… To his (small) credit, Obama did NOT fly the American flag at half-staff for Castro’s death, at the American embassy, in Havana. ‘Armas para que?” translates into, “Arms for what?’ It was Castro’s “justification for why the Cuban subject didn’t need arms, in his view. Indeed, I always felt that Cuba served as… Read more »

Big Bill

Dan III said:
“In closing….I hope you get run over by a bus. And that is putting it nicely.”

You just lost your argument.
And any others you may make in the future.


Big Bill,

Here, let me repeat it for you….

This Tionico is an arrogant narcissist. And just for you…I do sincerely hope he gets runover by a bus. To put it nicely.

Now run along now. Your mommy is calling.


there IS an alternate explanation for your irritation.. that this here Tionico just MAY have read and studied these things in more depth than you give him credit for, but the narrative he repeats does not comport with your preferred twisted version of history. There IS a war on right now for the future of our nation, and the likes of yourself may well be stealth plants to promote a false narrative contra to reality in order to further the demise desired by certain factions. As to busses… when one wishes evil to befall another, it sometimes happens that the… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Tionico, Well said. And have you noticed how many thoughtful and well spoken writers have disagreed with Dan on this issue? Not only could he defend his version of the facts (I suspect that he only read about them) against those who lived in those times, but also, he had to descend into childish insults as a closing. Just an observation.


I also disagree with Tionico. When I was in school in the 50s and 60s we studied American history. Being a Rev War re-enactor in the heart of the Rev War, Monmouth County, and belonging to the Monmouth County Historical Society I have access to much real history. My persona is Capt. Stewart of Capt. Cresap’s and Capt. Morgan’s Rifleman who saved Boston in the Battle of Boston. 1200 men from Ohio and Pennsylvania were the first snipers with their Pennsylvania rifles.


My Mommy, a staunch patriot, has gone on to her Reward. And she was a legitimate member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She also spent years researching and tracing our family lineage…. several on the Mayflower, at least one here prior to the arrival of that ship and company, many patriots during and after the War, some at the Constitutional COnvention, many who materially supported the war, and many more who took up arms during the conflict. If Mommy were callling me, she’d be doing ot to remind me of some more details supporting my position. And you?… Read more »


Goodbye and Good Riddance to an evil man.


The correct response to Casro’s not-very-rhetorical question should have been

“para mí contra tí”

One more time, a system of gun ownership records enabled the tyrant to take power and keep it. WHEN will the rest of the world learn this?


Me thinks that Gil, DAN III and several others NEED to get a better education about the USA and USA history that has not been perverted by socialist teachers and text books while they were growing up. Throw away your “Howard Zinn” history book which is nothing more than a boat load of left winger perversion.


Colonial “girl”,

And what specifically are you challenging my lack of American history to be ? What history is it you claim I cite that has “been perverted by socialist teachers and text books” ?

Seems to me you offer nothing but ridicule to those here who cite specifics while you blowhard on rhetoric and innuendo. How Alinsky of you. Now provide citations of your accusation that my remarks are those of an ignorant socialist.

I’ll wait.


The sure sign of a dictator is when they order the registration and confiscation of citizens’ guns. Why do you think Soros is so anti-gun? He can’t exert his force if he doesn’t have armed support against a disarmed society.


When Mullah Hussein, his “spouse,” Chewbacca and “her” daughters, Sharia and Burqa next need medical care, they should leave the White House and travel to Cuba for some of that fine, modern, Marxist Cuban medicine.



You’re tongue-in-cheek remarks I find hilarious. Why ? Because the truth is sadly, funny.

David Renaud

The bottom line about Castro is: He brought everything BAD to the poor Cuban people. Everything became worse for them under Castro. He lied to the Cuban people. Sort of the same trhing Hillary Clinton did…..See a parallel here ???????


Castro’s real goals were kept well-hidden. I remember when contributions were being solicited to help his revolution on The Tonight Show with, at the time as I recall, Jack Paar. Anyone who thinks he only turned communist because the U.S. wouldn’t help him must be on something. For one thing, as the survivors of the Bay of Pigs discovered, Castro had our most advanced small weapons, M-16s. Our own military was not yet fully equipped with them.


being a mass murderer disqualifies any pretense of benevolence…the man was literally hell on earth to “his people”

Diane D

Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista. However, the US Government-supported Batista was also dictator who came to power via in a military coup. Batista quickly killed Cuba’s Constitution and trampled human rights. Yes Castro became allies with Russia, but the US government forced his hand. The US government destroyed any hopes of peace with the neighboring island nation.

Those are the facts. You can believe them or believe Washington DC’s version of the truth.

Wild Bill

@Diane D All true, but it is a mighty slim recitation of the facts. Perhaps a few more details (a paragraph or two) would convince your detractors. Por ejemplo: Fidel Castro all but begged the US for support, and only declared himself a Communist when he was turned down by US. Best deal we never made because it cost the Russians 60 million per year to keep that little prison afloat each year (or about 1.2 trillion in todays sad dollars).


Glad you noted that, and then there is the ultimate betrayal by the Kennedys that left hundreds of U.S. paid for ex-pat Cuban mercs either dead on the beach of Bay of Pigs or imprisoned until death – usually within a short period of time. This squandered trust by the Kennedys ultimately led to the assasination of John F by the Carribean mob boss, Carlos Mancello and his connection to the Gambino family. Under Batista the mob ran all the casinos and they lost tens of millions in investment and billions in futures so they had JFK killed.


No, the American Revolution was won by a military with the help of France. No, there was no popular support for a revolution – it generally accepted some 30% wanted it meaning some 70% were forced into a war they didn’t want. No, the people at large were worse off especially with (ironically) 3x higher taxes to the new government.


You sure about that? I seem to recall there wasn’t an income tax until the 18th amendment.



No “income” tax ?

Perhaps you should learn the history of this once great country….research “Whiskey Rebellion” !


NOT an income tax, but a tax on volume produced. Farmer George grows his own corn, cuts the fuelwood for the still on his own land, total COGS of twenty five cents the gallon. Farper Pete can’t grow corn, so he has to buy it from his neighbour Farmer Will. He does cut his own fuelwood on his land. HIS COGS runs ffity cents the gallon. Fermer Paul can’t grow corn or gather enough fuelwood on his land, s has to buy some. HIS COGS runs seventy cents the gallon. The Revenooers tax each gallon produced by each of the… Read more »


And Tea Tax – remember the Boston Tea Party?

He who does not learn from history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.


the Tea Tax was only about a penny the pound, and was an insignificant part of that “tea party” at Boston’s quay.
So no, the Tea Tax was not a real issue… any more than the Spotted Own is why logging in the Pacific Northwest was almost completely ended. Or the California Condor why DDT was banned worldwide. Or the Delta Smelt is why California”s Central Valley had the irrigation water turned off, rendering some 30,000 farms no longer productive.


Tionico, So, you ignore the federal government’s imposition of the Whiskey tax. Why ? Doesn’t fit your argument ? The first “income” tax ever levied against the citizens of the new nation was the Whiskey tax. Imposed specifically by the fedgov to help pay RevWar debt. It was the very first US fedgov income tax upon citizen’s work. The distillers of western Pennsylvania, many of who fought in the RevWar, were incensed over this attack on their only source of income. Whiskey distilling. It appears to me, reading your know-it-all remarks here, that you have a very convoluted sense of… Read more »


Dan, below, not mentioning a specific example from well after the time period in question is not “ignorting” it. TheWhiskey Tax was not an income tax, but a tax on a manufactured product. There was no tax on growing the corn, or making the mash/malt, Only a volume tax on the finished product. It was wrong, ineffective, and a selective tax targetted to one small sector of the overall economy. It was rightly repelled, ignored, nullified. It did lead to a smallish war, was eventually moderated to an acceptible level, and the government learned a lesson, mostly. Thje worst thing… Read more »


Tionico, While you must suffer from chronic “tennis elbow” from patting yourself on the back so often, I am not impressed with your alleged historic ramblings. In MY history book the farmers and others who distilled grains into spirits, primarily whiskey, did so to supplement their INCOME ! This taxation by the new federal government was enacted to pay for the war debt. Distilled alcohol was a money-maker. The first attack on the whiskey distilling INCOME of citizenry would come to the people of western Pennsylvania, courtesy President George Washington and his 10,000 man federal army. Western Pennsylvanians would be… Read more »


the tax on tea was 3/10 of a pence per pound..they hated taxes ..that was to much..after the war and a government was created, there was no internal tax, the first act of revenue was a tariff on imports, there was no taxes to build the US Mint……external!


Banning DDT has caused millions of deaths in third world Africa because there is nothing to kill the mosquito that carries it.


First of all, the Whiskey Tax can’t properly be called an income tax any more than the tobacco tax, gasoline tax, etc.. The first personal income tax by the U.S. Government was during the Lincoln administration to pay for the Civil War. It was rescinded in 1872 during Grant’s administration. The government passed a flat tax in 1894, but the next year it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because it wasn’t apportioned according to the populations of the states. The 16th Amendment removed this barrier and it was ratified in 1913. Ever since then, it’s been the good… Read more »


The majority of people are always ambivalent finger in the wind types. Determined minorities make history, the rest are along for the ride. But that is different from “no popular support.” There was enough, otherwise it would have failed. The 2/3 who weren’t supporters of the Revolution weren’t necessarily opponents either.

Gene Ralno

I’m an avid genealogist and agree completely. I’ve read hundreds of revolution era histories in which militia families listed a dozen or so fighting-age children with only one Tory. And not one of those Tories actually joined the fighting. Usually, they just stayed home and suffered their mothers’ scorn.


Half the deaths on King’s Mountain were Tories. Maybe more.


90 American casualties, 1100 British casualties..some prisoners were tried for treason then hanged

Gene Ralno

You may be correct but samples are too small for statistical certainty and King’s Mountain, albeit important, was only one battle. According to Wikipedia, only 29 patriot militia were killed vs. 290 loyalist militia. reports 157 Tories and 28 “patriot irregulars” killed. Admittedly, my sample also was small and anecdotal but my point was children of permanent families leaned toward independence and the few Tories among them often just didn’t participate. Nobody knows how many “family Tories” were killed at King’s Mountain, if any. It was a very long march and any Tory from a permanent family would have… Read more »


@Roy, The battle of Kings Mountain was the beginning of the End for the British, it was a significant battle, some prisoners were hung for Treason, is this the Tories ur talking about?

Gene Ralno

Freewill, it is for a fact, King’s Mountain is the subject. And although it was pivotal and the beginning of the end, only 29 patriots were lost. It was a rout the Brits never quite got over. From my genealogical work, I get a sense that the Revolution was not known as a war of brother against brother. Except for the obvious ocean, sides weren’t separated by clear boundaries or religion. Families with commingled Patriots and Tories usually sent to battle only one side with the others remaining to run the farm or business. And because few families are willing… Read more »


@Roy, my information comes from the world book encyclopedia, book 15,, kings mountain, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 1780, American Commanders, Sevier and Shelby, British Commander was Ferguson, American Casualties 90, British Casualties 1,100..its very easy to change history on the internet..but its hard to change the books are old, and ive seen conflict several times in search example..confiscators are changing Hitlers version of gun controls

Gene Ralno

Freewill, OK.


The Tories in Monmouth County NJ caused a lot of problems for the Continental Army. Many of the battles during the war took place in that area.


Wrong, Gil, and I suspect you know it. What was our military, say, under General Washington? Simply this: local town and county MILITIA (where your neighbours brought their own weapons to practice together on their own time and dime) simply agreed together to place themselves under the larger “umbrella” of leadership to better drive the Brits off our shores. READ your Constitution… if what you said was true, WHY did the new Constitution PROHIBIT a standing army like we have today, and WHY did it also prohibit FedGov engaging in law enforcement? So your “won by a military” in realty… Read more »


Your 30% figure is pretty accurate, but does not fully represent reality. Again, study history. Yes, about a third favoured and supported the war for independence. Another third vigourously opposed it, and worked to maintain British rule. The other third are much like today’s uninvolved… as long as they could build their wagons, farm their fields, eat, etc, they didn’t care WHO was in charge. Many of this third gradually went to the pro-independent side as things progressed and “life as usual” became a dim memory. In reality, only some three percent actually took up arms and went to the… Read more »


Your 30% figure is pretty accurate, but does not fully represent reality. Again, study history.

Yes, about a third favoured and supported the war for independence. Another third vigourously opposed it, and worked to maintain British rule. The other third are much like today’s uninvolved… as long as they could build their wagons, farm their fields, eat, etc, they didn’t care WHO was in charge. Many of this third gradually went to the pro-independent side as things progressed and “life as usual” became a dim memory.


In reality, only some three percent actually took up arms and went to the battlefronts. Compare that to today… less than one percent of American males have served in military, and enlistments in today’s increasingly political/perverted military are rapidly dwindling.

Yes, France did bring us some support, mainly arms and other materiel. We could not produce enough AND still prosper the war. Some mercenaries and volunteers did come, but much of their motivation was to hurt the Brits, at that time also making life for the Frenchies rather unpleasant.


In reality, only some three percent actually took up arms and went to the battlefronts. Compare that to today… less than one percent of American males have served in military, and enlistments in today’s increasingly political/perverted military are rapidly dwindling.



Seems to me if anyone in this thread is attempting to rewrite American history it is you.

On 14 June 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress created by resolution, the Continental Army. The Continental Army was formed and created to coordinate the military actions of the 13 colonies into one. Today’s Department of the Army seal and emblem wears the date “1775”, the year in which the United States Army was established !

Gil was correct in his remarks. You sir, should quit your inane and innacurate rebuttals before you embarass yourself any further.


The Continental Army was formed and created to coordinate the military actions of the 13 colonies into one. Thank you for proving my point. The “military actioins of the 13 colonies” comprised the actions of hundreds of local militia, the COntinental Army was to coordinate their erstwhile independent actions. Something about efffiiciency, coordination, effectiveness…. each local militia remained autonomous, despite being banded together into a larger functional and more effective force. The pay still largely came through each state. Commanders and other officers were still the ones each local militia group elected. What infantry platoon today ELECTS their CO? Dress,… Read more »


Tionico, “….to coordinate the military actions of the colonies INTO ONE”. “INTO ONE” is the key phrase you so conveniently chose to ignore as you attempt to circumvent the history of the United States Army to support your inane and incorrect views. You are truly a narcissistic jackass who flounders in arguments designed to twist history to support your view. There is no reasoning with one such as yourself. One cannot reason with the unreasonable. Especially with one who possesses the narcisstic ignorance you exhibited in this thread. There would not be a single, valid statement I or anyone else… Read more »


the 1792 Militia act required every man to be armed


The common man won the American Revolution with his own weapon. The militias were made up of the locals who had their long arm for hunting and in some places defense against the Indians. France came in towards the middle of the conflict. The shot heard round the world was at Lexington and Concord where the first battle took place. All the militia were locals who stood against crack, professional British soldiers.


@Gil..the majority of the people that didnt do the actual fighting, gave aid to the Patriots..the first act of revenue was to raise the tax on imports..then the US Mint was built, government made the money and foreign products were taxed..the only internal tax was on whiskey!!


Liberales para que? LOL


Great article. What I also love are the same leftists crying about a very socially liberal trump being a possible dictator who persecutes gays praise and defend an actual dictator in castro. The hysterical leftists praise castro, who really did put gays in camps and separated them from the general public. Just hilarious!


As opposed to the good old days when being gay was criminal offence in the West?

Ward Dorrity

And your point is? We’re long past the time when a small and arguable mentally ill minority can dictate the terms of existence to the rest of us.


My point is that cultural Marxists are screamong like the effeminate basket cases that they are about what trump might do to gays – despite being pro gay marriage – and yet these same people cheer a brutal dictator who actually did put gays in camps in contemporary history.

So I guess the point is the amazing hypocrisy of the modern day social justice warrior, but that is nothing new, is it?

Wild Bill

@ Gil or Trumped or whom ever you really are. Curious! Trumped answers for Gil. Did someone accidentally reveal that they are the same person attempting to seem like more than he really is?


I was responding to Gil. If I was going to pretend to be done SJW idiot, I could do a much funnier parody.

Wild Bill

@Trumped, I see. My mistake. I apologize.

Tom S

I don’t see much in the media about what Castro did with those guns, at the baseball stadium, after his French type revolution was complete.