View from Cuba on the Killing of Gadhafi

Dariela Aquique

Gadhafi was killed in his native town by rebel troops. After several months of bloody struggle, devastation, and material and human losses, the former Libyan leader was finished off. He who for more than four decades governed that African country died at the hands of his own people.

As the leader of the so-called “Green Revolution,” he had carried out an entire series of economic, social and political reforms.

Those in these first two areas truly contributed to the improvement of the quality of life of the Libyan people, keeping in mind that we’re speaking about a nation that has valuable natural resources. The economic reforms and social legislation seemed sufficient to keep Libya advancing at a steady pace.

However the political aspect is always the Achilles heel in those countries where a sole and plenipotentiary power is established in one person and ultimately leads to dictatorship.

The opponents of Gadhafi didn’t want him at the head of the power any longer; therefore they began the uprising in which everything unfortunately ended in armed NATO intervention.

The major powers saw the Libyan conflict as nothing more than an excellent opportunity in which their intervention would have concrete rewards.

From the very first bombings until the new government’s installation and a little after, each day of encirclement and siege laid against the town where the ruler was hiding, in addition to the injuries and deaths of thousands of civilians, will be recorded in history as another of the great acts of genocide.

The sad thing is that all of this could have been avoided had it not been for the obstinate position of the hierarchy attempting to cling to power.  Still, even if the crisis hadn’t reached the point that it did, perhaps the NATO invasion would have happened anyway given the desperate situation of the developed nations in the middle of a world economic crisis.

But the ground fighting would not have been between Libyans.  The people would have risen up in arms to defend their nation against enemy aggression.

The cause would have then been noble: patriots offering their lives for their homeland, not political powers.

Today a dictator was overthrown leaving a devastated country and a wounded nation.  Four decades after the green of the Libyan Revolution, it has taken on a shade of red.

10 thoughts on “View from Cuba on the Killing of Gadhafi

  • Show me some unbiased data about “extrajudicial killings carried out in the early years of the Cuban revolution”.

  • It would have been better if Gaddafi had been tried in a court of law. Those supporting the Cuban government, however, have no leg to stand on when criticising what happened to Gaddafi as long as they remain silent or apologetic on the extrajudicial killings carried out in the early years of the Cuban revolution. Morally I see no difference.
    I share Amnesty International’s concerns about the victorious forces in Libya. However, those who deny that Gaddafi had lost the support of the Libyan people live in cloud cuckoo land. Do not forget, it was Gaddafi who ordered the shoot to kill policy on unarmed demonstrators. And he would have been quite happy to carry out a full-scale massacre in Bengasi. First rule of politics, never believe your own propaganda.
    It seems some people here hate only one thing more than NATO – the truth.

  • It became only too evident shortly after the Nato-led occupation of Tripoli by the racist-fascist, genocidal mercenaries that Fidel and Chavez were right from the very beginning about the real nature of this so-called “rebellion“. In reality it was nothing more than a brazen imperialist invasion of Libya by NATO and its local mercenaries. I make this point with a great deal of embarrassment and retract the sympathy that I – like many others who fell for the blatant disinformation of the Western corporate media – thought was due the sweeping “Arab Spring popular revolt“ in Libya at the time.
    (See comment by Cimarron on “Cuba Group Speaks Out on Arab Rebellions” at

    Beyond all pretence, it has been demonstrated to the entire world that democracy is the farthest thing on the minds of this ragtag, medieval-minded, mercenary Benghazi mob whose role was simply to follow in the wake of massive bombing and devastation by NATO, wipe out any perceived Gaddafi supporters, particularly dark-skinned people, and then claim victory!

    Benghazi was the birthplace of the Libyan counterrevolution, and it
    is important, within the Libyan “East – West” divide, to understand the
    mentality and cultural norms in this region. Benghazi was a major hub on the
    ancient Trans-Saharan slave-trading route. The trade may have stopped but
    the mentality never did.

    In defending Gaddafi’s Libya against Nato, the basis is not the leader, Gaddafi, but the sovereignty of the nation, Libya. Gaddafi was a flawed, contradictory personality. He was erratic, brutal and corrupted. He was also militant, nationalistic, anti-imperialist and generous. But by all interpretations of international law, no foreign nation had the right to invade Libya, bomb it and effect a regime change.

    In the final analysis, Gaddafi paid with his life for his biggest mistake – trusting imperialism!

  • Here is a little note from Yoani Sanchez that you might want to keep in mind as time goes on for the end will also come for your idol and mentor maybe you will avoid some of the uglier aspects of that and then again maybe not.

    The Ends

    “Ceausescu was in his helicopter, Saddam Hussein was hiding in a hole, Tunisia’s Ben Ali fled into exile, Qaddafi fled in a convoy and ended up hiding in a drainpipe. The autocrats escape, they leave, they don’t sacrifice themselves in the palaces from which they dictated their arbitrary laws; they do not die seated in the presidential chairs with a red sash across their chests. They always have a hidden door, a secret passage through which they can scurry away when they sense danger. Over decades they build their secret bunkers, their protected “ground zeros” or their underground refuges, because they fear that the same people who applaud them in the plazas can come for them when they lose their fear. In the nightmares of the dictators, the demons are their own subjects, the abyss takes the form of mobs who
    want to bring down their statues, spit on their photos. These despotic gentlemen sleep lightly, alert to the cries, the hammering on the door, they live with premonitions, often of their deaths….

    To continue the cycle of friction that these tyrants have sown in our nations is extremely dangerous. To kill
    them because they have killed, to attack them because they attacked us, prolongs the violence and turns us into beings like them. Now that the images of a bloodied and babbling Qaddafi are traveling the world, there is not a single totalitarian who is not afraid to stare into the mirror of this end. Now, the orders to reinforce the secret tunnels and to expand the escape plans must be circulating through more than one
    presidential palace. But take care, the dictators have many ways of escaping us and one of them is death. Better that they survive, that they stay and realize that neither history nor their people will ever absolve* them.”…

  • Alan Woods has been to Cuba and invited to speak at many events their.

    For a Marxist analysis read entire article:

    After the death of Gaddafi: Revolution and counterrevolution in Libya
    Written by Alan Woods Friday, 21 October 2011 14:54

    The capture and killing of Colonel Gaddafi has been described in detail by the mass media in all its gory details. With the death of Gaddafi and the taking of Sirte the National Transitional Council is talking about forming a transitional government. The NTC is recognized by the imperialist powers whose interests it represents. However, many ordinary Libyans look with justified mistrust at the NTC and their imperialist backers.

    Although Gaddafi was captured alive he was summarily shot. But it is not difficult to see why he was not arrested and put on trial. Had he faced a trial he would have exposed all his past dealings with the likes of Blair, Sarkozy and Berlusconi. That explains why they have revelled so much in his death. Their hypocrisy stinks to high heaven, as they had made many lucrative deals with Gaddafi in the past, even handing over people to his regime who were subsequently tortured.

    The death of Gaddafi and the final collapse of his regime closes one chapter. However, this merely marks one turning point in the situation. Now that the old regime is finally gone, a struggle will open up over the future of Libya. In this struggle we will see the forces of both revolution and counter-revolution trying to get the upper hand. Here we publish an analysis of the situation by Alan Woods.

    Confusion of the Left

    Libyan rebels celebratingThe Left has displayed enormous confusion over the events in Libya. On the one hand, some people have capitulated to imperialism to the extent of supporting the military intervention of NATO. This was both naive and reactionary. To allow one’s judgement to be clouded by the hypocritical chorus of the hired media and to swallow the lies about a so-called “humanitarian” intervention to “protect civilians” was stupid in the extreme.

    The intervention of NATO was not at all intended for humanitarian purposes or to protect civilians. It was dictated by cold and cynical calculations. The same people who had established a cosy relationship with Gaddafi, who supplied him with arms and sent political prisoners to Libya to be tortured by his secret police can hardly lay claim to “humanitarian” principles. They have not shown the same tender concern for the suffering people of Bahrain.

    The emancipation of the Libyan people is the concern of the Libyan people alone. It cannot be entrusted to the imperialists, who have supported every blood soaked dictatorial regime in North Africa and the Middle East for decades. Our first demand is for an end to all foreign interference in Libya. Let the Libyan people settle their own problems in their own way!

    However, the other tendency on the Left was no better. They went to the other extreme and backed Gaddafi, who they painted in rosy colours as a “progressive”, “anti-imperialist” and even a “socialist”. None of this was true. It is true that the Libyan regime (and also the Syrian regime) had a different character to the regimes of Tunisia and Egypt. But that did not fundamentally change its oppressive nature, or qualify it as genuinely anti-imperialist.

    In order to shed light on the real processes at work it is not sufficient to place a plus or minus sign against these two equally incorrect positions. We must see the whole picture and not just present a one-sided view

    article continues at

  • THE DAILY BEAST: HOW DICTATORS DIE – It’s rare for despots to die on their feet, still fighting. Historian Andrew Roberts surveys the ways rulers meet their end, and says Libya should be thankful to Gaddafi for the way he went. – By Andrew Roberts

    Usually dictators do not actually die on their feet, weapon in hand, as Gaddafi appears to have done. All too often they escape from the countries they brutalized, or are captured and not executed, or (most often) they die in office, full of honors, surrounded by sycophants and only loosening their grip on power when their hands go cold. For Gaddafi to have fought to the last, not escaping to Chad or Niger, but believing in his diseased mind that the silent majority of Libyans still loved him, is quite exceptional for dictators.

    The moral of the Gaddafi story is that it is very rare for dictators to meet their end bravely, still inside the country they are fighting to recapture. It was fortunate that he chose to stay and fight, rather than destabilizing Libya from abroad, perhaps for decades to come. As he was never going to go quietly, the manner of his demise at long last gives Libyans something for which they can thank Colonel Gaddafi.


  • Washington is glad that it was able to overthrow the Libyan government and to assassinate Moammar Gadhafi. Gadhafi could NEVER have been overthrown without those thousands of US and NATO bombing sorties.

    But long before Libya’s revolution, and now after Gadhafi’s overthrow, the US was, and still today is, working hard to overthrow the Cuban government, a goal which remains in full force and effect now that Gadhafi is out of the way.

    What the US hated about Gadhafi was the extent to which he was independent of Washington. His human rights practices were of no concern to them – after all, they supplied him with guns and ammunition when they were maneuvering with him. They couldn’t care less about human rights if we look at their silent complicity with mass human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and in Bahrein.

    They wanted Gadhafi dead just as they wanted Che dead in Bolivia, since the dead tell no tales, and Gadhafi would have had a lot to say about his visits with Condoleeza Rice, Burlusconi and others of their ilk.

    Walter Lippmann
    Los Angeles, California

  • Dariela, this was not an uprising of the people but a long-awaited military invasion by NATO with air power and special forces boots on the ground. The so-called rebels were a reactionary tribe in the employ of imperialism, giving political cover to NATO.

    The transnational oil corporations have now grabbed the Libyan reserves. The free healthcare and education, and high standard of living of the Libyan people will now be sucked into the pockets of the imperialist monsters. The non-Islamic, usury merchants will now “loan” the new dictatorship out-of-thin-air credit to repair some of the infrastructure that NATO has destroyed, and enserf the Libyan people with mountains of parasitical debt and endless “debt servicing,” just as they’ve done to other developing countries.

    How you, a Cuban who should know better, can write such a pro-monopolist account is almost beyond belief. You sing in harmony with the slimy thugs who bestride the world and are destroying it. Even your headline smacks of incredible bias, focusing on the “killing of Gadahfi,” rather than what has actually occurred in Libya.

    If and when imperialism invades and destroys another country, like Syria, Cuba or Venezuela, will you write a similar article, shifting the focus away from the monstrous criminals who have done the deed?

    I believe ultimately that those who have collaborated with imperialism and betrayed their own nation will get what they deserve. Let us stay tuned. It ain’t over.

  • Thank you for a balanced view of the Libyan civil war and especially for presenting the good that was done under Ghadafi government which, of course, is rarely mentioned in the Western media in order to maintain the vilification of Ghadafi which in turn is in order to make the public back the military moves against him.

    I would also recommend Phyllis Bennis’s article reprinted at Znet which is an alternative/left website:

  • “died in the hands of his own people” dont think so, he wuz killed and executed by “rebels” that wer helped by nato as well as the CIA, if we look at the pictures of the people of libya at the time of his death they are mostly male< no women and children as well as elderly people are to b found in the "celebration" of the death of Ghadafy wuz this an uprising of the masses? NO

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