Last I checked, the term “dictator” is not a compliment.

Unfortunately, many liberal journalists, college students, and activists seem to be confused about this since Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died last Friday. Castro’s mourners include our current President Obama, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom Shapiro describes as a “handsome Bernie Sanders”.

In the past week, Castro has been heralded as a good friend, an influential leader, and an icon for other Latin American revolutionaries.  Vladimir Putin also sent a sympathetic telegram to Raul Castro characterizing Fidel Castro as a man who was “an inspiring example.” He almost sounds like someone you’d like to vote for and believe in based on these descriptions.

But shouldn’t that last comment alone, from a Russian dictator, concern us? And what about the rest of Cuba’s story under Castro?

In a fascinating article, Ben Shapiro unpacks the current obsession with paying respects to dictator Fidel Castro, whose cruelty oppressed the Cuban people for nearly five decades.

If you’re wondering just what exactly are the achievements of Fidel Castro, there simply aren’t many positives to mention. During his half-century rein, this dictator destroyed his country and ruined one of the formerly fastest growing Latin American economies. He suppressed freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and just about every other freedom you can think of. He imprisoned, tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of dissidents. Millions fled, many drowning in the process, seeking freedom outside of Cuba. In short, Castro was not an “inspiring example.” He was a very bad man, and a cruel leader.

According to Shapiro, the key to understanding all of the tears for Castro is based on the Left’s specific priorities.

“So why did the left emerge to pay its respects this week?

Because at least Castro sought utopia.”

It’s all about what matters most: the ends or the means. The Left focuses on intentions and the desired end goal, not all those who must be silenced, abused, tortured and destroyed in the process.

Shapiro continues,

“Radical leftism believes that the quest for a utopian world, a world free of unfairness, justifies any cruelty against individuals. Individual rights are obstacles to communal greatness. The bricks of the tower of Babel will be mortared with the blood of those sacrificed on behalf of the vision. That’s because the state — which is really just an extension of “the people,” who only exist en masse, never as individuals — is the source of all rights. No rights can be violated if the state declares them defunct.”  -Ben Shapiro

And that’s why we defend the natural rights of individuals at The Windrose Project. No matter how grand, hopeful, or rose-colored a leader’s vision for the future is, his plan is dangerous if it sacrifices the life or liberty of innocent individuals. Ends do not justify the means.

I highly recommend the rest of Ben Shapiro’s article on the Daily Wire! Check out his full answer here to the question: “Why Does the Left Go Easy on Dictators?”