In addition to the award presented to Fidel, Bolivian president Evo Morales was presented the award for 'World Hero of Mother Earth', whatever the crap that means. I wonder if it's because of his affinity for the coca plant. Although he publicly condemns the production and use of cocaine (he only grows the plant, after all, he doesn't refine it), Bolivia is the fasting growing cocaine producer in Latin America. In fact, a UN report (go ahead, laugh at the irony) showed that while cocaine production declined by 28% last year in Columbia, Bolivia's cocaine production grew 10%. The abuse of the drug is so prolific that there are semi-legalized cocaine bars in La Paz. They have to move locations from time to time, but only because of complaints of neighboring businesses, not because of any legal crackdown. And oh, by the way, Morales is the leader of the radical left-wing political party, Movement for Socialism, and an ideological ally of Hugo Chavez.
The late African socialist and former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere was also posthumously named the 'World Hero of Social Justice'. I guess it's only proper for a an award for social justice to go to a socialist. Nyerere established a single-party system that effectively eliminated all political competition, and he supported revolutionaries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, and Congo. He also welcomed Black revolutionaries from around the world to gather and discuss various forms of Marxism, and he was praised by the US based Black Radical Congress. Nyerere instituted ujamaa, a policy under which all land belonged to the state (this was a tribal practice and was the basis for his African socialism), and he used the 1962 Preventive Detention Act to suppress trade unions and brutally incarcerate thousands of civilians and political opponents (if you don't look at any of the other links, look at that one...it's the actual act as enacted by the Tanzanian (then called Tanganyika) National Assembly, and is pretty interesting). The government forcibly relocated thousands to collective farms, which greatly disrupted agricultural efficiency and output (crop yields on collective farms were, on average, 60% less than on individually owned fields). The Tanzanian economy effectively collapsed, and its starving people had to rely almost wholly on foreign aid for survival.
So, did we notice a pattern developing? Castro: socialist. Morales: socialist. Nyerere: socialist. Brockmann: socialist. Conclusion? The UN is an engine for the global spread of socialist ideologies. Don't believe me? Listen to their praise of these three award recipients. “What we want to do is present these three people to the world and say that they embody virtues and values worth emulation by all of us." Their words, not mine.
As an aside, what I find truly remarkable is the traction that socialism/communism seems to be gaining among the more liberal and progressive circles. Not so much that they are espousing socialist ideas, but that they are more actively and openly promoting the socialist agenda. The argument used to be, "You're a socialist," followed by "No I'm not." Now it is "You're a socialist," followed by "So what?" There was a time when socialism was recognized as the corrupt, oligarchic political system that trampled individual progress and self-worth that it actually is. Now, every brainless, self-absorbed, incompetent, self-aggrandizing progressive liberal wants to show how "enlightened" they are by espousing a political system that has proven time and again how corrupt and detrimental to individual liberty it is. Please, someone explain to me how I'm the irrational one.
So why is socialism/communism dangerous to freedom? Listen to the following excerpts from two addresses given by Ezra Taft Benson, US Secretary of Agriculture under Eisenhower, and President and Prophet of the LDS Church. They were given in 1966 and 1965 respectively. The second clip is well worth the time to view it in its entirety, despite its length. You can view it here. Remember, these messages were given over 40 years ago, and are perhaps more ominous and vital now than ever before.