The Chinese Communists have something in common with the Nazis and the Soviets. Well, many things, but I’m thinking of one in particular: Piqued at the Norwegian Nobel Committee, they created a peace prize of their own.
In 1936, the Nobel committee gave its prize to Carl von Ossietzky, a political prisoner of the Nazis. (The award was for 1935, but determined and announced in 1936.) Hitler not only created his own awards. He forbade German citizens to accept Nobels — not just the peace prize, but any Nobel.
Stalin was the next one to be displeased. He was not winning the Nobel prize, and neither were other Communists. In response, he created the Stalin Peace Prize — more formally, the Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace among Peoples.
Later, when Khrushchev was taking Stalin’s name off things, he took it off this prize, too: It became the Lenin Prize for . . .
In 2010, the Norwegian Nobel Committee did something remarkable: They gave their prize to a Chinese political prisoner, Liu Xiaobo. For more than 60 years, the committee had passed over Chinese dissidents. Beijing had always warned them they had better not honor a Chinese. But, lo, they did.
And the Chinese Communists, like the Nazis and the Soviets, created their own honor: the Confucius Peace Prize. Among its first recipients was Putin.
The latest recipient is Fidel Castro, as you can read here.
In a sense, he is the perfect recipient of the award: the gift of a Communist dictatorship to a Communist dictator. Recently, I was writing about the relationship between the Chinese and Castro: Find the article here.
Also, if you’re in a book-reading mood, and interested in the Nobel Peace Prize, here is Peace, They Say, my history of the prize.
The Nobel committee awarded a Chinese dissident in 2010. Will they ever award a Cuban? That would rock the place, I think — rock the island. (Oslo, too, for that matter, but that’s another story.) For the last 55 years, there have been many Cubans who deserved to win the prize: Armando Valladares, for one; Dr. Biscet, for another.
Juan Carlos González Leiva, for another. He is a blind dissident and ex-prisoner, a man of tremendous courage (like these others). He was in America recently but has now returned to Cuba. I have an interview with him in the current National Review.
Years ago, Valladares told me, “If the Cuban dictatorship were right-wing instead of left-wing, we would have won two or three Nobel prizes already.” I believe that is true.
I also believe that Castro and the Confucius prize go together perfectly. The Chinese Communists imprison, torture, and kill great men and women. Castro and his brother and their comrades imprison, torture, and kill great men and women.
Let them award one another . . .