April 9, 2009
Congressional Black Caucus Smitten With CastroBy Humberto Fontova
Cuba's atrocious record on race was somehow overlooked by the Congressional Black Caucus. Last week the Stalinist regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoner in modern history (Eusebio Penalver) rolled out the red carpet for 6 smitten members of the CBC. All of these U.S. legislators met with "President" Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself.
Not since Ann Margaret's reaction to Conrad Birdie's kiss has anything been recorded to match these U.S. legislators' reaction to these meetings.
"He looked directly into my eyes!" gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.) "and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed." (no doubt!)
"It was quite a moment to behold!" hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA) "Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic."
"He's one of the most amazing human beings I've ever met!" gushed Emanuel Cleaver(D-Mo)
"Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man," according to Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) "someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend," (a Freudian slip, perhaps? Bobby Rush, after all, was a card-carrying Black Panther who did prison time)
Lest we forget: these Black U.S. legislators were raving about a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler executed (out of a population of 70 million) in the Reich's first six.
Che was much too modest. "Nothing" is not exactly accurate for Castroite treatment of Cuba's blacks. In fact, these lily-white European soldier's sons (Fidel and Raul) forcibly overthrew a Cuban government where Cuban Blacks served as President of the Senate, Minister of Agriculture, Chief of Army, and Head of State (Fulgencio Batista), a grandson of slaves who was born in a palm-roofed shack. Not that you'll learn any of this from the liberals' exclusive educational source on pre-Castro Cuba: Godfather II.
Today the prison population in Stalinist/Apartheid Cuba is 90 percent black while only 9 percent of the ruling Stalinist party is black. As these Black legislators cavorted in Cuba, a Black Cuban anti-communist named Antunez, who suffered 17 years in Castro's dungeons (essentially for quoting Martin Luther King and the UN Declaration of Human Rights in a public square), was on a hunger strike against Castroism. I will quote his sister from a samizdat smuggled out of Cuba last year while he was still in prison:
"The Cuban government tries to fool the world with siren songs depicting racial equality in our country. But it is all a farce, as I and my family can attest, having suffered from the systematic racism directed at us by Castro's regime. My brother suffers the scourge of racial hatred every day. The beatings are always accompanied by racial epithets. They set dogs on him. They deny him medical attention. They kept him from attending his mother's funeral.
Needless to say, Antunez and his family were "overlooked" during the CBC visit to Cuba, as was the black Cuban doctor, who Amnesty International highlights as a Prisoner of Conscience, who President Bush honored (in absentia) with the U.S. Congressional Medal of Freedom last year, and who presently suffers a sentence of 25 years in Castro's torture chambers, Dr Elias Biscet.
"I'm convinced Raul Castro wants a normal relationship with the United States," said Rep. Barbara Lee after finally catching her breath this week. Rep Lee assures us that her Stalinist Cuban hosts "do want dialogue. They do want talks. They do want normal relations."
Fine, and so did South African president Pik Botha in 1986. So I will now quote Rep. Lee's very Congressional Black Caucus regarding "normal relations" between the U.S. and segregationist South Africa.
But, given the Congressional Black Caucus' recent pronouncements, no abhorrence of Stalinism (total or even partial) seems to figure in their program.
Granted, major differences abound between Stalinist Cuba and the late segregationist South Africa. The segregationists, for instance, jailed at most 5000 political prisoners (the Castroites 300,000.) The segregationists also never tried to nuke the U.S., never tortured and murdered U.S. citizens, never stole $2 billion from U.S. stockholders at Soviet gunpoint, never trained and financed the world's most murderous terrorist groups.
Indeed apartheid South Africa tried to hold the line against Soviet imperialism in southern Africa. The Congressional Black Caucus (and liberals in general) will never forgive them for that.
Interestingly, last week Castro's Congressional Black Caucus guests did meet with the families of some prisoners. But these prisoners were serving time in U.S. prisons, after conviction by free and independent judiciaries-quite unlike Castro's prisoners who to this day are convicted based on Che Guevara's famous legal dictum: "judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail. We prosecute and execute from revolutionary conviction!"
Some background: On September 14, 1998, the FBI uncovered a Castro spy ring in Miami and arrested ten of them. Four others managed to scoot back to Cuba. These became known as the "Wasp Network," or "The Cuban Five" in Castroite parlance.
According to the FBI's affidavit, these Castro agents were engaged in, among other acts:
*Gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Florida.
*Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command's top officers, along with those of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica.
*Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.
*Sending letter bombs to Cuban-Americans.
*Spying on McDill Air Force Base, the U.S. armed forces' worldwide headquarters for fighting "low-intensity" conflicts.
*Locating entry points into Florida for smuggling explosive material.
These Castro agents also infiltrated the Cuban-exile group Brothers to the Rescue, who flew unarmed planes to rescue Cuban rafters in the Florida straits. From these spies, Castro got the flight plan for one of their flights and sent up MIGS to shoot down their planes and murder four of them
Three of these men were U.S. citizens, the other a legal U.S. resident.
"I will ask President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and First Lady Michelle Obama for the judicial process against the five Cuban men (the above-mentioned Castroite spies) to be reconsidered," promised Rep. Laura Richardson to her beaming hosts and these spies families' while in Havana last week.
Apparently it was too much to ask Rep. Richardson to ask her Stalinist hosts if the "judicial process" responsible for the highest political incarceration rate of the century might also "be reconsidered."
Humberto Fontova is the author of 4 books including Fidel;Hollywoods' Favorite Tyrant and Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who idolize Him.