Tag Archives: Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro: The Homophobic Dictator and his Forced Labor Camps

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Fidel Castro passed away last week and many apparently have ignored the murderous tendencies of the perpetual dictator. Or, like Colombia‘s influential magazine Semana, they simply pardon him for being a Communist. The statements of this magazine, like those of dozens of media outlets that refused to call him “dictator” and dedicated themselves to using ridiculous phrases as “revolutionary leader”, leave a clear message: apparently when a murderer is from the left, the body count doesn’t matter. I quote from the Semana article: “He has been responsible for many deaths. However, it would be unfair to call him a murderer.”

We must not shy away from remember the level of evil of the man which Semana refers to as a “liberator.” Perhaps one of the most terrible events that occurred during his lifetime dictatorship, which continues even after his death, is the existence of forced labor camps, which are curiously missing from the documentaries of the romantic “bearded man” that are frequently shown on television these days.

UMAP, Military Units to Aid Production, was the term given to the forced labor camps in which more than 35,000 Cubans were enslaved. Those who were tortured by the “liberator” had to perform agricultural work from dawn to dusk. They had strict “output quotas” and those who did not meet the established requirements were punished; for example, they were deprived of food. Confined in barracks surrounded by electric fences, and treated as slaves, religious minorities, hippies, and homosexuals were “rehabilitated” by the dictator’s men.

As reported by one of the witnesses of the documentary “Conduct Impropia” directed by Néstor Almendros and Orlando Jiménez, the forced labor camps essentially included three groups: homosexuals, religious minorities, and those accused of “improper conduct”, a category in which could be applied to anyone who ran afoul of the Castro brothers. Thus, in Cuba, you could not be gay, a Jehovah’s Witness, or have long hair and look like hippie, because you could be taken to a concentration camp.

The evidence of the horrific existence of homosexuals on the island is so overwhelming that even Fidel has admitted his culpability. “If anyone is responsible, it’s me,” he said in an interview, referring to the persecution of the homosexual community in Cuba. He has also stated that: “We have never believed that a homosexual can meet the conditions and requirements of conduct that allow us to consider him a true revolutionary.”

In spite of all of this, Fidel is called a “liberator”, and like Che Guevara, who shared Fidel’s anti-gay sentiments, the gay community is hesitant to condemn him. The left has been so skillful that they have even managed to associate the Cuban regime with the movement for gay rights. But nothing could be further from the truth. Communism’s greatest leaders, from Stalin to Kim Jong-un, have been overtly homophobic. In this regard the left’s rhetoric regarding “equality” and “liberty” is revealed to be completely hollow.

Left-wing groups who have participated in the struggles for equality before the law and tolerance of LGBTI groups seem to forget that leaders like Stalin, perhaps the most vicious murderer the world has ever seen, established laws against homosexuality that were introduced into the criminal codes of the Soviet republics. General repression of homosexuals is nothing new within Communist regimes.

Fidel’s personal disgust for and repudiation of homosexuals is well documented, yet behind the concentration camps where he sought to “rehabilitate” those he considered “deviants,” there is also an obvious economic interest. Like all Communists, the “revolutionary leader” always lived at the expense of the enslaved people. According to Forbes magazine, the dictator who allegedly worked tirelessly for the welfare of the poorest was among the 10 richest world leaders, accumulating a $900 million fortune in his lifetime.

The UMAP, the forced labor camps, were, of course, an important source of income, an unpaid labor force, something fundamentally necessary to a dictatorship that lives by enslaving Cubans. “The vital role of UMAP was not to kill civilians, but to harness the labor force of ‘social deviants’, without any concern for their human cost,” says Joseph Tahbaz in his study on gender repression on the island. The “liberator,” the eternal youth, the socialist romantic, was nothing more than a murderer of the worst kind with unbridled ambition.

Any decent person, who really examines the murderous nature of Fidel Castro, would condemn his actions. It is ironic to see Castro-loving LGTBI groups and leftist movements claim a sort of moral superiority, accusing those they call “neo-liberals” of being antiquated and reactionary, when they are defending the worst of dictators. If they really study the ideology of Fidel Castro, they will find a man who epitomized intolerance, disrespect for individual freedoms, fanaticism, and hatred. These are the values that he, in reality, represented.

Fidel Castro was a murderer, and his supposed good intentions now towards the gay community do little to compensate the victims of his dictatorship. He was a criminal of the worst kind, who famously placed the following sign above the labor camp’s entrance: “Work will make you men.” Seeing a homosexual defending Fidel Castro is as shameful and grotesque as seeing an African-American advocate for the Ku Klux Klan.

Castro’s Funeral: In Lieu Of Flowers, Send Agents To Arrest The Rest Of The Dictators

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Investor’s Business Daily

A murderous tyrant died the day after Thanksgiving, but instead of giving thanks, the response from some in the civilized West has been to ignore Fidel Castro’s reign of terror and keep his propaganda alive. More than a few national leaders will even attend his funeral.

But in doing so, these “mourners” would self-identify as “leaders” who aren’t fit for the job. No honorable person would attend this barbarian’s funeral. The decent people of their countries should have every one of them arrested the moment they return home, as the local law allows.

On what charges? That would depend on the country. Certainly any government official from the U.S. who would attend should be charged with treason, an offense so serious that it is the only crime defined by the Constitution. One of its core elements is giving enemies of this country “aid and comfort.”

Of course the enemy of the U.S. in this instance is not the people of Cuba but the Castro regime that has committed some of the worst atrocities in our Hemisphere in history. Any American who would attend Castro’s funeral would be providing that regime with aid and comfort on the world stage.

The first national leader to be arrested should be Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – probably the most useful of all the idiots and certainly the most idiotic of them all. But he can’t be arrested for treason, since Canada’s treason law doesn’t apply to this case, and he might not even go anyway.

However, this witless pretender committed a crime against decency when he hailed Castro’s “dedication and love for the Cuban people.” He also called him a “remarkable” and “larger than life leader who served his people” and felt “deep sorrow” after learning of Castro’s death.

Predictably, because these points are always the last refuge of Castro apologists, Trudeau praised the “significant improvements” El Jefe made “to the education and health care of his island nation.”

Anyone who would actually believe the regime’s propaganda about near universal literacy deserves to be treated by the health care system that everyday Cubans have to endure. Halfway thinkers such as Michael Moore have promoted the Cuban health care system as a model.

And maybe it works well for a few top party members and moneyed travelers.

But the facilities the average Cuban is treated at are “filthy” clinics and hospitals where “patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”

Rivaling Trudeau for useful idiocy is former President Carter. In a statement he said that he and wife Rosalynn shared their “sympathies with the Castro family” and remembered “fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country.”

It would be a surprise if Carter didn’t attend, given his love of dictators. If he goes to Havana, I suggest he just stay. Apparently it is his kind of country.

It’s unclear at this point if outgoing President Obama will travel to Castro’s funeral. Reports say he is “pondering” attending. If he goes, then he deserves the treatment that anyone who engages in treasonous behavior gets. Arrest him.

He should not be protected by the office he has shamed. Nor should Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry if either one or both is assigned to go. If they do, arrest them and their boss who gave them their orders.

If this sounds radical, remember that the political left certainly believes presidents can and should be arrested. Moveon.org even got a positive response to a petition demanding the arrests of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for war crimes.

For those who don’t believe the Castro regime to be an enemy of the U.S., consider this: Castro made an alliance with the Soviet Union, the Cold War enemy of America, and invited the belligerent communist state into our back yard.

The 1962 Cuban missile crisis that followed could have begun a nuclear war that would have claimed millions of U.S. civilian casualties. Never forget than Castro gangster Che Guevara was publicly in favor of using nuclear weapons on New York City. So was Fidel.

Naturally a snake basket of deplorable European leaders will attend. But that sort of foolishness should be expected from socialist Europeans who, as a class, are the least-sophisticated thinkers on Earth, though they try hard to position themselves as wise.

Expect Latin American despots Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Nicolas Maduro from Venezuela and others to also be there. And what an opportunity it could present. They could be in the same place at the same time, allowing agents from The Hague to arrest them all at once for the cruelty they’ve inflicted on the people of their countries.

In lieu of flowers, please send your oppressors to Havana where they can be scooped up and prosecuted for their crimes.

Will President Trump Force Cuba to Return Convicted Cop Killer Assata Shakur?

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TownHall

In the wake of dictator Fidel Castro’s death, President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to reverse President Obama’s executive order “normalizing” relations between the United States and Cuba.

When Obama issued the order in December 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie asked for the return of Black Panther and convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Chesimard. Shakur has been living in Cuba for three decades after killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. She was convicted of murder in 1977, escaped prison and in 1984, fled to Cuba. She is on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list.

“I urge you to demand the immediate return of Chesimard before any further consideration of restoration of diplomatic relations with the Cuban government,” Christie wrote to Obama at the time. “If, as you assert, Cuba is serious about embracing democratic principles then this action would be an essential first step.”

The Cuban government responded to Christie’s request by saying they have the right to protect politically persecuted people inside their country and refused to turn over Shakur. Obama didn’t ask for her return as part of normalization, despite requests from a number of law enforcement organizations.

Cuba said Monday that it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest sign yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America’s most-wanted woman despite the warming of bilateral ties.

Chesimard was granted asylum by Fidel Castro after she escaped from the prison where she was serving a sentence for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 during a gunbattle after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Asked if returning fugitives was open to negotiation, Cuba’s head of North American affairs, Josefina Vidal, told The Associated Press that “every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted. … That’s a legitimate right.”
The question now becomes whether the return of Shakur will be included in Trump’s better deal for Americans when it comes to Cuba. It should be noted the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Cuba, making the task more difficult.

The tyrant is dead and on his way to Hell!

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, responsible for the death of tens of thousands of innocent people and the destruction of the Cuban nation has finally died! Cubans in Miami react to his death.

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Los Angeles Times

Within half an hour of the Cuban government’s official announcement that former President Fidel Castro had died, Miami’s Little Havana teemed with life — and cheers.

Thousands of people banged pots with spoons, waved Cuban flags in the air and whooped in jubilation on Calle Ocho — 8th Street, and the heart of the neighborhood — early Saturday. Honking and strains of salsa music from car stereos echoed against stucco buildings, and fireworks lit up the humid night sky.

Police blocked off streets leading to Cafe Versailles, the quintessential Cuban American hot spot where strong cafecitos — sweetened espresso — were as common as a harsh word about Fidel Castro.

“Cuba si! Castro no!” they chanted, while others screamed “Cuba libre!”

Celebration, not grief, permeated the atmosphere. That was no surprise. Castro has cast a shadow over Miami for decades, and in many ways, his policy and his power have shaped the city and its inhabitants.

Cubans fled the island to Miami, Tampa, New Jersey and elsewhere after Castro took power in 1959. Some were loyalists of Fulgencio Batista, the president prior to Castro, while others left with the hope they would be able to return soon, after Castro was toppled. He never was.

Many others believed they would not be truly free under Castro and his communist regime. Thousands left behind their possessions, loved ones, and hard-earned educations and businesses, traveling to the U.S. by plane, boat or raft. Many Cubans died on the ocean trip to South Florida. And many never returned to see their childhood homes, their neighborhoods, their playgrounds, their businesses, their cousins and aunts and uncles, because Castro was still in power.

The ones that made it to Miami took a largely, and vehemently, anti-Castro stance.

On New Year’s Eve every year, Cubans in Miami utter a toast in Spanish as they hoist glasses of liquor: “Next year in Cuba.” But as the Cuban exiles aged, and as Castro outlived them, and as U.S. President Barack Obama eroded the embargo and younger Cubans returned to the island, the toast rang silent in many households.

In Miami, where Havana is closer both geographically and psychologically than Washington, the news of Castro’s death was long anticipated by the exiles who left after Castro took power, and in the decades since. Rumors have come and gone for decades, and Castro’s death had become something of a joke — mostly because it seemed to happen so frequently.

This time, though, it was real.

“I don’t celebrate. Nobody does. You can’t celebrate somebody’s death. I just hope for democracy,” said Arnold Vidallet, a 48-year-old financial adviser who was woken by relatives with the news and who went to Domino Park, in the heart of Little Havana, to witness history unfolding.

Cuba si! Castro no!
A couple of blocks away, at the Bay of Pigs memorial, Antonio Hernandez, 76, rode his bicycle up in a light rain and stood at the eternal flame that honors the men who tried, and failed, to wrest Cuba from Castro’s grip in 1961.

“Everybody’s happy. Now this guy won’t do any more damage,” said Hernandez, who came to Miami on the Mariel boatlift in 1980. “His brother will now go down, too. But the world has to pay attention to this, not just we Cubans.”

Many Cubans made successful livings and raised families in Miami despite having to learn a new language and start their lives over. Exiles who arrived as teenagers with no money in their pockets became millionaires, political leaders, clergy members, teachers — influential members contributing to the sturdy fabric of American society.

Cemeteries in South Florida abound with the remains of those who fiercely wished Castro had died before them. Their children weep today because they could not see their parents and grandparents return to Cuba under a democratic regime, to see their homeland one more time.

Gabriel Morales, a 40-year-old financial executive, monitored social media early Saturday from his home in Miami. His parents both left Cuba decades ago. His father left Cuba before Castro took over, and then returned to visit during Castro’s regime. He vowed never to return until the regime changed, Morales said.

Morales’ mother left after Castro assumed power; her family had their property appropriated by the government, Morales said.

“Feels weird,” Morales said in a text message to an Associated Press reporter. “Been waiting to hear this news all my life. Seems unreal.”

 

While thousands of Cubans suffer, the Castros refuse to accept US help

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The Telegraph

Cuba has turned down offers from the United States of assistance to rebuild their country in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, in a sign that the relationship between the Cold War foes remains frustratingly frosty.

Several US-based charities have said the Cuban government is refusing to let them fly in aid, while the US government’s international development department, USAID, told The Sunday Telegraph that they have not sent any relief to Cuba – despite sending millions of dollars in assistance to other affected countries.

Fidel Castro, now 90, set the tone, stating after President Barack Obama’s historic March visit: “We don’t need the empire to give us anything.”

And his government seems determined to prove him right.

“We have not received a request from the government of Cuba for assistance,” said a spokesman for USAID. By contrast, the US has been highly active in Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, and contributed significant funds since the October 4 hurricane – the most ferocious storm in almost a decade.

Hurricane Matthew devastated swathes of the Caribbean – flattening houses, ripping up power lines and smashing crops. Almost 1,000 people were killed or injured in Haiti – the worst affected country – and 1.4 million left in need of aid.

Cuba has not reported any fatalities, but the oldest town in the country, Baracoa – founded on the spot where Christopher Columbus first set foot – was ripped apart.

Wildy Bernot Rodriguez, who runs the Canacuba B&B, gathered 40 people inside his home to weather out the storm – including his wife Merqui, two toddlers Nathan and Hadassa, and two-month-old Aron.

“It’s absolutely terrible what has happened,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “It is incredible hard. We’ve gone back in time 100 years.

“It’s over for us.”

That there were no fatalities is due to the efforts of the Cuban authorities, who had worked hard to evacuate 1.3 million people from as much of the high-risk areas as possible.

Volunteer civil defence members went door to door, advising residents to evacuate, while Cuban state TV ran storm advisories on a loop and officials blared warnings from vehicles with loudspeakers.

Continue reading While thousands of Cubans suffer, the Castros refuse to accept US help

Colombians reject Santos’ peace accord with the FARC guerrillas

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Colombians have rejected the charade between Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC terrorists, that was designed and directed by Fidel and Raul Castro. Well done Colombia!.

The City Paper Bogota

When the polls closed at 4 pm across Colombia, more than 34,8 million were eligible to cast their vote in the historic peace plebiscite. With a “Yes” or “No” on the ballot, voter turn-out was steady through-out the day despite a rainy start in most of the country. The Colombian capital had 12,078 booths set up to receive voters from 8 am onwards.

Colombians residing in 56 countries also cast their votes to accept or reject the Final Accord signed on September 26 between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla.

The first bulletin from the Civil Registrar came in 15 minutes after the polls officially closed reporting “Yes” with slight margin of votes (33,873) over “No” (30,070). By bulletin No.4 at 4:20 pm “Yes” had 1,623 316 and “No” 1,605 554.

Due to the heavy rain affecting much of the coast from Hurricane “Matthew” only 2,500 voters turned out in Santa Marta, than an expected 9,000.

In order for “Yes” to win and ratify the final accord with FARC more than 4,536,993 votes were needed. Colombia’s Constitutional Court approved the peace plebiscite on July 18 and lowered the voting threshold to 13% of the national total registered voters.

By 4:30 pm the “Yes” vote was narrowly surpassing “No” with 50,9% versus 49,9%. The voting threshold was met with the official bulletin No.6 at 4:40 pm with “Yes” leading marginally with 5,235 558 votes over “No” with 5,234 986 – a difference of just 546 votes.

In the Colombian capital Bogotá “Yes” surpassed “No” by 600,000 votes.

By bulletin No.8 at 4:50 the tide had turned against “Yes” with 91% of all voting across the country counted – “No” with 50,10% or 5,811 512 votes over “Yes” with 5,786 783 (49,89%).

By bulletin No.10 at 4:55 pm “No” maintained its narrow lead with 6,255 373 votes against “Yes” with 6,203 480.

The peace plebiscite aimed to break voter apathy regarding the peace process with FARC and that has lasted almost four years in Havana, Cuba, but an hour after the polls closed some 12 million Colombians had cast their votes.

After more than a half century of conflict, the plebiscite sumed up in one question the original six points of an agenda agreed upon by both sides in August 2012. On Monday, September 26, President Juan Manuel Santos signed with FARC’s “Timochenko” the 57-year-old revolutionary Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, the final accord during a televised ceremony in Cartagena and attended by 15 presidents and the U.N Secretary General Ban-Ki moon.

Colombia’s security forces confirmed that there were no reports of violence during the voting day Sunday.

By 5:10 pm the National Registrar released bulletin No.11 with “Yes” heading towards defeat with 6,270 730 votes (49,77%) and “N” with 6,328 501 votes (50,22%).

By the time bulletin 15 was released with the total national vote count at 99,25% “Yes” had lost the day by 62,350 votes (49,75%) with 6,346.055 votes and “No” coming in with 6,408 350 votes or 50,24%.

Upon receiving the news that “No” clinched victory Sunday, the FARC tweeted “We don’t have a plan B”. During the peace signing ceremony in Cartagena “Timochenko” assured Colombians that their objective is to form a political party and not return to war. On this historic Sunday “Timochenko” released the following tweet: We are convinced that all Colombians can overcome their difficulties and smile with hope for the future.”

With the large voter turn out Sunday across Colombia and a clear rejection of the peace agreement with the oldest guerrilla insurgency in the world, the political future of the 65-year old President Santos appears to be uncertain. Upon receiving news of the “No” victory, Santos called an emergency meeting at the Presidential Palace Casa de Nariño with all his ministers and chief peace negotiators. President Santos has staked his presidency on a “Yes” victory and mandate for peace.

All polls leading to voting day gave “Yes” a decisive victory over “No”.

In Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia’s second largest city “No” won with 60% of the votes.

In voting overseas, Colombians gave “Yes” a mandate with 40,907 votes (54%).

The head of state is expected to address the nation at 7:00 pm as a political crisis looms.

The war with FARC has claimed 260,000 lives during more than a half century of conflict. The future for the 13,000-strong guerrilla now appears uncertain. With the peace signing of their maximum commander “Timochenko” and Santos, FARC fighters were beginning to move to U.N.-monitored “verification zones” in order to hand-over their weapons and begin the process of reintegrating back into society.

The “No” victory at the polls Sunday October 2 means the 197-page Final Accord with FARC cannot be implemented.

Colin Kaepernick’s Ignorance of Racism in Castro’s Cuba

Kaepernick wearing a Malcolm X hat and a T-shirt with photos of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro
Kaepernick wearing a Malcolm X hat and a T-shirt with photos of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro

The Weekly Standard

The 49ers QB wore a shirt commemorating Fidel’s meeting with Malcolm X.

Over the weekend, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem at the beginning of an NFL preseason game. Predictably, this touched off a firestorm after Kaepernick explained at a press conference after the game that this was done to protest injustice in America. “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed,” he said. “To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”

I think Kaepernick’s gesture is overwrought, but I found his full remarks to be more nuanced and less brazenly anti-American than, say, what you’re bound to hear from your average San Francisco city council member. He’s well within his rights as an American to make such a statement, and I think his motivations are well-intentioned, if misguided. It’s probably also overwrought for the local news to be airing footage of fans burning his jersey.

Kaepernick even said some thoughtful things that conservatives would appreciate. I was particularly struck by this: “Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.” He has a point. In California, you need 1,600 hours of training to be a licensed cosmetologist. It takes only about 1,500 hours of training to be a commercial airline pilot. Maybe this is more a lesson in occupational licensing reform, but Kaepernick is correct that cops often lack necessary training relative to the pressures and demands we put on on them to keep the peace.

However, there was one startling display of ignorance by Kaepernick that makes me think he’s not the best person to listen to on the topic of racial injustice. I’m referring to his attire at the press conference: a Malcolm X hat, and though it’s difficult to make out, his T-shirt is of photos commemorating Malcolm X meeting Fidel Castro.

One can revisit the great civil rights debate over using violence as a means to an end; suffice to say, America’s better off that Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to nonviolence, not Malcolm X and his “by any means necessary” approach, won the day. And this divide is only highlighted by Castro’s harboring of a bunch of American cop killers, such as Assata Shakur and Eldridge Cleaver, who claim their unconscionable and murderous actions were done in the name of “racial justice”.

The biggest problem here is that Kaepernick is seemingly unaware of Castro’s legacy. Aside from Castro dragooning and executing Christians and gays, Castro’s record on racial justice is decidedly not “woke”, as the Internet likes to say. While Cuba’s legacy of racism predates Castro, it’s safe to say overt racism against individuals of African ancestry there remains far more pronounced than it is in the United States. In fact, racism is kind of an unstated official policy: “State-posts, government jobs, or positions in the tourism industry are often allocated on the basis of skin color. Take a look at the top office holders in Cuba. See any black faces there? No,” Mediaite’s AJ Delgado wrote.

Earlier this year, as the White House was normalizing relations with Cuba, the New York Times declared “Cuba Says It Has Solved Racism. Obama Isn’t So Sure.” Obama even addressed the topic of Cuban racism explicitly during his historic visit. But there’s no evidence Obama used his leverage to extract any meaningful reforms to address the issue.

The fact remains that the Cuban government doesn’t deal with racism, because to talk openly about it would be to admit that Cuba’s not the socialist paradise it’s cracked up to be. But don’t take my word for it—Cuban editor Roberto Zurbano wrote an illuminating article about Cuban racism that was translated and published in the New York Times three years ago:

Obama’s mess: Cuba’s thanks

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Trib Live

Weeks after President Obama’s trumpeted visit to Cuba, the sour notes are still blaring from the communist isle.

The latest discord comes from Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who called Mr. Obama’s ill-advised fence-mending visit “an attack on the foundation of our history, our culture and our symbols,” Fox News Latino reports. To a regime locked in time and ideology, Obama’s mission was nothing more than to “dazzle the non-state sector,” Mr. Rodriguez insisted.

President Raul Castro, who, incidentally, will retain Cuba’s Communist Party’s highest post for another five years, recently called the United States “the enemy” and warned Cubans to remain vigilant against U.S. initiatives that undermine the communist revolution, Reuters reported.

And that followed the vitriol of Fidel Castro, who, just days after Obama’s sojourn, rejected the notion that his country needs anything from the U.S. and insisted that the U.S. embargo won’t soon be forgiven.

So what has changed? Only that more Cubans are fleeing to the U.S. to escape their country’s repressive government and claim asylum benefits, which they fear will run out as U.S. “detente” evolves.

Contrary to the administration’s presumptions, the Castro regime — and its inevitable heirs — will never accept or respect U.S. capitalism and the freedom it enables. Chalk up another foreign policy fumble by an administration that’s become renowned for dropping the ball.

Change In Cuba — But Not For The Better

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Forbes, by Mike Gonzalez

The Obama Administration hasn’t had a good Cuba week. Private companies showed that embracing dictatorships torpedoes mission statements, while the White House embarrassingly had to backtrack and re-invite a jazz legend who supports democracy in Cuba. Meanwhile, in Havana, the Communist Party shut the door on any reform.

All these developments are important, as they revealed the hollow middle of the President’s decision to engage the Castros. They’re not changing for the better—we are, for the worse.

The communist party meeting, which happens twice a decade, was the most important, but perhaps least understood, of these three stories. Most accounts focused on the fact that Fidel Castro, already looking like a cadaver, showed up, spoke some Marxist psychobabble and reminded his audience he may soon die. Well, he’s 89.

Fidel Castro during the closing ceremonies of the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in Havana on Tuesday. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

Other things were more important. Fidel’s 84-year-old little brother, party honcho Raul Castro, had himself re-elected (unanimously, too, lest there be any doubt) for another five years. That is 2121, when he will be 90 unless he’s already departed for warmer climes.

Until now, all the talk had been of Raul stepping down in 2018. He might, as president of the government, which may be left in the troubled hands of a faceless functionary, but not in the more important role as head of Cuba’s only party.

On Cuba’s lack of political pluralism, Raul was firm. In an exhaustive and exhausting two-hour, 10,000-word speech (it’s not just dissidents who are tortured), he reminded the party cadre and the world that Article 5 of Cuba’s constitution “consecrates” the communist party as “the superior leading force of society and the state,” as it organizes all efforts for the construction of socialism.

Raul castigated the world for having the temerity to suggest that Cuba permit other parties “in the name of the sacrosanct bourgeois democracy.” With admittedly impeccable logic, he added, “if they succeeded in fragmenting us one day, it would be the beginning of the end. Don’t ever forget this!”

So now we have it directly from the Horse’s Mouth: the Communist Party would cease to exist if Cubans were actually given any other option.

There was more. The PCC actually reversed some of what little progress there had been.

Previously, the private sector had been barred from the “concentration of property.” As of the new congress, the private sector will also be barred from the “concentration of wealth.”

Commenting on his blog, CapitolHillCubans, the analyst Mauricio Claver-Carone made the point that this—not the political immobility—was the news coming out of the Congress that deserves world attention. I concur. Claver-Carone writes:

In other words, the Castro regime can crack down on any person for accumulating any amount of money, without any recourse, based on its own subjective standard.

Castro also reminded everyone that ’cuentapropistas’ (“self-employment”) are not juridical persons.

In other words, they are legal ghosts.”

Google “cuentrapropista” and you will get all sorts of wild-eyed expectations of growth by these small entrepreneurs and hopes that they will be the agents of change. Guess who else has done that? Raul. So just as with multi-partism, he closed the door on that.

“We are not naïve nor do we ignore the aspirations of powerful external forces betting on what they call the ‘empowerment’ of the non-state sector, with the goal of generating agents of change in the hope of ending the Revolution and socialism in Cuba,” he lectured those who were still awake.

And that is the problem that awaits the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all the companies that want to make a deal with the Castros. Their main and only concern is survivability. Nothing else matters. That’s how you stay in power for 56 years.

Carnival Cruise found the hard way with its maiden cruise to Cuba, which was scheduled to launch on May 1 (International Workers’ Day, or communism’s high holiday). To comply with a rule by the Castros, Carnival told Americans born in Cuba they need not apply for a cabin.

A public relations fiasco ensued, of course, and Carnival retreated. The Miami-based company had to go back to the Cuban government and say, you let in the Cuban-Americans or we can’t come here.

What the experience showed was that companies will be only too happy to coddle the Castros until public pressure here gets too intense. In fact, even the White House behaves this way.

This week it emerged that the White House had disinvited 14-time Grammy winner Paquito d’Rivera—a strong proponent of human rights in Cuba—from playing there on April 30, International Jazz Day. D’Rivera wrote a letter to Obama reminding him of America’s values, but it wasn’t till the letter became public a week later, and again public pressure mounted, that the White House decided to re-invite him.

All in all it was a week that showed, once again, that dealing with the Castros will diminish us, not them.