Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Left's Love Affair with Castro

Mary Anastasia O'Grady has an interesting article about Armando Valladares, a cuban dissident who refused to give in to Castro even after being imprisoned and tortured for 22 years.

Valladares certainly had a great deal of difficulty with the Castro regime. But he and his wife and other Cuban dissidents have had more problems trying to convince the world outside of Cuba of what was going on in the country:

When Mrs. Valladares was allowed to leave Cuba in 1972 with her father -- who had also been a political prisoner -- and began an international effort to bring attention to the Cuban prisoners, the brutality of the regime was already well established. But as she found out, the facts weren't much help. "It was very difficult," she tells me, slowly and deliberately with more than a touch of sadness.
As an example, she describes her encounter with Seán MacBride, who was the former Amnesty International Chairman, at a human-rights conference in Venezuela in 1977. "He was very nice to me at first because he didn't realize who I was. But when I tried to speak about the Cuban prisoners of conscience, he began banging on the microphone and screaming, 'Don't translate that! Don't translate that!' The journalists covering the event asked me, 'Why is this man telling you to shut up?'"
The next day in the Venezuelan press there was a story titled "Human rights violated in a human-rights conference." That same year MacBride was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize given by the Soviet Union.
Mr. Valladares says that as amazing as it sounds, it took Amnesty International until 1978 to "discover" that there were political prisoners in Cuba. "Eighteen years after I was jailed! There were already thousands murdered, tortured, Boitel had already died."

MacBride was also an IRA terrorist. It's no wonder that Amnesty International has no credibility.

Valladares also had trouble trying to convince the government of Spain that Castro was up to no good:

Still AI has been downright progressive compared to some European governments. Mr. Valladares says that in 1988 the Spanish government of Felipe González was especially disingenuous, when its foreign minister told Mr. Valladares that Spain had no evidence of human-rights violations in Cuba. Only weeks later, he says, the Spanish embassy in Havana produced a report documenting the atrocities of the Cuban regime, but opted to bury it so as to give cover to Fidel.
When the report was leaked to the press, Mr. Valladares says he brought dozens of the Spanish newspapers to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva and distributed them. "I told the Spanish ambassador, 'Congratulations, your report is very good. It is as good as the CIA report.'"
Mr. Valladares was giving the Spaniard a dig, but not without provocation. Both he and Mrs. Valladares say that over the years European government officials (Spain and Sweden to name but two) repeatedly acknowledged privately the regime's unacceptable brutality. But the same officials also said that to come out against it publicly would be to admit that the U.S. was right about Castro. And nobody wanted to do that.
"Castro is still there because the world envies the U.S., and all that hatred for the U.S. has gone to support Fidel Castro," Mr. Valladares says. As a result, the Cuban people have been left to fend for themselves against the jackboots and East German spy techniques of Cuban state security. Thousands have died trying to flee.

Castro and his supporters in democratic countries have long used the United States as a red herring to justify the abuse of the Cuban people. Its kind of like Charles Manson saying "those awful black people are out to get me. I think I'll have Sharon Tate murdered to retaliate".

And above all, it shows what the left want the USA to be like. A police state with no individual rights whatsoever.

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