Foreign Affairs

New York to Honor Castro With Statue

He craved the nuclear incineration of the entire metropolis. "If the missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York City," admitted his sidekick Ernesto "Che" Guevara, thinking he was speaking "off the record" to London’s Daily Worker in November 1962.  

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But Fidel Castro first tried baiting his Soviet patrons into the act. A full-scale Yankee invasion of Cuba was hours away, Castro disclosed to Khrushchev on Oct. 26, 1962. His agents had ready proof. Don’t delay! He urged the Soviet premier. Now’s the time to launch a surprise nuclear strike on America’s major cities! Hurry!

Khrushchev panicked. But not from fear of any Yankee invasion of Cuba. He knew better. He had JFK’s number from the Bay of Pigs and the Vienna Summit the previous year. Now the craven tone of Kennedy’s messages about those missiles confirmed that Camelot’s backbone was still spaghetti-like.

No, what alarmed the Butcher of Budapest was the stridency and sincerity of his Cuban confederate’s craving to plunge the world into a nuclear war that would kill millions of Americans and Russians along with millions of Cubans (minus Fidel, of course, who along with Che and Raul had secure reservations at the new Soviet-built bomb-shelter in Cuba.) "We’d better get those missiles out of Cuba, alright," reasoned Stalin’s former henchman. "This Cuban lunatic might get his finger near the buttons!"

Camelot’s press agency (the Beltway media, academia, Hollywood and New York publishing) spun a sharply different version of the rationale for that decision, which still prevails among the cheese and Chablis set.

Foiled in October 1962 by Khrushchev’s prudence, the very next month Castro’s agents plotted to incinerate and entomb thousands of New Yorkers while employing more conventional means. Five-hundred kilos of TNT were slated to explode in Manhattan’s most crowded settings during their most crowded stage. Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Bloomingdale’s and Grand Central Terminal were the targets, and the day after Thanksgiving 1962 was when the 12 detonators would explode. In the nick of time J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI uncovered the plot, arrested the Castroite plotters, and nixed the slaughter of thousands of New York holiday shoppers. (The above plots are fully documented in “Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.”)

Fidel’s Massive Monument

So it’s only fitting that New York honor Fidel Castro with a massive monument in Central Park to be unveiled November 8. "The portrait celebrates Castro’s humanitarianism," gushes David Kesting, the spokesman for the statue’s sculptor. "Inspiration for the gilded head of Castro, large enough to belong to a 25-foot man, comes from Harlem’s acclamation for Castro’s contributions to civil rights," continues the wire story. "This may be the last opportunity to say farewell” to the man some revere as a champion of civil rights. … The Central Park unveiling of his portrait is an attempt to bring Harlem’s adoration for Castro to the rest of the world.”  
 
"Useful Idiocy" simply won’t do. American Castrophilia requires a term all its own. No tribute that Walter Duranty, Roger Baldwin, Dashiel Hammet, Albert Einstein, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson or even Franklin Delano Roosevelt lavished on Stalin approaches Ted Turner’s, Harry Belafonte’s, Jesse Jackson’s, Norman Mailer’s, Charlie Rangel’s and those multitude of other plaudits to Fidel Castro.

A monument heralding Hitler in Warsaw, London or Rotterdam would make more sense. Had the wishes of the man commemorated in that Central Park statue prevailed, Central Park itself might still be radioactive, and the charred remains of New York residents Charlie Rangel (who specializes in passionate bear-hugs of Castro) and Norman Mailer (who hails Castro as "the hemisphere’s greatest hero!") would fit in a milk carton.

A monument to Hideki Tojo in Honolulu would be more appropriate. One to Osama bin Laden in New York would also fit. In the fall of 1962 only Khrushchev’s discretion and the FBI’s competence saved New York from a Castro-instigated murder toll that would have dwarfed both Pearl Harbor’s and 9/11′s. The planning and will for the fiery mass-murder of thousands of New Yorkers were certainly there, only the means were foiled at the last minute. Morally speaking, this leaves Fidel Castro culpable of crimes bin Laden envisions only in his fondest dreams.

The amalgam of willful ignorance, hypocrisy, stupidity and masochism displayed by Castro acolytes in the U.S. has rarely been matched by the public utterings of any group of politicians or pundits in modern history. National Review’s Jay Nordlinger calls it "the most grotesque phenomenon of our time." The phrase strikes me as perfectly fitting.  

Living in Castro’s Fiefdom

Unlike Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, Dannie Glover, Harry Belafonte, David Kesting and those multitudes of Harlem Castro fans, Eusebio Penalver, a black Cuban, actually lived in Castro’s fiefdom. "N——!" taunted his all-white Castroite jailers between tortures. "Monkey!" they laughed. "We pulled you down from the trees and cut of your tail!" They taunted while throwing him in solitary confinement. For opposing the re-installation of slavery in Cuba, Penalver suffered longer in Castro’s dungeons than Nelson Mandela suffered in South Africa’s, and more defiantly and heroically.

The man honored by Harlem for his "humanitarianism" and "dedication to civil rights" jailed more of his subjects for political crimes than Hitler and Stalin. More uproariously ironic, he is (or was) a lily white European soldier’s son who—not only jailed Penalver, the longest-jailed black political prisoner in modern history—but also overthrew a Cuban government where blacks served as President of the Senate, minister of agriculture, chief of Army, and as head of state (Fulgencio Batista.)

Today the prison population in Stalinist/Apartheid Cuba is 90% black while only 9% of the ruling Stalinist party is black. Most of Cuba’s current political prisoners are black, including Jorge Antunez and Dr. Elias Biscet, a Martin Luther King and Gandhi disciple. Antunez’s 18-year sentence and daily tortures resulted essentially from quoting Martin Luther King in a public square. Biscet’s 25-year sentence and daily tortures result from being overheard saying about Castro what the Dixie Chicks, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Rangel bellow into microphones about President Bush.

It’s worth repeating: the November 8 unveiling and celebration is motivated by “Harlem’s acclamation for Castro’s contributions to civil rights."

I’ll defer to Jorge Antunez’s sister, Berta Antunez: "The Cuban government tries to fool the world with siren songs depicting racial equality in our country," she reports clandestinely via a Cuban Samizdat. "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."

"The racist mentality is so ingrained among Cuba’s agents of repression," reports Antunez, "that when mixed race groups are stopped on the street, only the blacks are asked for their identification papers. … The only think I have to thank the Cuban revolution for," she quoted her brother, "is for restoring the yoke of slavery that my ancestors lived under."

The Left’s Pin-Up Boy

Please, please, please don’t waste your time looking for any mention of these valiant blacks in the mainstream media. Please, please, please don’t bother looking for them hailed during Black History Month on NPR, CNN, the History Channel or Oprah. These heroes defied the hemisphere’s premier slaver, you see, who also happens to be the left’s premier pin-up boy. So their courage, sacrifices and suffering don’t qualify as politically correct news and documentary fare.

If the term "slaver" strikes you as hyperbolic, consider this story from last week’s Miami Herald: "In reality we were slaves," says Cuban refugee Alberto Rodriguez who before escaping was forced to labor 116 hours a week at three-and-a-half pennies per hour. Amazingly, this labor went on in a shipyard in Delray Beach, Fla. Rodriguez and two other escapees were "employees" of Curacao Drydock Co., headquartered in Curacao but who obtained some of their laborers from the Cuban government. This government, lauded worldwide as a champion of the laboring classes, pocketed the difference between the three-and-a-half pennies per hour and Curacao Drydock’s normal wage.  

The forced-laborers were rounded up in Cuba and shipped to Curacao where their passports were promptly confiscated. Their "supervisor" was a Fidel Castro nephew. "We worked in broiling heat, in the most dangerous part of the ship, where all of the regular workers refused to go–that’s where they forced the Cubans to work,"  recounts Mr Rodriguez. His co-slave, Luis Casanova, was badly electrocuted but forced to work with blood pouring from his tongue. "They said if we slacked up we’d be taken back to Cuba and thrown in jail."

After these men were shipped to Florida to work for a Curacao Drydock agent, they escaped their slavers and have filed suit against them in Miami federal court under the Aliens Tort Act. Please don’t confuse their case with those of illegals who sneak in, clamor for a job, then sue the employer for "discrimination," or some such. This is a totally different animal.

Charlie Rangel raves against Republicans as closet Klu Kluxers. This July on the floor of the House he denounced Republicans’ "stinking hypocrisy" for refusing to vote to raise the minimum wage to $7.35 per hour. I’ll be surprised if Charlie Rangel isn’t the keynote speaker at the Central Park celebration for the Stalinist/racist who jailed and tortured black political prisoners longer than apartheid South Africa, and who kidnaps his subjects and rents them out for three-and-a-half pennies an hour. It’s the least Rangel could do for the man who longed to incinerate both him and every one of his Harlem constituents.

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