Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Michelle Malkin Asks: "What about Castro's Gulags?"

And I submit to you that's a darn good question.

Why tons of attention on America's prison on Cuba, and zero attention on the real gulags that exist in Cuba? Doesn't make much sense unless you realize how much water is carried for Fidel by the left in this country. And why would that be? Because Fidel Castro's Cuba is the left's last best hope for a real worker's paradise. Unfortunately for the American left, Russia collapsed and China morphed into what H.L. Mencken aptly described as a "bastardized version of capitalism."

Despite his horrendous human rights record, a long list of celebrities, including Jesse Jackson, Oliver Stone, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover are willing to stand up for Fidel against his critics. It was't that many years ago that Jesse Jackson addressed the University of Havana, shouting "Long live Fidel Castro! Long live Martin Luther King! Long live Che Guevara!" Oliver Stone recently described Fidel as "a very moral man" and "one of the earth's wisest people, one of the people we should consult." Ted Turner describes Castro as "one hell of a guy." To Jack Nicholson, Fidel is "a genius." Naomi Campbell describes Castro as "a source of inspiration to the world." After visiting Cuba, Chevy Chase stated that "socialism works" and explained that "Cuba might prove that." Kevin Costner fawned that having the opportunity to meet with Castro was "an experience of a lifetime." The 2002 movie Fidel, starring Harry Belafonte, was so one-sided that even the New York Times described it as "an exercise not in biography but in hero worship."

Like many other Castro-worshipping celebrities, Spielberg has advocated lifting the American embargo against Cuba, explaining that he did not "see any reason for accepting old grudges being played out in the 21st century." For someone who's spent so much time and effort highlighting the abuses of the totalitarian Nazis, this seems to be a curious position. Spielberg is certainly a genius of a filmmaker, and I love his films, but I don't see how he can be disgusted by ruthless totalitarianism in the historical case, and apparently unfazed by what is going on right now to people who are still alive and rotting in Cuban prisons. If the Third Reich had survived the 1940s and succeeded in exterminating all the Jews in Europe, and that same regime was still rounding up and executing minorities today, would Spielberg be arguing for normalized relations and lamenting the nursing of "old grudges" against the Nazis? I doubt it, and I don't think he, or anyone else, should. But why the double standard when it comes to the Cuban Communists?

Nevertheless, there may be hope, even in Hollywood. Not every actor is a Castro syncophant. Andy Garcia, who's actually a refugee from Castro's Cuba, has been a lot more generous than I would be when it comes to the American media's pro-Castro bias. "Sometimes, you feel like what's really going down in Cuba is protected in a way by the American media, and it's a shame, because the truth needs to come out. People need to be aware of what's really going on down there" Gloria Estefan is another Cuban American who's not so enthralled with Castro's "worker's paradise", explaining that "[p]eople don't have a lot of information, and when they ask me about it, I tell them about the drama of exiles, the repression, the firing squads, the horror of communism."

There's plenty of information available on the web on the horrors of Cuban communism. As one small example, Babalu Blog features this touching picture this dangerous enemy of the Cuban state.


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