The propaganda sheet of Cuba's Stalinist regime has almost outdone the mainstream international media in vilifying Jesse Helms. It's a close-run thing. You be the judge:
“To many around the world,” recently wrote London's Financial Times,“he was little less than a monster.”
"Few senators in the modern era have done more to resist the tide of progress," concluded the New York Times when Helms retired in 2003.
"He fought for the values of the old confederacy. He resisted the new South. He resisted the opportunity to fight for a more perfect union," said Rev. Jesse Jackson (who bellowed “Viva Fidel!-Viva Che!” while arm in arm with Castro in Havana in 1984.
“It is hard even now to think of him with charity,” runs the obituary in the UK Guardian. Helms was “a baleful influence” with a “malign impact” on American foreign policy. “He caused an international furore by joining forces with Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana to push through the Helms-Burton Act, extending American jurisdiction to international companies trading with Cuba.”
“There are men in the world who become paradigms of disgrace to the human race,” wrote a Castro-court eunuch in Cuba's official paper, Granma, this past Monday.“A titan of intolerance!” continues the scribbling eunuch in this propaganda organ for a regime that jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin's and executed more in its first three years in power than Hitler's murdered in its first six.
“Helms was the head of a gang in Washington that was prepared to destroy the world!” continues the sniveling hack for a regime that brought the world closest to Nuclear devastation by asking, begging and finally trying to trick Nikita Khrushchev into launching a surprise nuclear attack on the U.S.
“He brought tragedy to millions of human beings around the world, including millions in his own nation,” declares this apparatchik for a regime that plunged a nation that enjoyed a standard of liver higher than half of Europe's in 1958, to a level of Haiti's today. In the process, this regime tripled Cuba's suicide rate, making its subjects the most suicidal in the Western Hemisphere, and drove tens of thousands of them to fight bare-handed against Tiger sharks while desperately fleeing the glories of free healthcare and education. All this to escape from a nation formerly swamped with immigrants, primarily fellow first-worlders from Europe.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.