For their experiment the Castroites chose twenty American POWs. One died: Lieutenant Colonel Earl Cobeil, an Air Force F-105 pilot. His death came slowly, in agonizing stages, under torture. Upon learning his Castroite Cuban affiliation, the American POWs nicknamed Cobeil's Cuban torturer, "Fidel."
"The difference between the Vietnamese and "Fidel' was that once the Vietnamese got what they wanted they let up, at least for a while,” testified fellow POW Captain Ray Vohden USN. “Not so with the Cubans. Earl Cobeil had resisted 'Fidel' to the maximum. I heard the thud of the belt falling on Cobeil's body again and again, as Fidel screamed "you son of a beech! I will show you! Kneel down!--KNEEL DOWN!” The Cubans unmercifully beat a mentally defenseless, sick American naval pilot to death."
"Earl Cobeil was a complete physical disaster when we saw him," testified another fellow POW, Col. Jack Bomar. "He had been tortured for days and days and days. His hands were almost severed from the manacles. He had bamboo in his shins. All kinds of welts up and down all over; his face was bloody. Then 'Fidel' began to beat him with a fan belt.”
According to the book Honor Bound the tortures of U.S. POWs by Castro’s agents (Hernandez-Caballero’s colleagues) were “the worst sieges of torture any American withstood in Hanoi.”
Until quite recently the chief Castroite torturer in North Vietnam, Fernando Vecino- Alegret, served as Cuba's "Minister of Education." So he’ll probably smilingly host many of those visiting delegations of smiling U.S. scholars and educators as a result of Obama’s recent promotion of “people-to-people” exchanges with Cuba.
Vecino-Alegret’s colleague Hernandez-Caballero, however, was not transported to a U.S. courtroom this week to defend himself against charges of being an official of a regime that murdered more political prisoners in its first three years in power than Hitler murdered in his first six, jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, has sponsored terrorism for half a century, came closest to nuking the United States, and gratuitously tortured American POW’s.
Instead Mr Hernandez-Caballero is here to testify against Luis Posada Carriles, and thus try to help the U.S. Justice Dept. convict a one-time military colleague of the American’s tortured to death by his (Hernandez-Caballero’s) colleagues in North Vietnam. Fidel Castro considers Luis Posada Carriles his number one enemy in the world. Posada volunteered for the Bay of Pigs invasion, and later joined the U.S. army emerging as a 2nd Lieutenant. After retiring from the U.S. Army he worked for the CIA putting out Soviet-started fires throughout Latin America. Among other projects, Posada helped the Reagan team squash Communism in Nicaragua by helping arms and train the Nicaraguan Contras. A few years later in Guatemala a Castro appointed death-squad ambushed Posada, riddled him with bullets and left him crippled.
He missed him then but, with Eric Holder’s help, Castro is still after Posada. Eric Holder’s Justice Department considers Posada a criminal for entering the U.S. illegally from Latin America. Since we seem to have so little of that nowadays, Obama’s justice department can afford to concentrate major muscle in going after Posada--with Castro’s help.
Eric Holder, let’s remember, also signed the order for the INS to mace, kick, stomp, and gun-butt their way into Lazaro Gonzalez's house on the morning of April 22, 2000, wrench a bawling 6-year-old child from his family at machine-gun point and bundle him off to Castro’s Stalinist fiefdom, leaving 102 people injured, some seriously.
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.