In 1966, Cuba (again, essentially the identical regime as today) hosted the Tri-Continental Conference, an educational and networking conference for terrorists worldwide, complete with name-tags, seminars and break-out sessions. Here Castro vowed to aid any group anywhere who fought “colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism’; which is to say: the set-up that provided for whatever prosperity and freedom then existed in the attendees’ home nations.
Having grown to adulthood in a nation with a higher per-capita income and more TVs, phones, cars and doctors per-capita than half of Europe, that enjoyed the 13th lowest infant-mortality in the world, whose industrial workers earned the 8th highest wages on earth, and that was deluged with more immigrants than the U.S., Fidel Castro knew how these things work. He also saw that such citizens—securing ample jobs, food, clothing and shelter from the private sector—were infuriatingly (to him) impervious to governmental coercion.
Castro converted this same Cuba into to a pesthole with fewer internet connections than Uganda, that repels Haitians, where a chunk of Styrofoam became a coveted black-market item to escape his blessings—but where all Cubans became subject for their very livelihood upon his every whim. “Typical communist mismanagement,” some claim.
Actually, given Communist goals, Cuba’s economy is expertly managed. Destroying the factors involved in Cuba’s former freedom and prosperity was not a haphazard process. It required focus and dedication, putting the shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone. Castro’s “nationalist” revolution saw many of Stalin’s own henchmen directing the murder, torture and destitution of native Cubans.
“Welcome to Havana!” Fidel and Raul Castro greeted the thousands of foreigners eager to emulate their stellar achievements. Among the name-tags flashing through the Tri-Continental Conference were Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, later known as "Carlos the Jackal," and as "The World's Most Wanted Terrorist." In 1967 Ramirez Sanchez was an eager recruit into Cuba's terrorist-training camps started by Che in 1959. "I'm proud of the path of Osama bin Laden," Ramirez told the London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat in an interview from a French prison in 2002. "Bin Laden has followed a trail I myself blazed...I followed news of the September 11 attacks on the United States non-stop from the beginning. I can't describe that wonderful feeling of relief."
A young fellow named Abu Ammar also attended Havana's Tri-Continental Conference. He would later be known as Yasir Arafat.
“But come on, Humberto! That’s ancient history! Hoary Cold-War stuff,” you say.
Then let’s fast-forward to the most murderous terrorist group in the Western Hemisphere today, Colombia’s FARC, (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) with tens of thousands of murders to their name, including 13 Americans, 3 of them missionaries.
"Thanks to Fidel Castro" boasted late FARC commander Tiro-Fijo in a 2002 interview, "we are now a powerful army, not a hit and run band." Fast forward some more to last year and we find a report from Colombia’s military intelligence obtained by the Colombian paper, El Espectador, revealing that the FARC maintains a major office in Havana. And their officers “receive a $5,000 monthly stipend through the Cuban bank account of a Venezuelan government office.”
“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” (John Adams.)
Senator Rubio is an unapologetic proponent of American Exceptionalism. It’s no surprise that his first amendment owes much to the founding fathers of the nation that granted his parents refuge from Castro-Stalinism.
America’s President might have sat through (or even applauded) the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s jeremiads against America. He might seek to succor a regime that insults his nation as “The Great Enemy of Mankind!” and came closest to nuking it. His campaign workers might have decorated their offices with posters of Che Guevara, who denounced his countrymen as “hyenas fit only for extermination!”
But the gentleman from Florida views the matter much differently.
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.