“The terms scoundrel and traitor should precede every mention of Humberto Fontova!” raves the Castro regime’s captive (literally!) press. “Fontova’s books and columns are nothing but scandalous libels against our Revolution’s founders, Fidel and Che! Now he has another editorial outlet for his rants and libels against our leaders. Townhall has put him on their payroll of ranters against Obama, where he cuddles close to tacky and scummy blonds and brunettes.” (Ahora Townhall le abre un huequito editorial, en su nómina de vociferantes contra Obama al ladito de chancleteras rubias y triguenas.)
Let’s cut Castro some slack. He’s shocked and confused. He’s just not used to Townhall type coverage of him. He’s much more accustomed to this:
"Fidel Castro is humanist, a man of many ideals including those of liberty, democracy and social justice. (New York Times Feb. 1957.)
“Castro is honest, and an honest government is something unique in Cuba. Castro is not himself even remotely a Communist.” (Newsweek, April 1959)
“We can thank our lucky stars Castro is no Communist,” (Look Magazine, March 1959)
“The Cuba of Fidel Castro is free from terror. Civil liberties have been restored. These are large steps forward and they were made against fearful odds.” (Readers Digest April 1959)
"It would be a great mistake even to intimate that Castro's Cuba has any real prospect of becoming a Soviet satellite." (Walter Lippman, Washington Post July, 1959)
“But come on, Humberto!” you say. “That stuff was over half a century ago. A lot of people misread him back then.”
Fine. Let’s fastword a few decades:
"Castro is old-fashioned, courtly -- even paternal...a thoroughly fascinating figure." (NBC's Andrea Mitchell, June 2001)
"Castro's personal magnetism is still powerful, his presence is still commanding. Cuba has very high literacy, and Castro has brought great health care to his country." (ABC’s Barbara Walters, Oct. 2002)
“Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis” (CBS’s Dan Rather, 1978)
“Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!” (Ted Turner, 1997)
“To my knowledge, it has never been proven that the Castro regime killed anyone.” (Ted Turner to Bill O’Reilly. Dec. 10, 2008)
"The Toast of Manhattan!" crowed Time Magazine regarding Fidel Castro's reception by Manhattan's beautiful people on the terrorist’s visit to New York in 1996. "The Hottest Ticket in Manhattan!" also read a Newsweek story that week, referring to the social swirl that engulfed Castro in New York by the media luminaries who barely escaped nuclear incineration by his hand. These included Peter Jennings, Tina Brown, Bernard Shaw, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters, among many others. All clamored for autographs and photo ops. Diane Sawyer was so overcome in the mass-murderers presence that she rushed up, broke into that toothy smile of hers, wrapped her arms around Castro and smooched him warmly on the cheek.
"You people are the cream of the crop!" beamed the mass-murderer to the smiling throng that surrounded him.
"Hear, hear!" chirped the delighted guests while tinkling their wine glasses in appreciation and glee.
“Propaganda is the heart of our struggle,” (Fidel Castro in a letter to revolutionary colleague Melba Hernandez in 1956.)
"Foreign reporters — preferably American,” wrote Che Guevara in his diaries, “were much more valuable to us at that time (1957-59) than any military victory. Much more valuable than recruits for our guerrilla force, were American media recruits to export our propaganda." As seen above, modern history records few recruitment drives as phenomenally successful or as enduring as Castro and Che’s. But thanks in part to Townhall their scam is finally crumbling.
In 1979 David Halberstam's book, "The Powers That Be" claimed that the major media had "stopped following the news and was now making the news.” The major media, claimed Halberstam, “had supplanted both the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government as a power broker,” and he listed the main media players in that brokering.
Cuban regime defectors report that this became Fidel Castro's favorite book at the time. Not that he learned anything from its pages; simply that he received smug confirmation for something he'd plumbed well before Halberstam did.
Now he’s slipping. His grasp of U.S. power-brokers within the U.S. media falters. To wit: last year the Spanish branch of his captive-press ran an article stressing how the “important” media all ignore Fontova’s “rants” and “scandalous libels.” Well, the very article shows a pic of the “scoundrelly” author “ranting” during one of his many gigs on Foxnews, the most popular cable news channel in the history of television broadcasting, with more viewers than CNN and MSNBC (both graciously bestowed Havana bureaus) combined. Needless to add, Foxnews has not met the exacting qualifications for the honor of a Havana Bureau (see 4 paragraphs above where Che Guevara described these qualifications.)
“But come on, Humberto!” you say. “I mean, many third-world pestholes have dictators more or less. Didn’t Castro at least improve one of these pestholes to where his people enjoy great nutrition, education and healthcare? And didn’t he end the impoverishment, exploitation and humiliation of Cuba by Americans?“
In fact: According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in 1958 U.S. investments in Cuba accounted for only 13 per cent of Cuba’s GNP. And in 1950 more Cubans vacationed in the U.S. than Americans in Cuba. Castro sunk a nation with a higher per capita income than half of Europe, the 13th lowest infant mortality on earth, a larger middle class than Switzerland and whose industrial workers earned the eighth-highest wages in the world, into one that repels Haitians. In the process he drove out 20 per cent of the population from a nation that formerly enjoyed a higher influx of immigrants per-capita (primarily from Europe) than the U.S. The process above involved jailing political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror and murdering more political prisoners during his first three years in power than Hitler murdered during his first six.
“Wow! “you say. “Don’t think I’ve ever read an author so shamelessly plugging his own books? Don’t most authors get a columnist friend to “review” it, so it comes across as less shameless?”
Of course, but leave it to a refugee from Communism to revel in his freedom to indulge in the crassest and most shameless capitalism—and hog all the fun himself!
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.