According to Maxine Waters the Tea party “can go straight to hell”. But “VIVA FIDEL!” she chanted during the rapturous reception that greeted the Stalinist dictator’s visit to Harlem’s Riverside Church on Sept. 9, 2000. The overflow crowd packed the Church to suffocation and spilled from the doors onto the streets and sidewalks.
"I came to Harlem because I knew it was here that I would find my best friends!" beamed the jailer of the longest suffering black political prisoners in modern history, inside the Harlem church that might still be radioactive except for Khrushchev foiling his fondest wish in October 1962. “If the nuclear missiles had remained,” boasted Che Guevara to the London Daily Worker in November 1962, “we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City. The victory of socialism is worth millions of atomic victims."
By the time of Castro’s Riverside Church gig Rep. Maxine Water’s fleeting lapse in her Castrophilia had been contritely clarified and forgiven. Two years earlier, you see, she had voted in favor of a Congressional resolution calling on Castro to kindly refrain from harboring fugitives from U.S. law, including convicted cop-killer Joane Chesimard.
“Dear President (all italics mine) Castro,” she wrote on September 29, 1998, “I am writing to clarify my position on a resolution recently passed by the United States House of Representatives on September 14, 1998. I, and some of the Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, mistakenly voted for House Concurrent Resolution 254 which called on the Government of Cuba to extradite to the United States Joanne Chesimard and all other individuals who have fled the United States from political persecution and received political asylum in Cuba. Joanne Chesimard was the birth name of a political activist known to most Members of the Congressional Black Caucus as Assata Shakur. For the record, I am opposed to the resolution. I unequivocally stated that a mistake was made and I would have voted against the legislation.”
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.