Humberto Fontova
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A top apparatchik of the only regime in the Western Hemisphere to herd thousands of men and boys into forced labor camps at Soviet-bayonet point for the crime of fluttering their eyelashes, flapping their hands and talking with a lisp was just granted a U.S. visa to lecture Americans on “Gay Rights.”

"Work Will Make Men Out of You" read the sign at the Cuban prison-camp’s gate, right over the barbed wire and next to the machine gunners posted on the watchtowers. The initials for these camps were UMAP, not GULAG, but the conditions were quite similar.

The venue for her sermon on freedom and civil rights by Raul Castro’s Stalinist daughter Mariela to Americans will be a panel on “sexual diversity” at a conference organized by the Latin American Studies Association in San Francisco running from May 23-26.

From San Francisco this apparatchik for the only regime in the Western Hemisphere to fuel bonfires with Orwell’s Animal Farm and jail librarians for stocking it travels to the New York Public Library to lecture Americans on artistic freedom. “I plead with Fidel Castro (Mariela’s uncle) and his government (today headed by Mariela’s father) to immediately take their hands off the independent librarians and release all those librarians in prison, and to send them back into Cuban culture to inform the people.” This was a public plea during the keynote speech at the American Library Association’s annual convention in 2005 by Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury, no less.

Instead of heeding Bradbury, for the crime of stocking some of the world’s bestselling books, the regime Mariela Castro represents condemned Cuban librarians to prison terms similar to the one a South African judge handed Nelson Mandela for planting bombs in public places. “As to the disposition of the books, magazines and pamphlets they are to be destroyed by means of incineration because they lack usefulness,” ruled the Castroite “judge.” In addition to Orwell’s Animal Farm, the flames were fueled by titles from Martin Luther King and Jose Marti, Cuba’s George Washington.

As soon as she became of age Mariela Castro became a faithful apparatchik of the regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror, murdered more Cubans than Hitler murdered Germans during the Night of Long Knives, craved to incite a worldwide Nuclear war, and in the process converted a nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe into one that repels Haitians.

Many will say: “get with the program you Republican Cuban-American crackpots! Let Castroite bygones be bygones!”

This saying will issue mostly from people who also say that the grandchildren of folks born in Poland, Italy and Ireland after slavery was abolished in the U.S. must be legally-bound to pay reparations to the victims of U.S. slavery. The great-great-great grandchildren of folks who came to these shores as indentured servants from Scotland and England must also pay reparations, according to many prominent American Castrophiles, take Charles Rangel and Jesse Jackson (please!)

In fact, it was only a little over a year ago that the oldest gay-rights organization in Latin America took the Castro regime to the International Court of justice in The Hague for “crimes against humanity.”

We wonder if this will come up in San Francisco or New York?

As usual the venue for this State Sponsor of Terrorism (as designated by the U.S. State Department) to insult and damage the U.S. is being challenged mostly by a tiny portion of Americans.

Here’s a high official of the regime that denounces the U.S. as “the great enemy of mankind!” that (twice) tried to nuke the U.S., that tried to incinerate and entomb thousands of New York Holiday shoppers, whose spies managed the deepest penetration of the U.S. Defense Department in modern history, and on and on—and as usual, the venue given this official to further damage America is being challenged mostly by Americans of Cuban heritage. And these point not only to the ethical problems with the visa—but also the legal ones. To wit:

From Congressman David Rivera: “It is a cause for great concern that the U.S. State Department has granted a visa that allows Mariela Castro to visit the United States. The State Department’s decision sends a message that is contradictory to established U.S. policy -- specifically Presidential Proclamation 5377 -- which suspends the entry of officers and employees of the Cuban dictatorship and the Cuban Communist Party into the United States. The State Department should not be putting out the welcome mat for officials from countries that have officially been designated as state sponsors of terrorism.”

From Senator Marco Rubio: “(Mariela) Castro represents an arm of the Castro regime...I think the U.S. government’s decision to grant the daughter of Raul Castro a visa to come to the United States and spread the propaganda of her father’s regime is outrageous and an enormous mistake.. It is shameful that they would grant that visa.”

From Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “I would like to focus…on the appalling open-door policy that the Administration appears to have adopted for (Cuban) regime officials and operatives. We’re talking agents of a regime that seeks to destabilize our democratic partners in our Hemisphere, and agents of a dictatorship that has a long-standing alliance with the Iranian regime.”

From Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: “The administration’s appalling decision to allow regime agents into the U.S. directly contradicts Congressional intent and longstanding U.S. foreign policy,”

As usual, it’s apparently “a Cuban thing.” One of those “you had to be there” things. Meaning: if you or your parents had “been there,” as subjects of Castro-Stalinism or freedom-fighter against it. Then “been there” as the U.S. granted you freedom….well, there’s just something about the experience that makes one recognize “American exceptionalism” as a throat-lumping truism rather than as a phrase for liberals to snicker at.

There’s also something about it that provokes and instinctive protest against granting a Stalinist regime’s apparatchiks a visa for the purpose of insulting and damaging your adopted country.

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Humberto Fontova

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.