A Martian visiting earth this week, coasting TV channels and perusing papers, would have to conclude that among the items that most interest this planet’s news bureaus is the plight of former political prisoners, especially black ones.
Well, many Cubans (many of them black) suffered longer and more horrible incarceration in Castro’s KGB-designed dungeons than Nelson Mandela spent in South Africa’s (relatively) comfortable prisons, which were open to inspection by the Red Cross. Castro has never allowed a Red Cross delegation anywhere near his real prisons. Now let’s see if you recognize some of the Cuban ex-prisoners and torture-victims:
Mario Chanes (30 years), Ignacio Cuesta Valle, (29 years) Antonio López Muñoz, (28 years) in Dasio Hernández Peña (28 years) Dr. Alberto Fibla (28 years) Pastor Macurán (28 years) Roberto Martin Perez (28 years) Roberto Perdomo (28 years) Teodoro González (28 years.) Jose L.Pujals (27 years) Miguel A. Alvarez Cardentey (27 years.) Eusebio Penalver (28 years.)
No? None of these names ring a bell? And yet their suffering took place only 90 miles from U.S. shores in a locale absolutely lousy with international press bureaus and their intrepid “investigative reporters.” From CNN to NBC, from Reuters to the AP, from ABC to NPR to CBS, Castro welcomes all of these to “embed” and “report” from his fiefdom.
This fiefdom, by the way, is responsible for the jailing and torture of the most political prisoners (many black) per-capita of any regime in the modern history of the Western hemisphere, more in fact than Stalin’s at the height of the Great Terror. But the Martian would only learn that it provides free and fabulous healthcare and is subject to a “cruel” and “archaic” embargo by a superpower.
Here are some choice Mandela-isms:
"Che Guevara is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom."
"The cause of Communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind!"
"There's one place where (Fidel Castro’s) Cuba stands out head and shoulders above the rest – that is in its love for human rights and liberty!"
Here are a few items the Martian would probably never learn regarding Nelson Mandela or the Stalinist regime he adored:
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.