At the funeral extravaganza commemorating a black “political prisoner” President Obama went out of his way to smilingly shake hands with the jailer and torturer of the most and longest suffering black political prisoners in modern history.
That’s for starters.
The dictator the U.S. president was greeting, and almost bowing before, is also holding a U.S. citizen named Alan Gross in his KGB-designed prison cells as a hostage. President Obama’s smile, handshake and curtsy to Castro came almost exactly on the 4th anniversary of Alan Gross’ jailing by Castro’s KGB-trained police.
Sec. of State Kerry insists that the handshake was part of normal diplomatic protocol and signals no major change in U.S. policy towards Cuba. He’s probably right. In fact, President Obama was being anything but hypocritical by shaking Raul Castro’s hand. He was merely confirming the U.S.--Cuba relationship nowadays.
Oh, I know, I know all you read about in the media, in your textbooks blah…blah…is about a “cruel” and “vindictive” and “archaic” embargo, even a “blockade,” by the mean Yankee bullies against the innocent and plucky Castroites who want nothing more than our friendship--and who amply deserve it. So perhaps some meticulously-documented clarifications are in order:
In executive order after executive order, President Obama abolished President Bush’s travel and remittance restrictions to Castro’s terror-sponsoring fiefdom and opened the pipeline to a point where the cash-flow from the U.S. to Cuba today is estimated at $4 billion a year. While a proud Soviet satrapy Cuba received $3-5 billion annually from the Soviets. In brief, almost every year since Obama took office more cash has been flowing from the U.S. to Cuba than used to flow there from the Soviets at the height of their Cuba-sponsorship.
In brief, there was an excellent reason for the smile on Raul Castro’s face as he shook hands with President Obama.
Oh, I know, I know you keep reading about how its “high time” we “normalize” our relations with Cuba. So here’s a few more items meticulously “overlooked” by the media:
In 1957 (when Cuba was a “U.S. economic colony” we're constantly told by the media, though U.S. investments in Cuba accounted for only 14 per cent the island’s GNP) the U.S. exported $347.5 million worth of goods to Cuba.
In 2012 (when Cuba was being “strangled by a U.S. economic blockade” we're constantly told by the media) the U.S. exported $457.3 million to Cuba. In fact for every one of the past 8 years the "Cuba-embargoing" U.S. has exported more goods to Cuba than it did in 1957.
In 1957 (when Cuba was a "playground for U.S. tourists" we're constantly told by the media) 263,000 people visited Cuba from the U.S. We all saw this in Godfather II, liberals’ top educational source on pre-Castro Cuba, right? Does that last quip come across as hyperbolic?
Well, here’s Jon Stewart (often touted as the top news source for young Americans) from July 23rd 2008: “All I know about pre-Castro Cuba I learned from The Godfather II.”
And here’s Chris Matthews from Oct. 23rd 2011: “I mean everybody who saw Godfather II knows what it was like when Castro took over.” Now back to class:
In 2012 (when Cuba was being diabolically "blockaded" by the U.S., according to the media) an estimated 500,000 people visited Cuba from the U.S. So under Obama twice as many people are visiting Cuba and dropping many more millions into Castro-regime coffers as in the 1950’s.
In 1958 with Cuba under a "U.S.-backed dictator," with the U.S. "controlling Cuba's economy,” (according to the media, though in fact, U.S. companies employed on 7 percent of Cuba’s workforce) the staff of the U.S. embassy in Cuba numbered 87, including Cuban employees.
Today with supposedly no diplomatic relations with Cuba (according to the media) the staff of the U.S. Interest Section in Havana numbers 351 including Cuban employees.
According to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. has transacted almost $4 billion in trade with Cuba over the past decade. Up until three years ago, the U.S. served as Stalinist Cuba’s biggest food supplier and fifth biggest import partner. We’ve fallen a few notches recently but we’re still in the top half.
In brief, there was an excellent reason for the smile on Raul Castro’s face as he shook hands with president Obama.
For over a decade the so-called U.S. embargo has merely stipulated that Castro’s Stalinist regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products; no Ex-Im (U.S. taxpayer) financing of such sales. Enacted by the Bush team in 2001, this cash-up-front policy has been monumentally beneficial to U.S. taxpayers, making them among the few in the world not screwed and tattooed by the Castro regime, which per capita-wise qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation, with a foreign debt estimated at $50 billion, a credit rating nudging Somalia’s and an uninterrupted record of defaults. Standard & Poors refuses even to rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures released by its Stalinist apparatchiks as utterly bogus. Just this week the Russians wrote off almost $30 billion Castro still owed them.
Regarding the disconnect seen above between historic truth and Castroite propaganda, what we have here, amigos, is not a “failure to communicate.” Instead it’s perfect communication-- between Castro’s propaganda ministry and the U.S. media to whom they issue Havana press bureaus. These latter amply live up to their side of the bargain, “reporting” exactly what Castro wants them to report.
Hence the howlers most liberals believe about Castro’s “revolution.”
Furthermore, From Kennedy to Carter to Clinton the proof piled up, and it said: playing nice with the Castro brothers only emboldens them to more terrorism abroad and repression at home. But now President Obama is playing nicest of all. And Cubans are suffering a twenty year record of repression. And why not? The Stalinist regime is fat, happy and cocky.
“If I were a U.S. citizen I'd vote for Obama for president!" squealed Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela during her visit to San Francisco last year.
Any questions why?
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.