Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus traveled to Cuba last week and were delighted with their reception. They met with Raul Castro for four hours (including dinner). Three lucky members of the delegation were even entertained by Fidel at his home. As the Miami Herald reported, the representatives found Castro, to be "very engaging, very energetic … very talkative.'' Imagine. The dictator known for his five-hour speeches. Who could have guessed?
Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., was impressed that Castro knew her name and her district. "He looked right into my eyes," she gushed, "and he said, 'How can we help you? How can we help President Obama?'"
"This is the dawning of a new day,'' exclaimed Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. "In my household I told Castro he is known as the ultimate survivor."
Funny how easy it is to survive when you don't hold elections. And when all of your opponents wind up in prison or dead. And when even those who dare to whisper a word of dissent to your absolute rule find themselves harassed, beaten, humiliated, and imprisoned. According to the Black Book of Communism, more than 100,000 Cubans have served time for political offenses in Cuba's equivalent of the Gulag Archipelago since Castro came to power in 1959. Among those particularly singled out for persecution were human rights activists, homosexuals, and religious believers.
Members of the CBC paid lip service to the notion that they opposed the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba because "it hasn't worked." But the tenor of their comments betrays other motivations. They are genuinely Castrophilic.
In finest useful idiot fashion, Rush said this of 77-year-old Raul Castro, who has served Fidel throughout the 50-year totalitarian siege of the island: "I think that what really surprised me, but also endeared me to him," he told the L.A. Times, "was his keen sense of humor, his sense of history and his basic human qualities. I intend to do everything that I can when we get back to the States to make sure that normalization with our relationship with Cuba is given proper consideration both within the House of Representatives and the neighborhoods of America."