The Left's infatuation with Communist dictatorships dies hard. Why else would intellectuals and Hollywood's finest still be supporting Cuba's brutal tyrant, Fidel Castro?
About a month ago, the aging Communist clamped down on Cuba's opposition movement. Castro's government prosecuted and convicted three men in "summary" trials for hijacking a ferry to escape to freedom in the United States. The regime's state-run television reported that the men were given several days to appeal their sentences. Due process, Cuban-style.
Within three days of the convictions both Cuba's Supreme Tribunal and the ruling Council of State rubber-stamped the ruling and the government executed the men by firing squad.
Around the same time the government prosecuted and convicted -- again, in summary, one-day trials -- 75 dissidents for allegedly collaborating with U.S. diplomats to undermine the communist government. The activists, artists and economists were sentenced to up to 27 years in prison.
What specifically did these "counterrevolutionaries" do? About half of them organized a petition drive, called the Varela Project, aimed at peacefully reforming Cuba's one-party government.
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque defended the sentences. "We have been patient, we have been tolerant. But we have been obligated to apply our laws." Speaking of tolerance, one of the offenses for which the journalists were punished was having such books as Who Moved My Cheese?
To their credit, some European leftists finally criticized Castro's oppression. But others abroad and in the United States merely reaffirmed their long-standing, fawning allegiance to El Commandante. Likewise, the United Nations Human Rights Commission voted against condemning Castro's oppression and even rewarded him by re-electing Cuba to another three-year term on the Commission. Cuba triumphantly proclaimed its re-election as "undoubtedly a recognition of the Cuban Revolution's work in human rights in favor of all our people."
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer expressed the administration's contempt for the decision, saying, "Cuba does not deserve a seat on the Human Rights Commission. Cuba deserves to be investigated by the Human Rights Commission."
Many "intellectuals" and a number of Hollywood actors saw it differently. A group of more than 160, including singer Harry Belafonte and actor Danny Glover issued a declaration critical of the United States and supportive of the Castro regime entitled, "to the Conscience of the World."
"A single power is inflicting grave damage to the norms of understanding, debate and mediation among countries," said the declaration. "At this very moment, a strong campaign of destabilization against a Latin American nation has been unleashed. The harassment against Cuba could serve as a pretext for an invasion."
So it's America's fault for opposing this murderous regime's continued farcical participation on the Human Rights Commission because it is an egregious violator of the very rights the Commission is charged with overseeing? Just like we provoked bin Laden's 9-11 attacks? Well, at least these morality-deficient kooks are consistent. They harbor the same mentality that gave rise to:
- Director Oliver Stone's obsequious documentary on Castro, "Comandante." Yes, HBO pulled it, but why did they undertake the project in the first place? Castro's brutality is nothing new. Stone said of Castro, "We should look to him as one of the Earth's wisest people, one of the people we should consult." I agree, should we ever decide to implement torture techniques against convicted terrorists.
- Director Steven Spielberg gushing over his November powwow with Castro as "the eight most important hours of my life."
- Actor Kevin Costner describing his meeting with Castro as "the experience of a lifetime" and Jack Nicholson calling him "a genius."
- The hard Left's glamorization of the Soviet Union.
- The hard Left's support of the Nicaraguan Communist Sandinistas over the Contra freedom fighters.
- The hard Left's adulation of former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to the point of crediting him -- though he desperately tried to hold on to Communism until the final hour -- instead of Ronald Reagan with the disintegration of the Soviet regime.
What do you suppose could motivate these curious people to glorify such a man as Castro and such a universally failed, inhumane and corrupt system as Communism? Why do they repudiate the United States for denouncing such evil? It has to be either an irrepressible love for Communism that rejects all rationality, that defies all evidence, that still fantasizes longingly for the dictatorship of the proletariat, or, an unquenchable revulsion for the United States -- or both. It's your call.