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Congressional Black Caucus Still Stuck on Castro

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who also serves as chairperson for the Congressional Black Caucus, has composed an entreaty to President Obama for an end to the “embargo” on Cuba.  “Mr. President: Lift the travel ban,” reads the title of her post on The Hill’s Congress Blog

  “[W]e need to…eliminate the trade embargo (on Cuba) that has failed for so long,” she scolds. (With this lifting) the path to their (Cubans) future - a democratic and prosperous one - will become clearer than ever,” asserts Rep. Lee.

For some Cuba-watchers, a couple of questions pop immediately to mind: 

 Question 1. What embargo, Rep. Lee?  According to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce the U.S. transacted $710 million worth of business with Cuba in 2008, and has transacted more than $2 BILLION worth of business with Cuba in the last decade. Currently the U.S. ranks as Cuba's biggest food supplier and 5th biggest import partner. Furthermore, the U.S. has been Cuba's biggest donor of humanitarian aid including medicine and medical supplies for decades. All this together with the almost $2 billion a year in remittances sent from the U.S. ranks our nation right between Red China and Hugo’s Venezuela as a Castro business partner.

Question 2. What “Travel-Ban,” Rep. Lee?  Last year Cuba received 200,000 visitors from the U.S.--.legally. Global Travel Industry News, reports that another 200,000 Americans visited Castro’s fiefdom illegally.

Given that Castro can buy all the agricultural products his little heart desires from the U.S. by the simple expedient of paying cash up front. And given that his Stalinist regime ranks among the world’s worst credit risks and has stiffed practically every creditor stupid enough indulge him (as explained in greater detail by Townhall here.) And given that the National Taxpayers Union rates Congressional Black Caucus members as the most “generous” in terms of  bestowing favors on their pet projects with the tax proceeds squeezed from  working Americans—given all this, might  the CBC have motivations regarding Fidel Castro’s regime  that are not fully spelled out in Chairperson Rep. Barbara Lee’s letter? 

Enquiring minds (belonging to U.S. taxpayers) want to know. 

A trip by six Congressional Black Caucus’ members to Cuba last year might provide a clue. All six met with “President” Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself. "He looked directly into my eyes!" gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.) "and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed."

"It was quite a moment to behold!" hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee about meeting the Stalinist/Segregationist. "Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic."

"He's one of the most amazing human beings I've ever met!" gushed Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo)

"Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man," according to Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) "someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend," (a Freudian slip, perhaps? Bobby Rush, after all, was a card-carrying Black Panther who did prison time)

The anti-“embargo” mantra from Congressional Black Caucus,  U.S. Rice Growers Assoc. and Castro lobbyists (but I repeat myself) stresses that a flood of rich Western tourists will magically smother Cuban Stalinism, whereupon the island nation will quickly mutate into a bigger (and more historic and picturesque) Cozumel. This reasoning seems to go something like this: Rewarding and enriching the KGB-trained and heavily armed guardians of Cuba’s Stalinist status-quo will magically convert them into instant opponents of that Stalinist status quo.

As two decades of such tourism have amply proven, any trickle of foreign currency that reaches the Stalinist regime’s subjects (primarily from prostitution) is offset a thousand-fold by the millions ($2.4 billion last year, for instance) crammed into the regime’s military and secret-police coffers.  

Today the prison population in Stalinist/Apartheid Cuba is 90 percent black while only 9 percent of the ruling Stalinist party is black. As members of the Congressional Black Caucus cavorted in Cuba last year, a Black Cuban anti-communist named Antunez, who suffered 17 years in Castro's dungeons, was on a hunger strike against Castroism.  A black Cuban doctor, who President Bush honored (in absentia) with the U.S. Congressional Medal of Freedom last year, was also suffering a sentence of 25 years in Castro's torture chambers, Dr Elias Biscet. 

These Black Cubans’ “crimes?” Essentially, quoting the works of Martin Luther King and the UN Declaration of Human Rights in a public square.

Earlier this year Townhall reported  how the black human rights activist Orlando Zapata died of torture and a hunger-strike in a Cuban prison. Just last week Castro set his  KGB- trained goon squads on the martyr’s mother,  barring her with clubs and taunts of  “N**GER! --Dirty N**GER!”   from attending mass or visiting her son’s grave.

Now let’s hear from the proposed beneficiaries of  Rep. Lee’s scheme (Castro’s long-suffering subjects.)

“Living in one of Castro’s jails is a living hell,” said a recently-released political prisoner named Ariel Ziegler who was thrown in Castro’s dungeons a 210-pound amateur boxer, and emerged  a 100-pound paraplegic.  “The horrors befit something less than a human being. We nicknamed the food “patipanza,” (Cuban slang for feet and belly) because it’s mostly those portions of hogs and mostly half putrid. We also got little chunks the eyes and snouts of the creatures, complete with hairs.”

Those very Cubans for whom Rep. Lee claims to speak, see a democratic and prosperous future for themselves foiled by the schemes of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

“Opening the floodgates to American tourism will only serve to provide the Castro regime with much needed funds that would help them continue their repression and subjugation of the Cuban people” , stressed Antunez  just last week during a call with Babalu blog.

A letter signed by almost 500 Cuba-based dissidents last month and addressed to the U.S. Congress echoes the prisoners’ plea and implores the U.S. legislature to thwart the Congressional Black Caucus and thus refrain from further enriching and emboldening the Stalinist torturers who run Cuba.

But what do these people know?

From her Capitol Hill throne Queen Barbara Lee seems to know much better. “Let them eat Patipanza,” sounds like her remedy.

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