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OPINION

Putin Erects Statue in Moscow to Honor Fidel Castro

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

“On Tuesday, (Nov. 22)  Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel unveiled a monument in honor of Fidel Castro, the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution,” reported Cuba’s KGB-founded media.  "Fidel Castro dedicated his whole life to an unconditional struggle for the triumph of the ideas of good, peace, and justice," Putin said, adding that the Cuban revolutionary "is rightly considered one of the 20th century's most brilliant and charismatic leaders. He is a truly legendary person."

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We’re not accustomed to seeing Mr Macho-Cool Vladimir Putin made an international jackass. But many Cuba-watchers snickered as the hapless Russian President was repeatedly swindled by the Castro brothers he so eloquently hailed last month. 

On July 11, 2014, for instance, Putin visited Cuba and “wrote off” the Castro-Crime-Syndicate’s (pronounced as “Cuba” by the media) $32 billion debt to the Soviet Union. 

“That old thing? I never liked it anyway,” Cuba-watchers easily imagine Putin hissing through gritted teeth. "We will provide support to our Cuban friends to overcome the illegal (U.S.) blockade of Cuba," is what Putin actually hissed for the record. Seems that KGB Colonel Putin is greatly perturbed by international “illegalities.”

Fast forward to 2022 and we get this: “Russia has agreed to postpone some debt payments owed to it by communist-run Cuba until 2027, just days after the two countries announced they would deepen ties amid the spiraling Ukraine crisis,” reported Reuters on Feb. 22, 2022. “The loans, worth $2.3 billion and provided to Cuba by Russia between 2006 and 2019, helped underwrite investments in power generation, metals and transportation infrastructure.” 

“Russia Calls On U.S. To Immediately Lift Cuba Blockade,” squealed Putin’s eunuch media in response to President Trump’s shocking enforcement of the Cuba embargo back in march 2022.  (He was the first U.S. president to actually apply its teeth.)  

“By tightening the grip of sanctions and reinforcing the trade, economic, financial and energy blockade of Cuba,” screamed Putin’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin to the UN General Assembly at the time. “Washington seeks to prevent Cuban citizens from exercising their right to a dignified life! Essentially, Washington (under Trump) has embraced the policy of slowly seeking to introduce a genocide, (italics mine) targeting the Cuban people!” 

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Seems that KGB Colonel Putin is greatly perturbed by the denial to some of his fellow citizens of the world of a “dignified life,” to say nothing of “genocide.” 

Vladimir Putin rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in an organization that tortured and murdered at roughly TWICE the rate of the Nazi SS. So his offense at the “illegal” U.S. embargo of a KGB-founded, terror-sponsoring regime should provoke only chortling and snorting. Instead it probably caused a fit of the vapors at the State Department and in faculty lounges nationwide. 

Not that Putin left Cuba completely empty-handed. Instead the Russians reclaimed the Evil Empire’s largest foreign spying base, located in Lourdes just south of Havana. The Soviets built this complex -- capable of electronic spying on everything from the U.S. Military’s Central and Southern command to NASA facilities -- in 1967 and manned it until 2001. That year financial problems and pressure from the U.S. forced the Russians to close and abandon it. Interestingly it was (then) Russian President Vladimir Putin who felt compelled to lock it up and scurry out. 

This re-colonization by the Russians of a spy base on our very borders is obviously important, but surely a true Russian Richelieu could have reclaimed the base for less than $32 billion, especially with an Obama in the White House at the time. 

Putin’s occasional visits to the colonial outpost his “old” outfit (the KGB) helped convert from a vibrant capitalist nation swamped with European immigrants into a vast sewer, slum and prison that repels even impoverished Haitians disgusted most Cuban dissidents. The loathing of most Cubans (including many communists) for Che Guevara owed much to Guevara's groupie-like devotion to the Soviets who infested Cuba and roundly repelled almost all Cubans. 

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Putin’s repeated fleecing by the Castro brothers provides more proof (if we actually needed any) that rarely in modern history has any item of U.S. foreign policy triumphed as patently (or hilariously) as the so-called U.S. embargo of Castro’s Stalinist kleptocracy. Here’s a glittering gem amidst the rubble of so much recent U.S. foreign policy. 

After all, who can blame Putin for desiring that the U.S. taxpayer be the saps who prop up his kleptocratic, terror-sponsoring client-state on our doorstep? Of course that client state’s swarm of agents of influence (on the payroll and off) among the U.S. media, Democrats and libertarians phrase the matter a bit differently. They’re always moaning and whining about the “cruel, ineffective and anachronistic U.S. embargo of Cuba.”

On the other hand, people who actually bother to study this issue (and who want what’s best for the U.S.)  have long recognized these economic sanctions against Cuba as among the crown jewels of post-war U.S. foreign policy. President Trump certainly did. So he tightened and enforced them—to the sputtering rage of those forced to get fleeced in lieu of the American taxpayer. Take Putin’s Russia for instance (please!)

Contrary to liberal fairy tales, the Cuba “embargo” was NOT put into place simply because “Mean and Rich ‘Ole Scrooge/Uncle Sam” had a hissy fit after Castro threw out the mob and granted his everlastingly grateful subjects free and fabulous healthcare as they sang and danced the days away, in a manner to shame the merriment witnessed by Dorothy in The Emerald City.

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You’d never guess this from the Cuba “reporting” by the Fake News Media but the reason for the Cuba embargo in the first place was Castro’s mass theft, at Soviet gunpoint, of almost 6,000 businesses in Cuba worth $9 billion (in current dollars) from U.S. citizens. A few American business owners who resisted were tortured and murdered.

The Inter-American Law Review classifies Castro’s mass burglary of U.S. property as “the largest uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history.” Rubbing his hands and snickering in triumphant glee, Castro boasted at maximum volume to the entire world that he was freeing Cuba from “Yankee economic slavery!” (Che Guevara’s term, actually) and that “he would never repay a penny” (this was the only promise Fidel Castro kept in his life!).

It can’t be repeated often enough: The Castro-Crime-Family has gleefully fleeced taxpayers from the European Union to Canada, from Mexico to South Africa — as mentioned, the taxpayers of virtually every nation whose government granted trade credits to these kleptocrats — in brief, to the taxpayers of virtually every nation whose government refrains from “embargoing” the Castro-Crime-Family.

We’ve been spared such fleecing because on Oct. 1960 — right after Castro’s gunmen stole billions from U.S. businessmen and tortured and murdered a few who resisted — President Eisenhower imposed the first economic sanctions against the thieving, mass-murdering Stalinists who mostly (still) run Cuba. These sanctions grew into one of the crown jewels of recent U.S. foreign policy. 

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