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Castro’s All-Stars
by Gary Schneider, TheRealityCheck.org
11 May 2003

The time has come for Castro’s All-Stars -- including Jack Nicholson, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover -- to realize their irrational and blind support for the failed Cuban tyranny is both futile and immoral.

Over a month ago Fidel Castro began a crackdown on Cuban dissidents that Amnesty International called “the biggest in a decade.”  And given Castro’s record over the last decade that is quite a statement.  Since March 18, 75 dissidents have been detained, tried, and imprisoned, and three have been summarily put to death in what was truly an efficient exacting of Cuban Socialist style justice.  The trials lasted one day and resulted in sentences of up to twenty-eight years in what appears to be an aggressive -- and successful -- attempt to squash dissent while the world was focused on another part of the globe.  (Perhaps this is the “genius” Jack Nicholson was referring to when he recently described the dictator.)  It is with this recent history as a backdrop that members of the absurd left gathered, once again, to defend tyranny.

During May Day, celebrations in Havana, a two paragraph declaration expressing support for the tyrant, ludicrously entitled “To the Conscience of the World”, was issued in the midst of star-powered fanfare.  Attendance at the unveiling of this absurd little dictum included over 160 artists and “intellectuals” hell bent on propping up Socialism’s last remaining poster child -- a star born back in 1959 as Castro’s communist revolution propelled him to the seat of power in Cuba.  Since that time, tyranny has reigned, poverty has prospered and the Left has defended his every move while, of course, blaming America for its problems.

In the starting line-up for this spectacle were heavy hitters Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, a few Nobel Prize winners (Jimmy Carter was there in spirit only), writers and various other wannabees.  Recall it was Harry Belafonte who criticized Secretary of State Colin Powell by calling him a “house slave” and accused National Security Advisor Condaleeza Rice of roughly the same thing.   Danny Glover’s recent credits include labeling President Bush a racist and regularly denouncing the United States as an imperialist, oppressor nation during the Iraq war.  It is worthy of note, given their outspoken contentions, that the three men recently executed in Cuba were black.  Surely, their undiscerning allegiance to the bygone faith of Socialism has blinded them.  This must be true, particularly given the context of the 44-year history of oppression that these fatuous dolts and their minions are, in reality, attempting to propagate.

Human Rights Watch reports that, since its inception, the communist government of Cuba has maintained a policy of systematic harassment and persecution of dissidents which includes regular intimidation, imprisonment and torture for crimes such as “dangerousness”, “enemy propaganda”, “disrespect” and the spreading of “unauthorized news.”  Cuba is considered wholly unique in this hemisphere for its human rights abuses.  Their despotic actions are legitimized through the institutional criminalization of free speech, with these aforementioned offenses residing both in their Constitution and Penal Code.  The Cuban Constitution also states that “in no case” can the media be in the hands of private owners and that freedom of the press should conform to “the goals of Socialist society.” This explains why, in 1997, CNN was given the honor of being the first U.S. based news organization with a full-time news bureau there … and they have indeed remained true to these dictates of the Cuban Constitution.  Cuban state policy also sanctions regular executions, property confiscations, employment blacklisting and denial of access to human rights monitors.

According to Amnesty International, the result of this political tyranny, complicit media coverage and international ambivalence, is the existence of “hundreds of political prisoners in its vast network of over 250 prisons.” 

But there’s more: new members have recently joined the team.  On April 29th, shortly after the political executions were complete, the U.N. effectively endorsed Castro’s latest rash of tyranny.  In a profound act of moral dysfunction, and a further blow to the gut of the collective “conscience of the world,” the U.N. Human Rights Commission re-elected Cuba to its membership.  As reported in The Daily Sentinel on May 1st, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, in a session that ended this month, “blocked discussion of alleged human-rights violations in Zimbabwe, halted scrutiny of Sudan and refused to condemn Russia’s record of abuses in Chechnya,” while, of course, condemning Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.  They did agree, though, to investigate claims of Cuban human-rights abuses but quickly backed down upon Cuba’s objection.  This is particularly confounding when you consider their charter to encourage “respect for human rights and for freedoms for all.” 

Castro’s contemptible and well-documented history of human rights violations in the name of the revolution should no longer be tolerated, appeased or, as his enablers would have it, actively supported.  The time has come for both the old and new teammates of Castro’s All-Stars to realize that, in the name of human decency, their irrational and blind buttressing of the failed systems of Socialism and Communism is futile.  In fact, it is immoral. 
So I’ll call it.  “Game Over – you lose.”

Gary Schneider is the President and founder of TheRealityCheck.Org.  He received his degree in Government and Russian Studies at Norwich University’s Military College of Vermont, the nation's oldest private military academy. His articles have also appeared in TheRightWing.com and CommonConservative.com.

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