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Mass Murder by Diplomacy

By John Tiller |

Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 10:10 AM MDT | Politics “If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn't share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn't have the resources or the bold--perhaps even somewhat reckless--instincts to pursue the task as he did. And he completely ignored the World Health Organization, showing his contempt for international institutions. Anyway, a cure for cancer is all fine and nice, but what about AIDS?” - The Politics of Churlishness by Martin Peretz – The New Republic Online – March 31, 2005

It is the Bush administration not the terrorists who has come under rapid fire from most of the mainstream press outlets and most of the rights organizations of the free world. Bush, too, draws the same type of ire in this blog, Vive le Canada. At the same time members of the left seem almost automatically exempted against having to defend the sins of their leaders. A case in point is Fidel Castro, the darling boy of Canada’s radical left wing, and Castro wannabe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. They are held up as examples of anti-Americans with a conscience, a model that Canadians might follow here. They are Canada with a backbone according to the America haters who have made the phrase “Cuban refugee” into a dirty word. The left hasn’t done that to any other people besides Americans.

Eusebio Penalver is the stuff of which movie heroes are made. Eusebio was the world’s longest-serving black political prisoner of the last century, and in the history of the world. He is a black Cuban, holed up and tortured in Castro's jails longer than Nelson Mandela languished in South Africa's. He was bloodied in his fight with Castro-style Communism but unbowed after 30 years in its dungeons. He scorned any "re-education" by his jailers. He knew it was his jailers who needed the education. He refused to wear the uniform of a common criminal. He knew who should wear this too. He stood defiant through almost 30 years of hell in Castro's prisons.

Ever heard of him? He was a hero of the revolution fighting with the Che Guevara force at the very beginning. He lives in Miami, one of America's largest and easiest to find cities. He'd be a cinch to track down. Ever see a CNN interview with him? Ever see him on "60 Minutes"? Ever read about him in the New York Times? The Boston Globe? Ever read about him in the Globe and Mail or hear him on the CBC? Ever hear anyone refer to Eusebio Penalver, the longest serving black political prisoner on the planet, when they are talking about black prisoners of conscience? Of course not. And it figures. He was Castro's political prisoner and we just consider him another crazy Cuban refugee. And, as we all know, that doesn't count in polite society.

Take Cuban Mario Chanes de Armas, who was instrumental in just about every major event of the early revolution in Cuba. He was one of the founders of the July 26 movement born of the 1953 attack on the Moncada army barracks. He was there at the landing of the Granma, in the rebel treks through the Sierra Maestra. He was a comrade of Fidel’s before Fidel jailed all of those that helped him the most. He spent 30 years in a Castro prison then became a Cuban refugee. Mario doesn’t count either.

The left doesn’t count a whole lot of Cuban people. Armando Valladares was a poet who spent 22 years in the Cuban Gulag. Poet Raúl Rivero was sentenced to twenty years. Political prisoner Luis Enrique Ferrer García, was sentenced to 28 years in jail. Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet was sentenced to 25 years for flying the Cuban flag upside down. Reporters Without Borders wrote letters of concern for journalist Fabio Prieto Llorente who was sentenced to 20 years for covering an illegal protest and journalist and economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, sentenced to 20 years in a one-day summary trial. His family says he is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and cancer that was detected in February 2004. He can barely eat.

All of the five mainstream TV networks and most major mainstream newspapers in Venezuela oppose Chávez, but a small minority of the media is said to support him. Chávez claims the opposition media is controlled by the interests which oppose him which is true to an extent. The media accuses Chavez with intimidating journalists with his street gangs and his constant threats against them. This also seems true to an extent. Venezuela is providing Cuba with 53,000 barrels (8,000 m³) of below-market-rate oil a day in exchange for the service of hundreds of physicians, teachers, and other professionals. Labour like the rest of Venezuelan society under Chavez is describe appropriately as a state of civil war. The left, as you can gather, is boisterously happy over this turn of events.

What the left hears clearly - and the only part they seemed capable of believing about Cuba - is Fidel’s remarks. His latest was about a hit-squad of assassins out to get Castro clone “Mini-Me” Chavez. This plot, too, has been mentioned often and prominently in Vive le Canada and other political blogs. Besides 65 year old Penalver and 73 year old Armas, Castro named 60 year old Ernesto Diaz, 60 year old Angel de Fana, and 75 year old Jose Pujals Mederos as co-conspirators. But whatever the age of the conspirators the left listened to their friend Fidel. And they believe whatever he says with the exuberance that goes with cult membership.

Mafqud means disappeared in Arabic. According to most organizations that try and keep records Iraq had the highest mafqud per-capita in the world under Saddam. Many Human Rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, or Human Rights Watch, or even the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, wrote convincingly on the lack of human rights in Iraq. Some Human Rights organizations sought to prosecute the Iraqi leadership for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and even genocide. No one except Bush and Blair and a hand full of their allies did this or anything else that would stop it for a single day.

In the spring of 2003 Cuba was re-elected to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, only three weeks after rounding up dozens of dissidents and sending them to the Cuban Gulag. The world had again disappeared thousands of Cubans who needed our help in the most humiliating way, just like we disappeared thousands Iraqis when they came begging for their lives, and we gave them a scandalous aid package called Oil for Food, a program that would make many of our leaders rich. Stephen Lewis the ex-NDP leader call AIDS “mass murder by complacency." What would Stephen Lewis call our cozy relationship with a brutal bunch of bullies enslaving millions of people? Mass murder by diplomacy?

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