Skip to comments.Castro calls U.S. report on sex trade `despicable'
Posted on 06/14/2003 1:02:03 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
HAVANA (AFP) President Fidel Castro late Thursday denounced a U.S. report accusing Cuba of failing to adequately fight sex trafficking, saying that Secretary of State Colin Powell should hang his head in shame.
''It's really despicable, rude, cynical and repugnant,'' Castro said of a State Department report issued Wednesday that blacklisted Cuba and 14 other countries for not making ''significant efforts'' to combat the trafficking of human beings, particularly of women and children.
While Powell did not draw up the report, Castro said during a three-hour speech closing an international meeting on culture and development held here, he did present it to the world.
''Mr. Powell should ponder a bit on this; it should make him feel a little ashamed,'' Castro said, adding that he hoped the secretary of state would ``show a modicum of decency and correct himself.''
In its reference to Cuba, the report said its government turns a blind eye to the exploitation of minors to gain much needed foreign currency.
Besides Cuba, the State Department's third annual ''Trafficking in Persons'' report cites Belize, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Greece, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Suriname, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
The report has been criticized by the Women's Rights Division of the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch for lacking hard figures on the number of people being trafficked
Havana recently topped Bangkok as "child-sex capital of the world." Consider the human tragedy, the desperation of poor people driven to such things in such numbers, and after 43 years of "liberation" and "national dignity."
18,000 riddled by firing squads. Half a million incarcerated. 50,000 drowned or ripped apart by sharks in the Florida Straits. Thousands more slaughtered in Africa for Moscow. Two million exiled. And we wind up with a nation that in 1959 had a higher living standard than Belgium or Italy, had a lower infant mortality rate than France, had net immigration, as child prostitution capital of the world.
Friends, are you beginning to understand why we get a trifle "emotional" or "unreasonable" when we hear some imbecile professor or boneheaded politician yapping about "the good things" Castro has done for Cuba?***
Director Stone shows human side of Cuba's Castro " even our prostitutes are university educated"*** "I say it is one of the achievements of the revolution that even our prostitutes are university educated," Castro says. Stone's next project will be about Alexander the Great starring Colin Farrell. But he is set to court controversy again with another project, "Persona Non Grata," a film about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, set to air in June in America.
After Castro, Stone said he could imagine interviewing another U.S. enemy, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "I would try to get on with him in the same way ... Who knows who he is. The American media makes him into a monster."***
Jeff Jacoby: A Walk in Havana*** Talk to Cuban officials, and they will rhapsodize about Cuba's ''socialist equality,'' in which everyone is treated alike and there are no egregious disparities in wealth. But move around Havana with your eyes open and you see the reality. For Communist Party big shots there are beautiful neighborhoods like Miramar, with its elegant mansions and gorgeous gardens. For ordinary Cubans there are the crowded, crumbling apartments of Centro Habana, where families live in squalor it would be hard to find in an American slum.
Billboards all over Havana extol ''socialismo'' and ''revolucion'' and ''dignidad,'' but the truth is that 43 years after Castro's socialist revolution, Cuba's dignity is in tatters. Educated Cuban women, desperate for dollars - or to meet a foreign Prince Charming - become prostitutes. Educated Cuban men on bicycles haul tourists around in rickshaws. Havana swarms with well-heeled foreigners, but to me, it was a city full of sadness and frustration.***
I love the smell of burnt Fidel in the morning...
This guy needs to be a crispy critter!