Skip to comments.My Evening With Castro (mocking of the Hollywood elite who kiss Castro's posterior)
Posted on 08/02/2006 1:37:59 PM PDT by doug from upland
May 22, 2003, 8:45 a.m. My Evening with Castro The experience of a lifetime.
By Cheryl Flake
Oliver Stone calls him "one of the earth's wisest people." Jack Nicholson has dubbed him a "genius." "An experience of a lifetime" is how Kevin Costner described his own meeting.
I recently spent an evening with the same man, Fidel Castro. I came away convinced it must be more than Cuban cigars that these Hollywood types are smoking on their visits to Havana.
Two months ago I accompanied my husband, Rep. Jeff Flake, and seven other members of Congress on a visit to the island. The program consisted of meetings with U.S. government officials, Cuban government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and Cuban dissidents. Of course, Fidel Castro is always willing to hold court with visiting dignitaries, so an evening meeting was arranged. My husband declined, as he had on a previous visit, to meet with Castro, but encouraged me to do so hoping that my presence without him might be viewed as even more of a slight.
It was the experience of a lifetime all right the longest experience of mine. For over four hours, without a break, Fidel Castro offered nothing but contradictions. He was popularly elected, he said while dressed in fatigues. Every Cuban is taught English, he insisted through his translator. The evening went on and on with little input from his guests. We were there to listen.
Is Castro a genius? The Wall Street Journal reported nearly a year ago about Castro's efforts to clone Cuba's world-record-holding milk cow, Ubre Blanca. According to Boris Luis Garcia, formerly a molecular biologist with Cuba's Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Castro wanted to shrink cows to the size of dogs. Castro's idea was to get around the scarcity of milk in the cities by providing Cuban families with miniature milk cows they could keep in their apartments. According to his plan, the miniature cows would graze on grass to be grown in drawers under fluorescent lights.
Now, our Hollywood friends might argue that Castro's cow-in-every-apartment version of the old "chicken in every pot" is simply evidence of Castro's environmental sensitivity. But my guess is that most Cubans had higher aspirations for the revolution. Most would probably have preferred a refrigerator.
Of course, what Castro lacks in good sense he more than makes up for in ruthlessness. This despite Oliver Stone's insistence that Castro is "very concerned about his country." Just days after my evening with Fidel, we learned that he had undertaken a massive roundup of nearly 80 dissidents. These peaceful, pro-democracy activists have now been sentenced to terms of up to 28 years. Three of the dissidents we had met with days before were among those given long prison terms. And just days later, three hapless hijackers of a Cuban ferryboat were summarily executed by Castro's government. The only surprise in Castro's recent behavior is that anyone has been surprised by it at all. It is a pattern that goes back 40 years.
Back on the streets, one can't help but wonder what will finally break that pattern. It takes no effort at all to find Cubans who openly oppose their government's policies and express a desire for greater freedom. But for all the courage and stamina the Cuban people display every day, it's very hard to get a sense that they're about to change their government, or even that they expect to do so in the foreseeable future.
Cubans welcome Americans enthusiastically, even though for the past 40 years, our peoples have been isolated from each other as never before in our history. Maybe they are just being neighborly, or maybe they like the idea of freedom that America represents but either way, they do not blame Americans for the effects of our trade embargo. Under that embargo, there are travel restrictions that make it very hard to get to Cuba unless you're a Hollywood type or have other contacts or credentials. Somehow I doubt that Oliver Stone or Kevin Costner spend much time walking the streets, meeting Cubans, exchanging ideas. And it's hard to see how America can influence Cuba's future if we continue to keep Americans and Cubans isolated from each other.
Maybe it's time to try something different. Castro won't break his 40-year pattern, but we can break ours by granting all Americans, not just Hollywood stars in Armani and rose-colored glasses, the right to travel to Cuba. Democracy starts with ideas. And there are no better representatives of the American idea than the American people themselves.
Cheryl Flake is married to Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz
And to think of all the many nitwits who hang on every word of these fruitcakes who play make-believe for a living.
Actors deal in fantasy.
I agree. Open the island up to AMericans. LEt the Cuban Cigars flow out. Let's talk and meet. THe island will be democratized and wealthy overnight....
There are so many Cuban Americans here, doctors, teachers, scientists, writers, good people...that will jump at the chance to go back and help rebuild their country...
Socialism is slavery by givernment.. amazing those that don't know that..
Louise Bryant wrote about her travels through the bolshevik's worker's paradise. It was all lies, but these political pilgrims thought they were helping midwife the future...the new soviet man. That it ended in murder, dicatatorship, and gulags would have made no difference to most of these rabid utopians. No matter, that's the leftist idea of progress, and being a "progressive" means being a national or an international socialist. They'll take either one. Hu, Fidel, or Hugo it's all the same to the braindead left.
Thank you Doug for the post and your excellent response.
Mrs. Flake has written a very amusing article about a very sick a vicious man. Right now let us hope he is very sick in the medical sense of the word. I hope one day Cuba will be free, but as much of Latin America seems to be sliding once again towards Communism, it may not be as soon as we'd like to think.
Wanna bet that at least 4 out of the 5 hollyood lefties in the pictures go to his funeral?
Nicholson likes Castro because he gives him free Cubans to smoke...
Great collection of sub-mental midgets. They have all the intellect of a constipated flea. To hell with Hollywood!
I didn't say to live, but I wouldn't be surprised. Why not? It's a beautiful island. I'm saying that if the country is free, you will have private entrepreneurs there..restoring the island to its brilliance.
Eisnhauer screwed up. We should have stayed close to our friends there and even closer to our enemies...No reason for that island to remain communist this long...
Yeah but all you'd get would be condensed milk HAW HAW HAW
I guess this isn't much of a surprise, except in that the thinking is starting to gel and people are starting to form a strategy with this goal in mind.
Yeah sure! If they want to end up in what they fled when they left. That can only occur when Cuba has returned to a free and open society. Don't forget that Castro and his elk have been active in the past few weeks fomenting hate and discontent in Venezuela and other South American countries.
"Can't we ALL just get along?"