Castro's execution of 3 raises specter of racism
*** The execution of three blacks by a Cuban government firing squad in April for attempting to hijack a boat to Miami is raising questions about racism on the communist island. It was the first time anyone, black or white, had been executed for trying to flee Cuba.
Cuban President Fidel Castro justified the executions of Jorge Luis Martinez Isaac, Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo and Barbaro Leodan Sevilla Garcia as a deterrent to another mass exodus. But some Cuba watchers, on and off the island, doubt that the three would have been put to death had they been white. ***
Castro making enemies and losing friends
[Full Text] Fidel Castro, who normally is as cunning as any fox that ever watched over a chicken coop, has managed to turn his island nation's best commercial trading partner into a hostile critic of his regime. The European Union, often little more than a Castro apologist, has decided to restrict high-level government visits and cut participation of its 15 member-states in Cuban cultural activities.
The EU is responding to Castro's recent sham trials and imprisonment of 75 Cuban dissidents and his ordered execution of three men who hijacked a ferry boat and tried to make it to freedom in the United States. This is quite a turnaround for the EU. Castro has been a master at winning the propaganda war since taking power in 1959, but his jailing of the dissidents and the executions of the hijackers shocked the civilized world. At the ripe old age of 76, Cuba's usually clever tyrant may be losing his famous touch. [End]
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