Sales trip to Cuba ill-advised

By Humberto Fontova

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Re: "Blanco plans trip to Cuba to find buyers for LA. goods," Page A-2, Jan. 13, 2005

Regarding Gov. Kathleen Blanco's upcoming sales call on Fidel Castro, here are a few things for our trade delegation to keep in mind:

First off, in 1960 Fidel Castro stole $1.8 billion in U.S. property. These 5,911 businessess and properties represent the biggest heist of U.S property in history. Castro crowed about it gleefully, boasting he'd never repay it -- and hasn't, not a penny.

Also, in 1993, Mobile, Ala., set up a sister-city deal with Havana to accentuate its growing trade with the Communist mass-murderer, Castro. Much cooing and gurgling ensued by Mobile's best and brightest. The wonders and glories of "free trade" and "engagement" were hymned over oceans of cocktails and mountains of hors d'oeuvres (all-taxpayer-provided).

Came the 10-year celebratory bash last year in Mobile, and the charming Castroite official responsible for the glittering business realtionship was unavailable to attend.

Oscar Redondo is his name, and he'd been fingered by the FBI and booted out of the United States for espionage.

A Castro defector, Juan Vives, also informs us in his book that a priority for Cuba's intelligence agency is to capture, with mikes and cameras planted in hotel rooms, the nighttime cavortings of all of Cuba's visiting friends.

So, Louisiana trade delegation, as you cavort in Havana with us Louisiana taxpayers footing the tab, be sure to smile and wave at those chandeliers and sprinklers in your hotel rooms.

Humberto Fontova

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