Louisiana Governor Swoons over Castro

By Humberto Fontova

It gets old. It really, REALLY gets old. I refer to all the moralizing and humbug by U.S. political and business hucksters when they visit Cuba. Take Louisiana's own Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanco, on her visit to Castroland last week. If the woman had simply told us: "Look Cuban-Americans, there ain't enough of you voting in Louisiana to make any difference to me. Worse, all you Cubans are Republicans and didn't vote for me or contribute to my campaign anyway. I owe you people nothing." How refreshing it might have been!

But no. She insists on warbling about the "strictly business" aspects of the visit and how this "builds bridges with the Cuban people," and how this "positions Louisiana for dealing with Cuba after the transition" etc. etc. The best came when she rationalized her luncheon with the mass-murderer himself. She did it, said her spokesperson, "out of respect for the Cuban President"

Mrs Blanco, I realize you're very busy with state business but in case you hadn't heard: there have been no "Presidential" elections in Cuba for the past 46 years, mam. And, by the way, how did "President" Castro earn this respect from the governor of a state in the U.S.? Was it by:

*Begging, pleading and finally trying to cajole Nikita Kruschev into incinerating several southern cities, including New Orleans and probably Baton Rouge, with a pre-emptive Nuclear attack in October 1962?

* By incarcerating more people as a percentage of population than Hitler or Stalin?

* By murdering 17,000 Cubans and (several dozen U.S. citizens) with firing squads and dumping their bullet-riddled bodies in mass graves?

* By impoverishing and brutalizing a country to where 20 per cent of its population risked their lives to flee? (please note. prior to Castro's glorious reign, Cuba took in more immigrants per capita than any country in the Western Hemisphere. More Americans lived in Cuba than Cubans in the U.S.)

*By having his agents plant 500 kilos of TNT in Grand Central Station, Macy's, Bloomingdales's. Gimbel's and planning to incinerate and entomb tens of thousands of your fellow citizens on Nov. 27th 1962 (Macy's parade day?)

* By sending his agents to torture to death American POWs in North Viet-nam's Cu Loc POW camp outside Hanoi in 1967?

* By describing Governor Blanco's nation as "a vulture preying on humanity!" and "the enemy of all the peoples of Latin America!" and shouting just three years ago while in Teheran. "Together Iran and Cuba can bring America to her knees!" ?

So PLEASE stop insulting our intelligence, Mrs Blanco. And regarding that "business positioning" for your constituents: what you've actually done is shoot Louisiana in the foot--and with a .44 Magnum.

As usual, to read the mainstream media, Governor Blanco and her trade delegation come across as "enlightened" and "forward-looking" and simply "facing facts." Her opponents, as usual, come across as that "crackpot" Cuban-American bunch again, those ignorant "hot-heads," oblivious to facts, hopelessly mired in their archaic bitterness and hellbent on throwing monkey wrenches into even the most reasonable approaches to Cuba.

Fine. But if you'll indulge this" ignorant crackpot" for a second, I'll present a few facts. Indeed I'll present evidence as revealed by recent historical examples. When the Iron Curtain fell people like Vaclav Haval and Lech Waleza (these were dissidents in Czechoslovakia and Poland, Mrs Blanco....those are nations in Eastern Europe, Mrs Blanco) had a say in the post-communist governments. Came time to transact major business with the West and whaddaya know! For some odd reason, these brave men, just getting out of jail, were not favorably inclined towards the companies that had done business with their jailers, who they saw as accomplices in their oppression..... Comprende, Mrs Blanco?

Then there's the minor matter of getting paid by Castro, who has stiffed every creditor from the Soviet Union to the European Union, to Japan to China, to South Africa to the Philippines, hence his eagerness for U.S. business nowadays. We're the only ones left.

As you may have noticed, President Bush is not overly fond of totalitarian dictators. There's reason to believe he might start enforcing the law regarding Cuba. You see, Castro owes U.S. citizens BILLIONS of dollars: $9 billion (in current dollars) from the businesses and properties he STOLE in 1960. He owes millions more from judgements on wrongful death suits filed by U.S. citizens whose fathers, husbands, etc. were tortured by your charming luncheon host's goons and murdered by his firing squads. By the way, I'm certain these families, one named Anderson another Fuller (note, most aren't crackpot Cuban exiles) thrilled over your "respect" for Castro's wishes in joining him for a jovial lunch.

By a strict enforcement of current law, these robbed businessmen and grieving families could well find themselves first in line for any Castro/Cuban funds sent to the U.S. (By which I mean those sent to your constituents' bank accounts) Perhaps your "enlightened" and "forward-looking" advisors neglected to mention this? So please accept it from a Cuban-exile "crackpot."

Mark my words, Governor Blanco; should you and your business chums visit Cuba after it's liberation you will be calling on people who spent much time in jail, house arrest or exile. "Ah yes of course! Ms Blanco!" they'll greet you with rigid smiles, looking much like those Oscar nominees when they lose and the camera zeroes in on them. "So nice to finally meet the nice lady we saw toasting the tyrant who sent my dad (and/or brother, son, cousin, uncle) to the firing squad! So nice to see the nice lady we saw smiling and lunching and lavishing business on my mother and aunt's jailer and torturer!..Now if you'll just have a seat in the reception area perhaps we'll find time to see you--perhaps around the time hell freezes over!"

By then the charming and invaluable "business" contacts made in Cuba by Louisiana's trade delegation will find their influence greatly diminished, their staffs reduced and their offices much, much smaller. Chances are, when Louisiana's trade delegation returns to Cuba to crank up the business relationship after the "transition," their Cuban contacts will find themselves in different, and somewhat awkward, positions.

If you've seen pictures of Benito Mussolini on April 28th 1945 and Nicolae Ceausescu on December 25th 1989, you'll understand the positions I have in mind.

Humberto Fontova is the author of Fidel; Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, , a Conservative Book Club "Book Of The Month" for April. Humberto will be on The O'Reilly Factor March 22nd discussing his book with Bill. Don't miss it.

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