Summit Touts Castro as Business Partner

Por Humberto Fontova

"Fool me once," they say, "and shame on YOU." "But fool me TWICE" and...well, you know how the saying goes

In 1960 Castro stole almost $2 billion from U.S. businessmen and stockholders. 5911 businesses were stolen-- lock, stock and barrel--from their hard-working, capital-risking, rightful owners at gunpoint. This was (and remains) the biggest such heist in history. In two weeks, and using a few bands of machine-gun toting goons, Castro swiped more from American businessmen than all the "nationalizations" (lootings) by all nationalist ( looter) regimes on earth have swiped from us combined. (Fidel; Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, p. 139)

Then Castro crowed about it gleefully into a phalanx of microphones and shrieked that he'd never repay a penny. And he hasn't. A few who resisted the plunder such as U.S. citizens Howard Anderson, who had his jeep dealership stolen, and Robert Fuller, who's family farm was stolen, were bound, gagged, shoved in front of firing squads and murdered.

That, by itself, makes the "National Summit On Cuba" being held in Mobile Alabama's Spring Hill College this week a sorry joke. This Jesuit College is hosting a two day hoe-down put on by the leftist World Policy Institute to showcase the marvels of Cuba as an investment and trading partner and to whoop it up for ending the "embargo" against Castroland--though, characteristically, this Institute prefers to parrot Castro's own term of "blockade."

The City of Mobile is also an official host and sponsor of this Summit. And why not? Mobile and Havana are officially "Sister Cities!" The touching ceremony celebrating the many business and cultural exchanges between the loving sisters was held during president Clinton's cozying up to Cuba ploy in 1993. The festive occasion included much toasting and smiling and gurgling and slapping of backs between Mobile's representative, Robert Schaefer, and Cuba's representative, Oscar Redondo.

Came time for the ten year celebratory bash in 2003 and Mr Redondo was unable to attend. Weeks before he'd been fingered by the FBI as a Castro espionage agent and booted out of the country. Redondo was a courier for Ana Belen Montes, the Defense Department's former "Cuba Expert" who is currently serving a 25 year prison term after being convicted as a Castro spy. "Montes passed some of our most sensitive information about Cuba back to Havana" said then Undersecretary for International Security, John Bolton.

"If Oscar was a spook,"said a stuttering Robert Schaefer at the shocking news, "he certainly neglected to tell me about it!"

Of course, Mr Schaefer. Spies are famous for blurting out: "I am a spy for an enemy totalitarian nation!" Friends, can you imagine such a line as Mr Schaefer's from Austin Powers himself? From Inspector Clousseau? Yet I quote the learned Dr Schaefer precisely from an Oct 13 issue of the Mobile Press Register. Unsurprisingly, Mr Schaefer is a College professor, with a gen-you-wine PHD in Political Science. Unsurprisingly again, the shrewd and impartial Dr. Robert Schaefer is a an official moderator at this Summit.

In 1998 the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a comprehensive report that concluded: "Cuba is no threat to the U.S. or to any of it's neighbors." The Clinton regime, and all the Clintonista Generals of the time, whooped with joy at the report. See! See! They beamed as they passed the report around . That's why we're hellbent on cozying up to Castro!

Current jailbird, Ana Belen Montes, had authored the report.

Unsurprisingly, one of those shrewd and impartial Clintonista Generals that signed off on that report, Gen. Edward Atkenson, is also a headline act at this week's Summit.

Why not call this Summit: "The Saps with Egg on Face Cuba Summit?"

Never left out of these Castro lovefests--of these "lift the economic sanctions" orgies-- is the World Council of Churches. This one features its former head, the Rev. Dr. Joan Campbell Brown herself. But wait! A document from this same World Council of Churches--and I quote exactly here-- states: "Economic sanctions should be used to enforce compliance with international law and humanitarian principles. We call on the international community to apply immediate and comprehensive sanctions. We promote divestment and an end to all investments."

Whoops! I forgot that only applied to South Africa.

Jimmy Carter himself sent a letter to the last National Summit on Cuba in 2002, proclaiming that, "the embargo against Cuba is the stupidest law ever passed in the U.S." But wait! Jimmy Carter, while President, imposed more economic sanctions against more nations than any American president in modern history.

Whoops! I forgot! These were against, Rhodesia, South Africa, Uruguay Paraguay, Chile, (the Shah's) Iran and (Somoza's) Nicaragua. Carter was extremely selective in imposing his sanctions. He was careful to impose them only against U.S. allies. Regarding a regime that stole $2 billion from the U.S. citizens, that murdered countless U.S. citizens, that imprisoned more of it's subjects than Hitler or Stalin, that tried to cajole Kruschev into nuking the U.S., that acts as a training center, resort and refuge for terrorists --regarding this regime, well.... we need to lift any sanctions and promptly embrace them.

Another star speaker at this Conference is Castro's very own trade minister Pedro Alvarez. He'll recite his script via Teleconference. Sadly, this will make any questions and answer session a bit awkward. "Senor Alvarez," an attendee might start, "The Paris Club of European creditors report that you owe them $3.8 billion. They say this debt dates back to the mid 80's and is seriously in arrears. They even say that since June of 2001 you've stopped returning their calls? Also, Senor Alvarez, Mexico's Bancomex say they recently closed their offices in Havana and froze Cuban assets in three different countries in an attempt to recoup their staggering losses from financing trade with Cuba? Even South Africa, we hear, was forced to shut off their trade with Cuba. Senor Alvarez, could you please give our attendees some....Senor Alvarez?..Senor Alvarez?--Sorry folks, seems we've lost our connection with the Cuban minister of trade."

The hosts and sponsors of this Summit to herald Cuba as a prime investment partner will want to avert the eyes of any attendees from a Miami Herald article that-- by an unlucky twist of fate-- coincides with their Summit. "Many Foreign Investors Being Booted Out of Cuba." reads this week's catchy headline.

"It's outrageous!" The Herald quotes a Spanish businessmen leaving Cuba. ''I've gone through endless meetings for more than a year with no result in terms of recovering our investment. They are trying to wear me down,'' he whimpered.

"What I can't accept," wailed another European businessman, " is simply being booted out of here with no solid guarantee I will ever get my money back!''

Our hearts bleed for these unfortunate gentlemen.


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