ROMANCING THE COMMUNISTS
Kenneth Billngsley points out in his January 10 article "National Council of Castro's friends, that the National Council of Churches (NCC) "has long served as a lobby for the Marxist dictatorship of Fidel Castro." It's my understanding that the NCC has had a long history of romancing brutal communist regimes. During the Vietnam war, they were advocates for the draconian communists in Hanoi.
I was told that while I and hundreds of other Americans Prisoners of War were being subjugated to torture and depravation in Hanoi, a NCC delegation held a pro-communist and anti-American demonstration there. Among NCC's delegation was a man who had become notorious for disclosing harsh prison conditions for communist Vietnamese POWs (many of whom were terrorists) held in the so called "Tiger Cages" on Con Son Island in South Viet Nam. The irony of it was that at the same time he was in Hanoi, three of his former colleagues, including myself, were being held there under conditions far worse than those the Vietnamese communists suffered in the Tiger Cages in the South. We had worked with him in a church sponsored group of volunteers in South Viet Nam as agriculture and education specialists. While he and the rest of the NCC were propagandizing for the Vietnamese communists, we were being tortured and rotting away in prison camps in North Vietnam. Irregardless, he, and the other members of the NCC delegation, chose to remain silent about our brutal treatment.
At the same time the NCC delegation was there, a Cuban government delegation was also in Hanoi-implementing a year-long reign of terror against 18 other American POWs who were brutally tortured--one dying after being beaten senseless by his Cuban tortures. Recently, one of these POWs identified his chief torturer as a man who now serves Castro as Minister of education.
It makes a mockery of Christianity for the NCC to advocate sending six year old refugee Elian Gonzales back to Cuba-a country run by men with so much blood on their hands.
Shame, shame on the National Council of Churches.
Mike Benge, former Vietnam POW