Rio Summit: La Vida Loca


by Agustín Blázquez © ABIP 1999

with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton

More outrageous than the 1998 Gold Microphone Award given to Castro by Spain’s Association of Professional Press, Radio and Television Reporters – in Cuba, where freedom of the press does not exist? How about the City Council of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s, audacity to name Castro its "Honorary Citizen."

With the way things are developing in the world and in the US almost at the end of the 20th century, I would not be surprised if Castro’s friends in the US Congress, like Maxine Walters, Charles Rangel, José Serrano, Christopher Dodd and others "limping from the same leg," could descend to the same level as the Spaniards or Rio’s City Council.

According to CubDest in Rio de Janeiro, the news published with fanfare by Castro’s official newspaper, Granma, passed unnoticed in Brazil. But it is presumed that the honorary title for the Stalinist dictator will be given during the Euro-Latin America and Caribbean Joint Summit in Rio that starts June 25th.

This honor to the number-one enemy of democracy in this hemisphere is being kept under wraps in order not to create controversy and opposition in Brazil as well as in other countries. And rightfully so. There is already a letter of protest written by members of the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia to the President and members of the government for the strident presence of Cuba at the Summit.

The letter states that since the pope’s visit to Cuba, Castro has been increasing his police state to "legally" and psychologically oppress the population. It sees the recently enacted law against freedom of expression as a return to the worst of Stalinist communism or Nazism.

Citing the Vatican news agency Fides and other sources inside Cuba, it reveals increased persecution against religious believers, political prisoners and children. And that Cuba continues as a "sanctuary" for criminals and terrorists and that according to a recent report, Castro keeps close ties with Marxist guerrillas in Latin America.

Considering Geneva’s recent condemnation of Cuba for violations of human rights, and the exploitation of Cuban workers held in a "semi-slave" status with the complicity of unscrupulous foreign businessmen, the Brazilian deputies say, "facing the increasing drama of the Cuban people, it is not possible to continue to be silent. Inexplicably, the documents generated by the Rio Group, composed of the most important Latin American nations, have invariably condemned the so called ‘external embargo’ but have been systematically silent over the root of the problem, that is, the ‘internal embargo’ of the communist regime against the Cuban people."

The deputies point out that the common objectives of the Rio de Janeiro Joint Summit, that will be attended by 32 democratic nations of Latin American and the Caribbean, and 15 European nations, includes the "consolidation of democracy" and the promotion of "human rights". Meantime the 33rd nation, Cuba, has made a mockery of past Summits by signing the agreements but refusing to implement them.

Why is a country like Cuba that is listed among the nations sponsoring terrorism allowed to participate in a summit of nations that is striving to maintain democracy?

Why is the dictator of an illegitimate regime, who has never been democratically elected and who continually professes his hatred of democracy, invited and even named an "Honorary Citizen" of Rio de Janeiro by the City Council?

Why do they want to bestow that honor to a Stalinist communist tyrant who has caused the death of thousands of people? Are they crazy?

Ricky Martin’s song must be deeper than I first thought.

No serious and respected nation or politician in this hemisphere should morally mingle with a tyrant like that. Or is it that everybody is living "la vida loca"?

Now, if this were a plan from the international community to finally support the Cuban people by getting Castro to Brazil to arrest him like Pinochet in England, then that would make some sense. I am sure an action like that would get the international community the respect they now lack from the suffering Cuban people.

However, former intelligence Capitan Lázaro Betancourt Morín who defected last April 17 in the Dominican Republic, and who was part of Castro’s personal security says, "they have been instructed that in case of Castro’s arrest abroad to use all means available, including the use of heavy armaments to prevent it."

Let’s see if they have the guts to put the tyrant in his place or will "la vida loca" live on?

Agustín Blázquez, Producer/Director of the documentary COVERING CUBA

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