The real Cuba

By Joseph Farah

A bunch of idiots claiming to be Christian pastors recently visited Cuba, bringing tons of supplies including computers and wearing T-shirts that read: “Regime change in the U.S., not Cuba.”

Say what you want about President Bush on American soil. That’s fair game, of course. That’s the kind of country we have – one that protects lively, free and open debate. But these “Pastors for Peace” wore those garments on Communist Cuban soil.

It’s a travesty. Think about it. Can you believe there are people who call themselves Americans who would not want to see dictator Fidel Castro leave office? That’s what these clowns were saying. They don’t want to see regime change in Cuba.

Their main goal in traveling to Cuba is to draw attention to State Department restrictions against travel to that police state by Americans. The apostate clergymen simply traveled to Mexico first and then to Cuba.

Cuba loves this kind of attention. Castro has persuaded these useful idiots that America is somehow the country guilty of oppression by restricting travel to one country.

There’s just one little problem with this scenario: Cuba restricts travel by all of its citizens to any foreign destination.

And with good reason. If Castro let his people go – go they would. The island would empty out in no time.

As an example of what I’m talking about, two of the starting pitchers for the major league-leading New York Yankees are Cuban defectors – Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez. They had to leave Cuba on leaky boats, braving sharks, harsh weather and Cuban military patrols to make it to the promised land. They had to leave family members behind.

Recently, Contreras’ wife and children somehow managed to get out and join their husband and father in New York. It was a miracle given Castro’s travel restrictions. They were lucky to get out alive.

Castro has been known to order his fighter pilots to shoot out of the water rafts and boats leaving his island without authorization.

When Castro and his American friends criticize U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba, it is the moral equivalent of the old Soviet Union criticizing travel restrictions on West Berliners traveling to the East.

Where are the calls for reciprocity? Where are the calls by these moral relativists for some freedom in Cuba – one of the world’s worst human-rights abusers?

Cuban intelligence agents dominate every facet of “life,” if you want to call it that, in Cuba. Castro is a supporter of international Islamic terrorism and allied closely with Iran. He maintained a close relationship with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and is believed to have aided his biological warfare program. Cuba is once again trying to foment revolution and build new tyrannies throughout Latin America as it did during the days when it was allied with the Soviet Union.

This is hardly the time to talk about ending the embargo with Cuba. The United States is at war – a war that came home to America’s shores Sept. 11, 2001.

Castro is the enemy – not only of America, but of freedom everywhere.

It’s just unfortunate for the Cuban people that President John F. Kennedy didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to liberate the island from this tyrant during the Bay of Pigs. A little air cover was probably all the freedom fighters needed.

Imagine all the suffering we could have alleviated if that operation were run as cleanly as the invasion that overthrew Castro’s buddy, Saddam Hussein.

As for the “Pastors for Peace,” they ought to be deported. Let them go live in their “workers paradise” and see how they like it.