CASTRO’S THIRD REICH: HUMBERTO FONTOVA
â€œThe hatred felt by the state of Israel against the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send the one-and-a-half million men, women and children of that country to the crematoria where millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis,â€ wrote Fidel Castro recently in the Cuban press. â€œIt would seem that the Fuhrerâ€™s swastika is today, Israelâ€™s banner.â€
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor was quick to respond: â€œWith these outrageous comments, Fidel Castro shames his old-time companions and the ideals he always pretended to serve. Che Guevara must be spinning in his grave.â€
Mr. Palmor was kind enough to communicate with me and explain that his comment regarding Che Guevara was meant to be ironic â€” a jab at Fidel Castro. The world needs many more such foreign ministry officials.Â But for anyone who got the impression that Che Guevara would have quibbled with Castroâ€™s sentiments, hereâ€™s some history:
â€œCondemn me, it doesnâ€™t matter,â€ declared Fidel Castro during the 1953 trial for his failed Moncada putsch. â€œHistory will absolve me.â€
â€œYou may pronounce me guilty,â€ declared Adolf Hitler during the 1924 trial for his failed Rathaus putsch. â€œBut the eternal court of history will absolve me.â€
Coincidence? Perhaps. But many of Fidel Castroâ€™s high school and college classmates recall that he often carried around a well-thumbed copy of Mein Kampf. In fact, his title â€œLider Maximoâ€ perfectly corresponds to the German term Fuhrer, except Castro accentuated it even more with the â€œmaximumâ€ addition.
A few years after his trial and pardon by Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, Castroâ€™s terrorist movement adopted the red, black and white of the Nazi flag as its own colors. Another coincidence?Â Perhaps.
In 1966, Havana hosted the Tri-Continental Conference, a worldwide convention for guerrillas and terrorists. Here Castro vowed to aid any group anywhere who claimed to be fighting â€œcolonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism.â€
â€œThe imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves,â€ read Che Guevaraâ€™s message to the Tricontinental Conference. Che, himself, was whimpering and licking his wounds in Tanzania at the time after his comical stomping in the Congo. â€œWe will bring the war to the imperialist enemiesâ€™ very home, to his places of work and recreation. Thus weâ€™ll destroy him,â€ the message continued.
We must keep our hatred against them alive and fan it to paroxysms!Â These hyenas are fit only for extermination.Â Hatred is the central element of our struggle!..Hatred that is intransigentâ€¦Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him a violent and cold-blooded killing machine. We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism, rivers of blood must flow!
In attendance and, presumably, joining in the uproarious ovation that greeted Guevaraâ€™s message was Abu Ammar, later known as Yasir Arafat, and Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (â€œCarlos the Jackalâ€).
Among other initiatives at the Tricontinental Conference, Cuba set up massive terrorist training camps in western Cuba under the direction of KGB Col. Vadim Kotchergine. TheseÂ camps were soon filled with guerrillas and terrorists including individuals from Al Fatah, the Sandinistas, El Salvadorâ€™s FMLF, the Tupamaros, and the Weather Underground. With his contacts well in place, in 1968 Castro sent military instructors into Palestinian bases in Jordan to train Palestinian Fedayeen. The Egyptian newspaper Ahar Saâ€™ah reported on September 13, 1978 that 500 Palestinian fighters were training in Cuba.
The Yom Kippur War really got Castroâ€™sÂ martial juices flowing.Â So, he sent 500 of his commanders to man 500 SovietÂ T-55 tanks and buttress the Syrian soldiers poised to blitzkrieg into Israel through the Golan Heights. Within a week of its surprise blitzkrieg into Israel, the Syrian regime was scrambling to evacuate from its own capital. An Israeli force, just a tiny fraction of the Syrian/Cuban forces, counterattacked, and blasted Castroâ€™sÂ tanksÂ into a smoldering scrap pile and rolled over them like a speed bump on the way to Damascus.
The following year, Castro personally decorated Yasir Arafat with Cubaâ€™s highest honor, the Bay of PigsÂ Medal. â€œComrade Fidel said that the Palestinian Revolution can count on the full support and aid of the Cuban Revolution,â€ exulted Arafat. â€œWe are not alone.â€
Scholar Walter Laquer summed up the situation in his work, The Age of Terrorism. â€œMultinational terrorism reached a first climax in the early 1970s. It involved close co-operation between small terrorist groups in many countries with the Libyans, Algerians, Syrians, North Koreans and Cubans acting as the paymasters and suppliers of weapons and equipment.â€
And lest we forget, the famous UN resolution branding â€œzionism as racismâ€Â was co-sponsored by Cuba. At the September 2001 United Nations â€œWorld Conference against Racismâ€ in Durban, South Africa, Castro denounced Israelâ€™s â€œongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.â€
In 1974, the Palestinian Liberation Organization opened their first Latin American embassy in none other than Havana, Cuba. President Fidel Castro added a morbid twist to the event: The site for this embassy was a Jewish community center that flourished during the reign of Batista, who never saw fit to lay a finger on anyoneâ€™s property. However, President Castro snatched it from its Jewish owners at Soviet gunpoint. The title transfer was whisked through in typical Castroite/Stalinist manner â€” resist and we shoot you.
During the mid 60s,Â Castroâ€™s police and military herded tens of thousands of Cuban youths (long-haired rock & rollers, gays and religious people) into forced labor camps at Soviet bayonet point. No pesky trials determined this. Their collective crime was â€œdelinquency.â€ Che Guevara, the â€œBrains of The Cuban Revolutionâ€ (as Time magazine crowned him in a 1960 cover story) decreed this system of forced labor in 1960 for any and all who proved insufficiently reverential to his revolutionâ€™s mandates. â€œWe send to Guanahacabibes, people who have committed crimes against revolutionary norms,â€ explained Guevara. â€œIt is hard labor. The working conditions are harsh.â€
Alas, Che Guevaraâ€™s definition of â€œrevolutionary normsâ€Â proved pretty sweeping. And the regime co-founded by this icon of freedom commenced to jail political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalinâ€™s regime and murder them at a higher rate than pre-war Hitlerâ€™s. Above the barbed wire and just below the machine guns on the watchtowers, these prisoners saw a huge sign as they entered. It read: â€œWork Will Make Men of You.â€
The greeting at Auschwitzâ€™s entrance read, â€œWork Will Make You Free.â€
For some reason, 90 percent of Cubaâ€™s Jews saw fit to flee Castroâ€™s Cuba, costing them most of their earthly belongings. Thatâ€™s a much, much higher percentage than fled Czarist Russia. But Castroâ€™s pogroms didnâ€™t include racial epithets, you see. Castroâ€™s Russian-armed â€œinterventorsâ€ pillaged Cuban Jewsâ€™ savings and propertyâ€”but quite professionally and with nary a bullwhip or racial insult. So, apparently this looting disqualifies as a pogrom.
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