The similarities between two American hostages – one in Cuba and one in North Korea
The similarities between the dictatorships in Cuba and North Korea are incredibly numerous. Both are brutally repressive, murderous, and they like to take American hostages.
Kim and Castro's Hostage Mea Culpas
North Korea and Cuba share many things in common:
They are both totalitarian dictatorships; they are major violators of universally-recognized human rights; they engage in illegal arms trafficking; they set up slave-labor industrial zones (Kaesong and Mariel); and they use hostages to extort the United States.
So what's step one in Kim and Castro's hostage-taking manual?
The Stalinist mea culpa.
I have been guilty of a long list of indelible crimes against DPRK government and Korean people... Please forgive me.
-- Merrill Newman, 85-year-old American hostage of North Korea's Kim regime, 11/30/13
I do deeply regret that my actions have been misinterpreted as harmful and a threat against the security and independence of Cuba... I have an immense fondness for the people of Cuba, and I am deeply sorry.
-- Alan Gross, 64-year old hostage of Cuba's Castro regime, 3/4/11
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