“I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Fidel Castro.” (Israeli President Shimon Peres, Sept. 2010.)
On left: Granma Cartoon in 1983, (when the Soviet financial lifeline was secure and tourism and "cultural exchanges" to Cuba amounted to a pittance--that's an ape-like Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in the middle of the Star, btw)
On right: Whoops! Now tourism and "cultural--especially religious--exchanges" are vital to regime coffers.
Fidel Castro Denounces Palestinian ‘Holocaust’
“Who cares, what that senile ZOMBIE Castro says!” strikes me as a reasonable retort from many readers.
“Unfortunately,” I’m forced to answer. “Many otherwise reasonable care very much what Fidel Castro says.” Take Israeli Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu:
“The remarks attributed to Castro demonstrate his deep understanding of the history of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.” (Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu, Sept. 24, 2010.)
Take former Israeli President Shimon Peres: “I thank you (Fidel Castro) from the bottom of my heart. I must confess that your remarks were, in my opinion, unexpected and rife with unique intellectual depth. Your words presented a surprising bridge between a harsh reality and a new horizon. You tried to sail to bigger seas, to show that a small geographical size doesn’t have to reflect human smallness.” (Israeli President Shimon Peres, Sept. 24, 2010.)
At the time Fidel Castro had granted The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg an exclusive interview and the smitten Israeli leaders were reacting to the following remarks by the Stalinist dictator:
“I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews….I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything….The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust….Yes, without a doubt (Israel has a right to exist as modern state.)”
Cuba-watchers rolled their eyes and groaned at that latest of Castro’s frequent scams, but the media (naturally) ate it up, savoring every syllable. Astoundingly so did normally shrewd Israeli leaders. Wishful thinking often fogs the brain. And who can blame friendless Israel for wishing she had a new friend –and and one carrying enormous cachet among her traditional enemies?
So why did Castro—who sent troops to fight try an “erase” Israel during the Yom Kippur war, and who co-sponsored the infamous 1975 UN resolution branding “Zionism as Racism”– suddenly go Likudnik?
“For now we use a lot of sleight of hand and smiles with everybody. There will be plenty of time later to crush all the cockroaches together.” This admonition from Fidel Castro to a revolutionary colleague in 1954 gives a clue to his diplomacy. Cuba-watchers also know that Castro plumbs the workings of the U.S. legislature better than most home-grown lobbyists and well knows the main power brokers. Indeed Cuban intelligence defectors report that promptly upon publication in 1979, David Halberstam’s book “The Powers That Be,” detailing the inner workings and identities of Washington D.C’s power brokers, became Castro’s favorite book.
In September 2010 it was time to use that sleight-of-hand on Israel-backers. Jeffrey Goldberg’s visit with Castro, you see, just happened to coincide with a pending vote by the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Relations (HCFR) on further opening U.S. travel to Cuba. Goldberg’s visit to Cuba, just happened to be arranged by The Council on Foreign Relations Julia Sweig, identified as a “Cuban agent of influence” by America’s top Cuban spycatcher Lieut. Col. Chris Simmons, recently retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Cuba’s tourist industry is majority-owned by Castro’s military and secret police. As used to be common knowledge during the Cold War, secret police and military (the only outfits with guns in such nations) maintain Communist regimes in power.
So the HCFR vote could open the floodgates of American tourist dollars to the Stalinist regime’s most zealous (and heavily armed) guardians–and at a time when the financial lifeline to Cuba from Hugo Chavez’ looked shaky. Most importantly, steadfast Israel-backer Howard Berman chaired this House Committee at the time, and steadfast Israel-backer and committee member Senator Gary Ackerman seemed to hold the vital deciding vote. Do you see where I’m going with this, amigos?
Our friends at Frontpage Magazine help clear up a few items not well understood outside the Cuban-AMerican informational ghetto.