Jewban Rabbi from Yonkers Celebrates Hanukkah with President

From Politics on the Hudson:

[Rigoberto Emmanuel] Viñas then spoke to Bush about his impressions of life for Jews in Cuba. “Until the 1980s it was illegal to go to the synagogue, now it’s illegal not to go. The Castro government is creating a fake resurgence of Cuban Jewish life to get American Jews to go there,” said Viñas, who voted twice for Bush in presidential elections and who calls himself rabidly anti-Castro.

One of the sad an little-reported effects of the castro regime has been the decimation of a once vibrant Jewish community in Cuba.

7 thoughts on “Jewban Rabbi from Yonkers Celebrates Hanukkah with President”

  1. Great story Henry and it’s refreshing to hear a Jewish point of view on Cuba’s Jews that isn’t from the fidel loving left. Thanks

  2. Have you ever wondered why many communists who are American secular Jews support the Revolution? Could it be because of Castro’s Jewish blood as his daughter says he has?

  3. Fidel Castro told the Arab nations in 1973 that his mother was of Turkish descent and therefore he had Arabic blood.
    Max Lesnick and Bernardo Benes are Cuban Jews who support the Castro dictatorship. Salvador Lew and Jaime Suchlicki are Cuban Jews opposed to the Castro dictatorship.

  4. That’s true — you find Jewish people of all stripes, but when you find a bright one who’s on the right side of things, they’re the best.
    The Jews are still God’s chosen, and whoever messes with them, as kasstro did, gets the cursed results he got.

  5. The Jewish penchant for the left is complicated, but here is a simple explanation, it’s a combination of becoming secular by desire, and a hopeful end of centuries of persecution by their Christian neighbors in Europe. The Russian Revolution, like the Cuban Revolution promised equality. Western European, and American Jews envisioned this new social model as an end of persecution, and a great new era of peace, justice and equality for all. Tikkum Olam (heal the world) As fidel knows, if you pretend to represent what people desire most, they will support you. Jews from former communist bloc harbor no such illusions about the true nature of Communism. Well fed, secular, spoiled American baby boomers have not yet reached that obvious conclusion. I can’t remember the title, but one of Dennis Praeger’s papers addressed this issue.

  6. Gracias – Thanks for posting this great event. There was a wonderful article about it on Dec. 22, 2007 by Alvaro Alba in El Diario Las Americas out of Miami.
    I am very pleased to report that President Bush gave me his word that he would never lift the embargo against the criminal government of Cuba. I explained that when Fidel and his men have money they export revolution and ruin other people’s lives beyond how they already ruined our country.
    Regarding – Castro’s support from foolish Jewish liberals: Liberalism is a religion – no matter how much logic and empirical evidence is shown to those who are blinded by faith, they refuse to give up their erroneous beliefs and embrace the truth. Fidel and his henchmen have been proven Anti-Semites. They are extremely anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. For years Castro trained terrorists out of Isla de Pinos and the blood of many Jews is on his hands. His friends included Arafat, Mubarack, Ayatollah Khomeni etc. His links to international terrorism are well documented and proven and rank them among the worst state supporters of terrorism internationally. Castro and his communist regime (even if continued by others) is a menace not only to us (Cubans) but to the world. Those who love God hate evil (Psalm 97 – which I quoted to the leader of the free world in the White House) and prays and becomes active so that it be eliminated. I spoke to the President about Cuba because it is my duty as a Rabbi to expose evil and battle it. I also spoke as a Cuban whose grandparents were so sad on their death beds to be dying outside of Cuba. Jews have longed for Jerusalem and Israel for 2000 years – longing and loving a land that they had never seen – as a Cuban American born in Miami having never seen the land of my parents and grandparents birth, the Cuba that they knew and loved gives me pangs of nostalgia and longing. I cry for its liberation I pray that God helps us. Cuban Americans more than anyone else knows the longing of the Jews for Israel because it is so similar.
    When I denounced the false humanitarian trips to Cuba, I described those who have attended these trips as “well meaning but naive people.” I really wanted to say “tontos utiles” which is what I imagine our enemy calls them. Lets face it folks – the “humanitarian trips” are a propaganda tool to spread revolution and doubt to the US and to blame the US for the deprivation of the Cuban People (purportedly through the embargo) instead of placing the blame squarely where it belongs on Castro and the regime’s back.
    The other attendees included a woman from Venezuela and two victims of the same “disease afflicting us” from the former Soviet Union. One is a member of the Kennesset (Parliament) of Israel the other a Professor (genius) in Economics they agreed with my statements as soon as I said them. Unfortunately the conservative or right wing Jews who hate communism get very little coverage in news reports but there are many of us and we are quite active.
    Keep up the good work and Viva Cuba Libre.
    Rabbi Manny Vinas

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