That Mariela Castro claimed that Cuba, under the tyrannical boot of her father and brother for more than five decades, is a free and democratic country during her remarks in New York this past Tuesday is not a story. The Cuban dictatorship has been spewing that lie for as long as it has been a dictatorship. The real story here is how the New York Public Library lent itself to assist Mariela Castro and her family’s dictatorship to promote their lies and propaganda.
Even with ample evidence to the contrary, the New York Public Library continues to claim it did not cherry pick a friendly audience for the Cuban dictator’s daughter’s event. This in spite of the fact that not even one person who opposes the Castro regime was allowed to enter. 177 seats, and each and every one of them either empty or filled by a Castro regime sympathizer. But no, they didn’t cherry pick.
Mariela Castro: Cuba’s electoral system is open and fair
Mariela Castro’s New York presentation draws complaints that the audience was hand-picked.
The daughter of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro has told a New York Public Library audience that her country’s electoral system is democratic and that a government apology for its past persecution of gays “would be an act of hypocrisy.”
Sexologist Mariela Castro’s appearance Tuesday at a panel on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights also drew some complaints that organizers had cherry-picked the audience to avert hostile questions or other confrontations.
When one audience member asked whether the communist government needs to apologize for its persecution of gays in the past 50 years, she reportedly replied that “to ask for forgiveness now would be an act of hypocrisy that will not change the past.”
What is needed is to “transform” society to avoid future problems, Castro argued, according to the EFE and AFP news agencies.
She also declared that Cuba’s electoral system “is so democratic that no one wants to talk about it,” although she believes that “it could be even more democratic.” The Communist Party is Cuba’s lone legal political organization.
“We understand that people are disappointed that they could not attend, but registration was done on a strictly first-come, first-serviced basis, and no one was accepted or turned away based on any factor, including political, personal or social ideologies,” she added.
But Geandy Pavón, a Cuban-born New York artist who has been highly critical of the Cuban government, said he was suspicious that almost overnight the event was changed from open-door to RSVP and then declared booked up.
“Without warning, they changed the rules of the game,” he told El Nuevo Herald. “They can control the number of people who enter” for safety and space reasons, Pavón added, “but what they should not be able to control is who can enter.”
Maria Elena Restoy, a Cuban exile who tried but could not get into Castro’s presentation, said that a man who did attend told her he had been invited by Casa de las Americas, a New York center that has long supported the Cuban government.
Other persons in the audience identified themselves as members of the Solidarity with Cuba Movement, according to journalists there. A crew from the U.S. government’s Radio-TV Marti was not allowed in.
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