The chutzpah of Cuba’s dictator Raul Castro deserves a Nobel Prize

Andres Oppenheimer in The Miami Herald:

A Nobel Prize for Raul Castro!

ANDRÉS-OPPENHEIMERCuban dictator Raúl Castro deserves a Nobel Prize in political chutzpah: He is demanding reparations for the five-decade-old U.S. trade embargo of the island, neglecting to mention that it was imposed after Cuba confiscated up to $7 billion in U.S. properties and executed thousands of people whose relatives have yet to be compensated.

In his speech to the United Nations this week, Castro demanded “that our people be compensated for the human and economic damages that we are still suffering.” In a report to the U.N. General Assembly last year, Cuba claimed that such accumulated damages have reached $117 billion.

Castro’s act of bravado was reported matter-of-factly by most international media. I was in Mexico City when Castro made his U.N. speech, and newspapers carried big headlines about the Cuban ruler’s demand for U.S. economic reparations, failing to say even in passing that the U.S. trade sanctions had been imposed in response to Cuba’s expropriations of U.S. companies’ property.

According to the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, a semi-independent U.S. Department of Justice agency, there are nearly 6,000 certified claims of expropriated U.S. properties in Cuba worth $1.9 billion, not counting interest. International lawyers say that with a 6 percent annual interest rate often used for decades-old claims, the total figure would reach about $7 billion.

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2 thoughts on “The chutzpah of Cuba’s dictator Raul Castro deserves a Nobel Prize”

  1. If sufficiently enabled and encouraged, even the cheapest, sleaziest and most contemptible punk imaginable will display the same chutzpah–but don’t blame the punk, blame the enablers. The US government and the Vatican have thoroughly disgraced themselves in this matter, and it is THEY who are truly disgusting, not Raul Castro (who, like the scorpion, is only acting according to his nature).

    I am not, of course, leaving out the rest of the usual suspects, who are always in on this sort of thing. I mean, can you imagine their response if a figure like Pinochet or Botha had ever said in a public forum that human rights represent a utopian fantasy? We’re up against people so full of shit that they’re not even pretending otherwise, but rather relying on their leverage vs. our impotence, and simply figuring that it doesn’t matter because they can get away with it.

  2. Rather than bothering with the-little-dictator-that-could’s chutzpah, which should surprise no one in the least, let’s try to figure out what prize we can give the titular Vicar of Christ for his role in this putrid business, which may not be all that surprising but certainly SHOULD be–actually, it should be downright UNBELIEVABLE.

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