In her column yesterday, Dallas Morning News editor Leona Allen commends and congratulates courageous Cuban dissident and former political prisoner Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet on finally receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush:
Leona Allen: Cuban human rights advocate’s visit highlights delicate Cuba-U.S. relations
It’s not every day that a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner makes his way to The Dallas Morning News editorial board.
Cuban human rights activist Oscar Biscet sat down with the board recently and passionately discussed his continued fight for freedom and democracy for his people. It was the Havana physician’s first trip to the United States from Cuba, where he was imprisoned from 2002 until 2011 for speaking out against his Communist government — and where an uncertain future awaits his expected return in August.
When President George W. Bush recognized his efforts in 2007 with the Medal of Freedom, he did so in absentia because Biscet was in prison. In Dallas, Bush was able to meet Biscet, now 54, for the first time last week and presented the medal in person at the Bush Institute, where it will remain on display.
Biscet said, through a translator, that the fight has been worth it.
He spoke of beatings, killings and espionage at the hands of Cuba’s dictatorship that sound like something out of a James Bond movie — except he described it as everyday life in his country. And he voiced his hope that one day Cubans would be free of government oppression.
“I can forgive what they did to me.” Biscet said. “I cannot forgive what they did to the Cuban people.”
He called President Obama’s restoring of diplomatic and limited trade ties with Cuba after 50 years a “political mistake” as long as the Cuban government outlaws free speech and fails to adopt democratic principles.
However, once she was done dispensing her polite and appropriate niceties, Ms. Allen then proceeds to inform Dr. Biscet how wrong he is about Cuba and basically implies that her and the Editorial Board of the newspaper know what is best for Cuba:
Of course some — including this newspaper — believe opening up trade with Cuba, just 90 miles from the U.S., and creating a free-market system could be just the antidote for the heavy-handed system of the Castro regime. Thousands of American tourists with money to spend and U.S. products flooding Cuba can be transformative and open up a world Cubans have never seen.
And there are some estimates that Texas could see $43 billion in total economic impact from increased exports and other trade with Cuba. Gov. Greg Abbott led a Texas trade mission to Cuba in December.
Still, not many would dispute that Cuba has a long way to go on improving human rights. No one wants to see people treated the way Biscet says he’s been treated just for speaking up for what they believe is right.
Here’s hoping his time in the U.S. garners more support for affording more freedoms for everyday Cubans. And that the fact he’s such a high-profile advocate for human rights protects him and his family from harm upon his return home.
According to Allen, yeah, sure, Dr. Biscet actually does live in the belly of the beast and has better knowledge than anyone outside of Cuba how to defeat it. Biscet also knows that decades of foreign tourists visiting the island to the tune of millions each year have done nothing to the help the Cuban people but has instead funded the repressive machinery of the apartheid Castro dictatorship.
But hey, what the hell does he know? He’s just a Cuban. He’s just a native savage who is intellectually incapable of understanding the how good he has it in Communist Cuba with all the free healthcare and education the Castros give out like candy. Moreover, he has no interest in the billions of dollars Texas companies can earn from trade with the corrupt Castro regime, even though eventually U.S. taxpayers will end up footing that bill if Obama gets his way and provides them with credit.
The arrogance is stupefying, but unfortunately, par for the course.