As the anniversary of Mr. Carter's Castro coddling approaches, he is again confronted with harsh realities that contradict his socialist sympathies.
In May 2002, Carter condemned the Bush Administration for suggesting that Cuba is pursuing biological weapons, which dictator Castro called a "lie." Carter praised the Castro regime for allowing him speak freely to the Cuban people, who are not allowed such freedom. The former U.S. president encouraged dissidents by publicly airing their calls for reforms. The BBC News reported at the time that Carter left Cuba on friendly terms. Excerpt: Organisers of the so-called Project Varela have handed in a petition bearing 11,020 signatures to the Cuban National Assembly asking for a referendum on civil liberties. Mr Carter said he believed the Cuban Government had not yet decided how it would respond to the proposals. "I think it's accurate to say the decision to deal with it -- or not -- has not been decided," he said.
A year later, we now know what Castro "decided": 75 political dissidents and independent journalists were recently rounded up and sent to jail for 28 years, and three men who tried to hijack a ferry to escape to America were executed.
In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Moni Basu (Castro's crackdown strains budding ties), Mr. Carter stated: "Needless to say, I have been very disappointed by what has occurred in Cuba," Carter said. "The dissident movement has been severely crippled, and I would presume Draconian measures adopted by Castro will be maintained."
We would presume Carter was also "very disappointed" when the Draconian North Korea dictatorship broke the agreement he helped broker and started developing nuclear weapons. (The cartoon above is an allusion to this cartoon.)
UPDATE MAY 5: The Reuters' headline says it all: Intellectuals Launch Campaign to Defend Cuba. Excerpt: U.S. singer Harry Belafonte and U.S. actor Danny Glover are also among the personalities who have signed the two-paragraph declaration "To the Conscience of the World" so far, [Mexican sociologist Pablo] Gonzalez announced to a May Day rally in Havana. (Via LGF)
Posted by Forkum at May 2, 2003 05:02 AM