How many times have you seen celebrities hugging Fidel? Movie stars love him. They have flocked from all over the world to fawn before him.
They finish their visit with a press conference in which they tell the world Cuba is simply wunnerful. (These days they are also private jetting to Venezuela and sucking up to lovable dictator Chavez.) They chide others for criticizing Cuba or its venerable leader. All he has ever wanted to do is make life better for his people.
These days, of course, they have to forego Fidel. They will soon rush to embrace brother Raul. He has been making headlines by granting Cubans such luxuries as cellphones.
The celebrities have made their mark. I cannot tell you how many folks have echoed their praises about Cuba.
The communists no doubt still use a phrase, supposedly from Lenin, about ďuseful idiotsĒ. That is, people who they could con into believing paradise was just around the corner. And that a few sacrifices along the way should not blind us to the reality of that paradise.
You donít have to spend time in Cuba to figure out what kind of a place it is. Or what kind of rulers the Castro brothers have been. You donít have to be an economist. Or an historian. Or a movie star. In fact, that will probably work against you.
You only have to be a person who likes a cell phone. Who enjoys a night in a restaurant. Or likes watching a few DVDs. Or gets on the net and books a flight to see Aunt Mary and Uncle Fred.
Raul Castro is now allowing Cubans to own cell phones. Ordinary Cubans. Party big wigs were allowed to own them. Now ordinary folks may. For the first time!
Oh, they may also buy toasters. Yes, toasters. They will also be allowed to buy computers.
He is just the nicest, sweetest guy. His generosity will surely win more hugs from the Hollywood crowd.
Can you imagine your president telling you you can or cannot buy a cell phone? Can you imagine your president telling you what hotels you may or may not stay in? These Holiday Inns are off limits to U.S. citizens?
Now, most ordinary folks in Cuba cannot afford any of these items. Unless their relatives in Miami send money. They cannot use their own currency to buy the goods. They have to use hard currency from other countries. But that is beside the point. Because the point is freedom, liberty.
The point is that the most basic liberties have been denied Cubans by the Castros.
You can go online today and book a flight most anywhere. You want to go to France? Go! If you are a Cuban you cannot. You are imprisoned. Think about that next time you see the movie star hug a Castro.
The Castros have good reason for imprisoning their people. Just as the communists had good reason to imprison their people in China and the Soviet bloc. They had good reason for building the Berlin Wall. The reason is that most folks are smart enough to want to escape.
If you donít believe this is true, look up a few stories about sports teams that visit the U.S. from Cuba. Most of the members never go back. And the only reason some do is because the Castros will punish their families if they donít return.
Cuba is the same tired story we got from all the communist countries. The elite do all right for themselves. They deprive and imprison other folks. Liberties are few and far between.
And our celebrities call it wine and roses.
From Tom ... as in Morgan.
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