By Humberto Fontova
Human rights abuses are routine around Guantanamo. But speaking out against the military officials responsible for the tortures is dangerous
A civil rights activist inspired by Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King has been on a hunger strike since Feb.17th near Guantanamo Cuba, protesting the incarceration and "abuse" of hundreds of what he labels "prisoners of conscience."
"The Armed Forces call these men "enemy agents" and "terrorists," he says. "But this is a grotesque lie, typical of these racist generals and their millionaire cronies from the Military/Industrial complex who pull all the strings in this country!"
U.S. officials have refused to comment on the matter.
..............OK, OK, I'll come clean. The hunger striker is actually in Placetas, Cuba, roughly 300 miles from Guantanamo so "near Guantanamo" is a relative term. And the hunger-striker is a black anti-Communist Cuban named Antunez.
He's protesting (in terms very similar to those I quoted above) against Stalinism in a nation 90 miles from U.S. shores. This explains why you've never heard of him in the MSM.
Now, if he'd been a black terrorist/socialist protesting segregation 8000 miles from U.S. shores (Nelson Mandela) the MSM would have been clobbering you over the head with his plight almost daily—as they did during the late 80's.
So please excuse my flim-flammery as an intro to this article. Had I spelt out clearly that Cuba's Stalinist regime ( rather than America's democratic government) was responsible for the racist tortures provoking the hunger-strike, no major media organ--it goes without saying-- would deign to report the crime, as they've ignored Castroite crimes for half a century. My hope (clearly vain) was that the MSM's 50 year-old tradition might suffer a brief hiccup. I should have known better.
A Samizdat recent smuggled from Cuba quotes Antunez: "none of the foreign press agencies accredited to work in Cuba have reported this...Now, if there was a march in front of my house in favor of the Castro Regime, you can bet the foreign press would be here in droves!''
So again, don't look for this on NPR, CNN or the History Channel, but if EVER a racist Military/Industrial Complex controlled a nation, it's Castro's Cuba, which has more generals (all lily-white in a nation 65 % black) on it's Politburo than had Stalin's Russia—indeed more than reigned in any Iron-Curtain regime. These strutting, blustering and be-medaled (despite never having smelt burnt gunpowder except while murdering bound and gagged men and boys from firing squads) gentlemen own Cuba's tourist industry, the only commercial endeavor in Cuba properly describable as an industry.
These executives and standard-bearers of Cuba's "fervently nationalist" revolution are also very scrupulous about protecting their Canadian and European tourist/benefactors from contact with Cuba's grubby natives. The current issue of the Ottowa Citizen has a story mentioning how last week a guard at a ritzy Cuban hotel rudely shoved away a tourist from the hotel's door.
The befuddled tourist was Canadian—but he was also black, you see. So please cut Raul Castro's hotel henchman some slack. The poor guy was only doing his job. He clearly mistook the Canadian black for a Cuban black-. And—mindful of his professional duties regarding such an encounter-- performed very perfunctorily; "Outta here, ni*ger!" No explanation, no apologies, no nothing.
Imagine (!!!) the headlines had this happened in Birmingham, Charleston or Savannah! Instead this is standard-operating-procedure in the Mecca for the Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright—and which hosts press bureaus for CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, AP, Al Jazeera and countless other outfits, who all trip over themselves to report any hint of "racism" in such as Jena Louisiana. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/21/car.nooses/index.html.
"The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent... We're going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the Cuban revolution. By which I mean: NOTHING!" (Ernesto "Che" Guevara.)
"Viva Che Guevara!" bellowed Jesse Jackson while visiting Havana in 1984. "Viva Fidel! Long live our cry of freedom!"
A few miles away from where the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his entourage of black American luminaries, (who included the Rev. Jeremiah Wright) showered his Stalinist hosts with accolades that day, the world's longest-suffering black political prisoner suffered his incarceration and tortures in stoic defiance. "N**ger!" taunted his Castroite jailers between tortures. "We pulled you down from the trees and cut off your tail!"
This political prisoner was a black Cuban named Eusebio Penalver and he was being tortured by Reverend Wright's gracious hosts. Mr Penalver's incarceration and tortures stretched to 29 years which makes him the longest-suffering black political prisoner in modern history, surpassing Nelson Mandela's record in time behind bars and probably doubling the horrors suffered by Mandela during this period.
Eusebio Penalver was bloodied in his fight with Castroism but unbowed for almost 30 years in its dungeons. He's what Castroites call a "plantado"--a defiant one, an unbreakable one. "Stalin tortured," wrote Arthur Koestler, "not to force you to reveal a fact, but to force you to collude in a fiction."
"The worst part of Communism," wrote Solzhenitsyn, "is being forced to live a lie."
Eusebio Penalver refused to collude in this lie. He spit in the face of the liars. He scorned any "re-education" by his jailers. He knew it was THEY who desperately needed it. He refused to wear the uniform of a common criminal. He knew it was THEY who should don it. Charles Rangel, Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright all toast his torturer. But through almost 30 years of those tortures Eusebio Penalver stood tall, proud and defiant.
Shortly before his death in 2006 , your humble servant here had the honor of interviewing Senor Penalver. "For months I was naked in a 6 x 4 foot cell," Eusebio recalled. "That's 4 feet high, so you couldn't stand. But I felt a great freedom inside myself. I refused to commit spiritual suicide."
Sr Penalver served several months of this 30 year sentence naked in a "punishment cell" barely big enough to stand in, where he languished naked and in complete darkness. "Castro's apologists, those who excuse or downplay his crimes-- these people be they ignorant, stupid, mendacious whatever--they are accomplices in the bloody tyrant's crimes, accomplices in the most brutal and murderous regime in the hemisphere."
But have you ever heard of Eusebio Penalver? He became a U.S. citizen and lived in Miami for almost 20 years and would have been a cinch for the media to track down. Ever see a CNN interview with him? Ever see him on "60 Minutes"? Ever read about him in The New York Times? The ashington post? The Boston Globe? Ever hear about him on NPR during Black History Month? Ever seen anything on him on the History Channel or A&E? Ever hear the NAACP or Congressional Black Caucus mention him?
Why do I bother asking?
The black Cuban doctor, Oscar Elias Biscet , presently suffers a sentence of 25 years in Castro's torture chambers essentially for saying things about Castro similar to what Nancy Pelosi and Bill Maher said about President Bush. Dr Biscet also denounced the Castro regime's policy of forced abortions. This latter "crime" goes a long way towards explaining why you've never heard of him (and wont) in the MSM, though President Bush awarded Dr Biscet the Congressional Medal of Freedom last year.
Alas, after almost half a century of MSM "reporting" on Castro's Cuba, all Cuba-watchers are well-accustomed to such "oversights" by those "dauntless crusaders for truth!" (as Columbia School of Journalism hails it's students.)