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Don Feder's Cold Steel - Caucus Report Commentary Page ^ | N/A | Don Feder

Posted on 01/27/2004 11:59:46 PM PST by goldstategop


. There aren’t many people in Hollywood with the guts to take on a heavyweight like Steven Spielberg. That makes Robert Duvall part of an elite – showbiz types with courage and a conscience.

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, the man who played Lt. Col. Kilgore in “Apocalypse Now” gave the director of “Saving Pvt. Ryan” a little verbal napalm in the morning.

Commenting on Spielberg’s 2002 trip to Cuba, Duvall innocently remarked: “Now I want to ask him (Spielberg) – and I know he’s going to get pissed off – ‘Would you consider building a little annex on the Holocaust Museum, or at least across the street, to honor all of the dead Cubans that Castro killed?’ “

In the interview, to be aired Wednesday on CBS “60 Minutes II,” Duvall quoted Spielberg saying of his meeting with the bearded butcher, “The best seven hours I ever spent was actually with Fidel Castro.”

A Spielberg spokesman denied the producer said this, observed the trip was a cultural exchange authorized by the U.S. government, and noted that among other exemplary humanitarian activities, during his stay, Spielberg visited Havana’s largest synagogue and a memorial to Holocaust victims at the city’s Jewish cemetery. (Did he wonder why, out of a pre-revolution population of more than 10,000, only a few hundred Jews – most elderly and poor -- remain on the wretched island?)

In the course of his excursion to the workers’ paradise – to attend a film festival where several of his movies were screened – Spielberg had a lengthy close encounter with the maximum leader, during which they discussed cultural and political issues.

The director of “E.T.” told a Cuban audience that the island is “exploding with passion and talent and self-respect.” I too have been to Cuba. I didn’t see much passion, but I did witness a nation exploding with repression, poverty and pain. But, more on that later.

As is expected of those granted an audience with El Supremo, Spielberg issued the standard denunciation of the U.S. trade embargo. “I personally feel that this embargo should be lifted. I do not see any reason for accepting old grudges being played out in the 21st. century,” the Beverly Hills pundit proclaimed.

Actually, there are any number of excellent reasons for not lifting the embargo. Castro doesn’t want trade. (He has nothing to sell that anyone’s willing to buy at market prices.) He wants subsidies for his cadaverous communist economy.

U.S. trade would open the door for more loans from international lenders (notwithstanding that Castro refuses to even pay the interest on billions of dollars in outstanding foreign debt.) It could also eventually mean that U.S. agribusiness would sell to Cuba on credit, with payment guaranteed by American taxpayers.

Those US businesses that set up shop in Cuba -- engaging in mining and other joint ventures with the regime -- would end up exploiting slave labor supplied Castro. (Approximately 90 percent of the wages of Cubans who work for foreign companies go to the government.) One would think the director of “Amistad” would have qualms about facilitating human bondage.

Spielberg is another star-struck, not terribly bright celebrity who went to Havana and fell under the spell of the commie Svengali .

Actor Danny Glover and singer Harry Belefonte were among 160 beautiful people who signed a declaration last year charging, “The harassment against Cuba (the embargo) could serve as a pretext for an invasion.”

Marxist filmmaker Oliver Stone did a fawning documentary on Castro. Jack Nicholson and Kevin Costner gushed over their meetings with the demagogue. “A genius” was Nicholson’s assessment. Costner said his sit-down with Castro was “the experience of a lifetime.” And the entertainment community, so-called, wonders why so many Americans consider Hollywood to be an asylum for lunatic leftists.

A few months after Spielberg’s useful-idiots tour, the regime rounded up 78 prominent dissidents – human rights activists, trade-union organizers and independent journalists. The crackdown was in response to a petition – signed by more than 35,000 Cubans – calling for the government to begin respecting basic civil liberties.

The dissidents were convicted of being “mercenaries” working with U.S. diplomats to undermine Cuba’s glorious socialist system, and sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 28 years. Many are held in absolutely hellish conditions. One, Dr. Oscar E. Biscet Gonzalez (a 42-year-old black physician serving 25 years), is confined in a cell, without windows or lights, with common criminals.

Ah, but this is par for the revolutionary course. In a very real sense, all of Castro’s subjects are prisoners. The island is an open-air prison – mambo meets Devil’s island. Two million Cubans have fled their homeland. Tens of thousands have been murdered. Today, Cuba has more prisoners per capita than any other nation on earth (over 100,000 in total).

In every human rights report (Freedom House, Amnesty International’s, the US State Department’s), Cuba ranks near the bottom of the heap – along with Stalinist North Korea and ayatollah-infested Iran. The Castro regime is the only dictatorship left in the Western Hemisphere.

No reason to continue the embargo? How about this: After almost a half-century, Castro is still committed to the destruction of America. He spent the 60s, 70s and 80s spreading Marxism by bayonet-point from Nicaragua to Afghanistan.

In the last decade alone, terrorists of the Basque ETA, the Colombian FARC and the Puerto Rican Machetero Group have operated from Cuba.

Speaking of terrorists, has Mr. Schindler’s List considered Castro’s support for Yasser Arafat and those who are perpetrating mini-Holocausts in Israel?

Castro’s is pathologically anti-Zionist. After the Six Days War, Cuba’s UN ambassador (now president of the Legislative Assembly) condemned Israel’s “armed aggression against the Arab peoples…by a most treacherous…surprise attack in the Nazi manner.”

In 1991, Cuba voted against repealing the infamous 1975 UN resolution equating Zionism with racism. And, at the U.N.’s 2001 Durban Conference, Castro himself called on delegates to “put an end to the ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.”

If you’ve ever wondered why so many of the villains in Spielberg films are Nazis, it’s because (like others of the entertainment industry) the director is incapable of seeing evil – including anti-Semitism – on the left.

I went to Cuba as a reporter in 1998. I didn’t get the red-carpet treatment big-shot directors receive. Unlike Spielberg, I talked to both ordinary and several extraordinary Cubans.

I interviewed human-rights activists and independent journalists. I met with Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, and Gustavo Arcos, the regime’s first ambassador to Belgium. Arcos was with Castro in the historic attack on the Moncado Barracks, but turned on the tyrant when he discovered Fidel was a red.

I spoke with Dr. Hilda Molina, a brilliant neurosurgeon who was fired from a neurological clinic she started when the physician objected to treating medical tourists instead of sick Cubans.

But it was the slave-on-the-street conversations that really got to me. The first day I was in Havana, I met a man on the promenade by the sea. In the midst of a pleasant conversation, I invited him back to my hotel for lunch. “Oh, no,” he replied. “They won’t let me in. Cubans who don’t work in the tourist industry can’t go there.” Ah, the joys of socialism! The equality!

One evening, after one of the Cuban Cicero’s seven-hour harangues – the best seven hours a captive audience ever spent -- I asked a school teacher I’d just met, “So, what did El Presidente say?” She leaned close to me and, in an undertone, spat out a four-letter word. Then, she leaned closer and whispered in my ear, “I would like to kill him.” Which is pretty much the consensus on the island.

My last evening in Cuba, I met a handsome Cubano in his mid-twenties who came to Havana to study chemistry, then decided there wasn’t much of a future in that, or anything else, on the island.

He pleaded with me in very good English to help him get out. “I don’t want to end up like them,” he said, motioning at middle-aged passersby. “Man, they’re dead.”

Thus, besides an open-air prison, Cuba might also be considered a mortuary for the walking dead. Spielberg, whose movies celebrate life and nobility, has embraced the stench of a rotting corpse.

Bless you, Bobbie Duvall. You can be my consiliere any time.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Cuba; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dannyglover; donfeder; embargo; fellowtravels; fidelcastro; harrybelafonte; hollyweirdleft; kevinkostner; liberalidiots; oliverstone; robertduvall; stevenspielberg
Robert Duvall tells it like is. Now I know why he was so great in "Apocalypse Now." Like he said, “Now I want to ask him (Spielberg) – and I know he’s going to get pissed off – ‘Would you consider building a little annex on the Holocaust Museum, or at least across the street, to honor all of the dead Cubans that Castro killed?’ “ Atta boy, you go Bob! Steven Spielberg and the liberal idiots of the Hollyweird Left couldn't tell the difference between a tyrant and liberty if it was shoved in their faces. Cuba is anything but a free country and Cubans can't tell you openly what they think about El Lider Maximo much less than the naive Western pilgrims who schmooze with him. Its safe to say their real feelings are less than complimentary given the cage in which they live. Then again, this is the same Tinseltown that supported Saddam Hussein. Bobhie Duvall can indeed be our consiliere any time when it comes to one of the most decadent corners of 21st Century America.
1 posted on 01/27/2004 11:59:46 PM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
If you need any proof that Bob Duval is the greatest actor going, see "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway." He plays a Cuban exile in Miami, and he has it down pat, you wouldn't even believe it's him. Shame on Spielberg, he should know better than anyone that when he goes to Cuba, he sees about as realistic picture of life there, as he would have seen in Thereisenstadt as to how the Jews were treated under the Nazis.
2 posted on 01/28/2004 12:17:37 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: goldstategop

3 posted on 01/28/2004 12:21:25 AM PST by Interloper
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To: goldstategop; PARodrig
4 posted on 01/28/2004 1:54:51 AM PST by Cacique
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To: goldstategop
"Castro doesn’t want trade. (He has nothing to sell that anyone’s willing to buy at market prices."

Well he does have cigars and beautiful Carribean beaches, not to mention exotic decaying tropical cities. People I know who have been there have had a nice time.

But how can anyone with moral standards even consider doing business with the guy? Is making a dollar in Cuba really that important to the Left?

Amazing what most Hollywood creatures really look like when you shine a light on them. Good for Duvall, though.

5 posted on 01/28/2004 6:12:07 AM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: goldstategop
I saw this interview and i was amazed at Robert Duvall. A great actor and fearless.
6 posted on 01/28/2004 6:22:01 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Beep Beep)
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