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Shaking Hands with the Devil, from Ninety Miles Away
Illinois Review ^ | December 18, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo

Posted on 12/18/2014 7:53:58 AM PST by jfd1776

A long time ago, on an island not too far away, a pair of brothers was ejected from a good Jesuit school. The one was reportedly a better student, the other less impressive, but together, they preferred other things – politics, rabble-rousing, war.

When the brothers grew up, they fell in with a bad crowd – the worst of crowds, in fact. Far across the oceans, Chinese communists were consolidating their power, Soviet communists were drawing an iron curtain down the center of Europe, Korean communists were settling in for the long haul in Pyongyang, Vietnamese communists were revolting against the French in Hanoi.

And of all the things to do in the world of the 1950s – from music to manufacturing, from Wall Street to Madison Avenue, from acting to travel – the Western economies were booming; it was a great time to be alive – of all the choices they had in the Western world, these two brothers looked instead all the way to those distant communist hellholes, and said, yes, that’s the life they wanted for themselves.

In their 20s, they joined, then led, a Leninist revolutionary band. Cuba was and is a small country; it wasn’t hard to rise to the top. Before you knew it, Fidel and Raul Castro, along with their vicious friend Che Guevara, were the leaders of The Movement, and a few years later, they were the rulers of Cuba.

The Castros ordered the nationalization of Catholic schools (even though Jesuits from their old school had successfully lobbied the Batista government to release the brothers from prison just a few years before). The Castros nationalized and closed, or simply destroyed Christian churches, and banished or killed priests or nuns who had served in them.

The Castro brothers evicted, imprisoned, or killed thousands of managers in foreign-owned businesses throughout Cuba – one of their primary beefs was the fact that foreign investment employed so many of their countrymen; they would rather see their fellow Cubans unemployed than being managed by non-Cubans.

The Castro brothers nationalized some $75 billion (in 1960 US dollars) worth of American property and businesses when they took over, which was of course instantly worth far less to the new junta, once those competent managers were evicted, imprisoned or killed.

Fidel became the dictator; brother Raul was the enforcer. Raul’s title was Minister of the Armed Services, but, like any crime gang, the job was less formal – it was to supervise the executions, to write the contracts or do the killing himself.

The history books are full of examples – the hundreds of the prior government officials, the hundreds of the prior government’s police, the hundreds of humble bureaucrats, or reporters, or housekeepers, or clerks, whose only crime was to cross the path of the Castro brothers at some point in their half century of dictatorship.

There’s one particularly famous incident – the 72 people summarily executed without trial in one 24-hour period in 1959 at Raul’s order, buried by a bulldozer, perhaps remembered because of the easily memorable figure, six dozen at one time.

But the vast majority of Raul Castro’s killings were of such bulk that the details were lost to the history books, blending in with so many others.

263 outside of Santiago in 1959… 11 peasants in the Sierra Maestra, just for refusing or being unable to serve as guides… 272 people in one two-week period in January 1959 alone…

Some of the victims’ names are remembered, like Colonel Cornelio Rojas, but the majority of the thousands murdered by Raul Castro, either at his brother’s order or at his own person whim, are forgotten by history, fading away in the fog of distant revolution. If you left behind children and grandchildren, they’ll remember you; if you were slaughtered before you had a chance to get married, have children, and live your adult life, then you may leave no one behind to keep your memory alive and call out for justice, however long it may take.

It was long understood that the brothers had a complimentary division of labor – throughout their reign, Fidel enjoyed exercising power as the dictator, and Raul enjoyed shooting people. Fidel was known as the speechmaker; Raul was feared as the manager of death squads. “Minister of the Armed Forces” sounds so much better to the ear than “serial killer,” doesn’t it…

As the years went by, Raul worked ever more closely with their sponsors in the Soviet Union. They identified places in which to replicate what they had done in Cuba. With Cuban soldiers and Soviet weapons and ammunition, they traveled the world, fomenting revolution in Africa, South America, Asia… The 1960s and 1970s were the years in which the disease of communism was spread by Cuban advisors, all at the direction of Fidel and Raul Castro.

And so, when after a long and vicious rule, Fidel finally grew too sick to continue as dictator, he passed the top job to his brother in 2006, as his reward for unwavering fraternal loyalty, and mass murder on his brother’s behalf, for so many decades.

The death squads never shut down; Raul Castro remained the enforcer from the 1950s to the present. The thousands and thousands of political prisoners and other unfortunate victims at home – and the hundreds of thousands of victims of Soviet-client revolution-spreading in Angola and Mozambique, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Venezuela and Algeria – all these casualties of 20th century communism can trace their suffering, poverty, injury, and death back to Raul and Fidel Castro.

Unlike Russia, East Germany, Poland, and Hungary, which overthrew their Soviet-era rulers and formed new governments… unlike the Chinese communists and the Vietnamese communists, who had no such revolution but have gradually replaced old line Stalinists with ostensibly more “open and tolerant” socialists… Cuban remains stuck in time, still ruled by the very same mass murderers who started it all, sixty years ago.

Other formerly communist countries deserve a fresh start – of course – but that has no bearing on this one. Cuba has had no such internal change of leadership. Their dictator today is the very man who gave the orders to kill dozens of Americans and thousands of his countrymen, the very man who led the destruction and theft of billions of dollars worth of American property.

Statutes of Limitations

Ever since antiquity, civilized people have recognized a need for some time limit on criminal prosecution, and on civil prosecution as well, for that matter. Statutes of limitations, as they’re called, recognize that key evidence may be lost over time… that witnesses forget, move, or die… so governments forbid prosecution after too much time has passed. Perhaps a year, perhaps five, perhaps seven; virtually all legal systems recognize that if a person hasn’t been prosecuted for a minor infraction for years, it may no longer be in the government’s best interest to try to prosecute him now.

But even while governments institute these limits, they also recognize that, just as not all crimes are alike, not all time limits should be alike either.

Many countries set a longer statute of limitations on sex crimes, and most eliminate the limitation entirely on homicide. Under commonly accepted standards of international law, crimes against humanity, and particularly, war crimes such as the Nazi operators of WWII death camps, must have no statute of limitations whatsoever.

Also worth noting is “Continuing Violations” doctrine, a universally-recognized approach stating that a criminal with a pattern of ongoing crime cannot be limited by when the crime spree began, but should only be dated from the most recent incident. So a burglar who’s been robbing the same house for twenty years doesn’t get a break just because he got away with it the first five; we should still prosecute him for the times he has robbed the house in these past five.

And what can we learn from this today?

Cuba and the Question of Normalizing Relations

The American left has, for all their talk of “human rights” over the years, inexplicably, never been bothered by the brutalities of the Castro Brothers’ rule of Cuba. Not during the revolution (“well, it’s a revolution, after all…”), not during the consolidation of power and bloodletting of the 1960s (“well, they were just starting out, they probably needed an iron fist…”), not even today, 55 years in, as the Cuban secret police still round up people, throw them in jail, and throw away the key, without the commission of a real crime, without any filing of charges.

Life under the Leninists is a life in continual “revolution mode.” If there is to be a statute of limitations on the evils of the Cuban regime, there’s still plenty to prosecute them for. The theft of USD 75 billion may have been half a century ago, but there’s plenty of fresh blood on the brothers’ hands, to cover up the old, dried blood of decades long past.

As the American Left declares “It’s been 50 years; get over it!” or as even some confused voices on the right say, “It’s been 50 years and the boycott isn’t working; time for a change!”… the fact is that they’re all wrong, on every count.

While many of the crimes were indeed 50 years ago, thousands of those crimes have no statute of limitations. Under international law, Raul and Fidel Castro should be recognized as both war criminals and dictators guilty of crimes against humanity. They should be prosecuted, not bowed down to.

The other charge is more of a challenge, because it’s based on a false premise. To say the boycott isn’t working is to misunderstand what the boycott is for.

Our boycott against Cuba’s current regime is not solely intended to force the regime to buckle, or to convince the Cuban people to somehow rise up and overthrow the Castros. That would always have been welcome, but it was never the only reason.

In fact, we closed our embassy, ended diplomatic relations, and severed all economic activity with Cuba because the Cuban regime was in the hands of a band of criminals who had robbed Americans – American investors, American businesses, American citizens – of USD 75 billion in property and business activity…. And they had kidnapped Americans, and killed Americans, and killed so many more of their own people too, that the United States had no choice but to acknowledge a fact: that the nation of Cuba was now in the hands of criminals. Not just any criminals, but criminals who had specifically stolen from us.

Imagine our struggling nation today if that USD 75 billion had never been stolen from our business community. That’s 1960 dollars, remember. Imagine what that would have continued to grow, produce, and multiply into, after 55 years. Our struggling, generous nation could not afford to lose that money, and yet, the Castros stole it from us, weakening our economy – just a little, but still, enough – to do us damage, contributing to the economic suffering we have today.

If the Cubans had overthrown the Castros, we could have justified starting over, a blank slate, as we did with Russia, East Germany, Hungary and Poland when the USSR fell.

Or if the Castros had finally died, of natural causes, then too we could have justified starting over. Once they’re out of the picture, the United States can be magnanimous and evaluate the benefits of reestablishing relations with our island neighbor.

But not while the Castros still live.

No, not while the Castros continue to commit tyrannical crimes ranging from beatings to life imprisonment to murder. There isn’t enough paper in Appleton to type up the indictment on these serial killers.

When Louis XIV said “L’etat, c’est moi” (I am the State), he defined a concept that these United States were designed to reject: the idea that the king is the nation, that the political leader is not just a representative and servant of the nation, but is the very personification of the nation… that good things for the country really accrue to him, that bad things for the country only really happen to him.

This concept, rejected by legitimate republican governments like the United States and Canada and Israel, lives on in the absolute dictatorships of communist countries. In Cuba, the Castro brothers are the state; the state is the Castro brothers.

To normalize diplomatic relations with these monsters –with these very villains who have been responsible for so much evil in the world over the past half century, so very many deaths, so much suffering – is to give one clear message to the world:

That if you rob the American investor by nationalizing his business, his land, his bank, his home… if you abuse, imprison or kill American travelers in your country… if you manage or serve in a proxy war against the United States or its allies on innocent foreign soil… and you can wait it out long enough, the United States government will eventually tire of holding it against you.

The message that normalization would send is that the United States has a short memory, and will eventually give in, for no concessions at all, if an enemy is just patient.

When we consider today’s global economy, in which American employers and investors hold trillions of dollars worth of property and goods in other countries all over the world, do we really want to send that message?

Do we dare take a chance, that today’s capitulation “probably” won’t inspire some other tinpot dictator tomorrow to nationalize our oil wells, or our manufacturing plants, or our distribution centers, located in any of 200 other countries across the globe?

Yes indeed, “Normalization” sends a message… but it’s no message that anyone looking out for America’s best interests would ever want to send.

Copyright 2014 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago based international trade compliance manager and lecturer. A writer, actor, and recovering politician, he is old enough to remember the Cold War, and to remember which side Cuba was on at the time.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included. Follow John F. Di Leo on Facebook and LinkedIn, or on Twitter at @johnfdileo.

(note: the linked photo is of Raul Castro preparing to execute a captive during the revolution)

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; History; Politics
KEYWORDS: cuba; kentucky; normalization; putinsbuttboys; randpaul; randpaultruthfile; randsconcerntrolls; raulcastro; ronpaul; ronpaultruthfile; russia

1 posted on 12/18/2014 7:53:58 AM PST by jfd1776
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To: jfd1776

2 posted on 12/18/2014 7:58:48 AM PST by Beowulf9
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To: jfd1776
"And of all the things to do in the world of the 1950s – from music to manufacturing, from Wall Street to Madison Avenue, from acting to travel – the Western economies were booming; it was a great time to be alive – of all the choices they had in the Western world, these two brothers looked instead all the way to those distant communist hellholes, and said, yes, that’s the life they wanted for themselves."

Nicely put

3 posted on 12/18/2014 8:07:11 AM PST by Mr. K (Palin/Cruz 2016)
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To: jfd1776
God is patient....but letting Satan control our country through liberal views, Obama’s dictatorship, and the complacency of life we think we have, unless we turn from our evil ways, ask for His forgiveness and pray earnestly, we are headed to be just another armpit on His earth.
4 posted on 12/18/2014 8:12:15 AM PST by YouGoTexasGirl
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To: jfd1776

I find it funny that fifty years after American Independence the USA was a powerhouse of industry and commerce!

Fifty years after the Cuban Revolution they are still trying to make “La Revo-o-o-sion” work, but can’t!

5 posted on 12/18/2014 8:34:22 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I survived I-35W through Fort Worth in Rush hour! MILE AND MILES OF CONSTRUCTION!)
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To: YouGoTexasGirl

Obama and Raúl Castro thank pope for breakthrough in US-Cuba relations.

Pope Francis, before visiting The Holy Land boasted to be himself the “Che” of the Palestinian people.

A Marxist leaning Pope blessed the Marxist American president embrace of Castro's genocide communist regime condemning the Cuban enslaved people to eternal damnation. On the deal Castro liberated an American illegally imprisoned in Cuba in exchange for the freedom of three Cuban spies serving prison terms in U.S. and the normalization of relations with a country that occupied for decades a top position in the list of the State Department ‘s terrorist countries.

The Cuban regime tried to obliterate New York and Washington with a nuclear attack during the October Missile Crisis of 1962. “In November 1962, the Castro brothers’ and Che Guevara’s agents had targeted Macy’s, Gimbels, Bloomingdales, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Station with a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT. The Holocaust was set for detonation the following week, on the day after Thanksgiving.” (Humberto Fontova)

Castro has been a strong ally of Islamic terrorism. Cuba continues to serve as a base for coordination and mutual support among transnational terrorist organizations. At Tehran University he stated to the thunderous applause of students and faculty, "The imperialist king will finally fall,” (AFP, May 10, 2001). Immediately afterward the Iranian Press Service proudly proclaimed that "Iran and Cuba reached the conclusion that together they can tear down the United States.” (IPS, May 10, 2001).

According to World renown and highly respected American investigative journalist and author, Claire Sterling, : “All of the world’s emerging terrorist bands in the 1970’s were indebted to the Cubans and their Russian patrons for that honeycomb of camps around Havana. None could have started without rudimentary training, and those who didn’t train in Cuba were trained by others who did.” (“The Terror Network, The Secret War on International Terrorism.”)

As reported by Sterling, “Castro was training the advance guards of the coming European fright decade – Palestinians, Italians, Germans, French, Spanish Basques – and forming guerrilla nuclei in practically every Western hemisphere state south of the American border. As far back as 1962, Castro’s camps were taking in 1,500 Latin American guerrillas a year. . ‘Any revolutionary movement anywhere in the world can count on Cuba’s unconditional support,’ declared Castro at the 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana”. It was then and there that the international terrorism network was consolidated under Castro’s leadership.”

It is suicidal turning a blind eye to Castro, a deadly enemy at 90 miles south of Key West that does not hide his hatred for U.S.

After the restoration of diplomatic relations comes the end of the embargo.

To complete Obama’s betrayal of the American people, with the normalization of relations comes the opening to Cuba of the American and International bank credits that will sustain the Cuban regimen passing to the American taxpayers the same heavy burden that helped to bankrupt the Soviet Union.

When The FBI Tracked Terror-Suspects—Literally!

Humberto Fontova | May 10, 2013

6 posted on 12/18/2014 8:46:04 AM PST by Dqban22 (Hpo<p>
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To: jfd1776

Folks at the UN jumped at the chance to condemn the US over ‘torture’ & wanted trials. Why have the Castro brothers not been tried by the UN for crimes against humanity?

7 posted on 12/18/2014 9:16:57 AM PST by Twotone (Truth is hate to those who hate truth.)
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To: jfd1776

Which one is the Devil?

8 posted on 12/18/2014 10:22:31 AM PST by Busko
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To: jfd1776

We do that every day in America and not many seem to care.
At the same, have always been told, 2 wrongs do not make a right. Not sure many believe that today.

9 posted on 12/18/2014 10:23:44 AM PST by mulligan (I)
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To: jfd1776

Maybe the NSA did it?

10 posted on 12/18/2014 11:02:41 AM PST by arthurus
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11 posted on 12/19/2014 4:46:23 AM PST by foreverfree
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To: jfd1776

You can bet the rent on that if hi was good for the United States, Obama would not have done it. But, he was the people’s choice in 2008 and 2912. And still is.

12 posted on 12/19/2014 4:54:55 AM PST by sport
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To: sport

I’ll agree with your first sentence, Sport!

but I’ll disagree on the second. I don’t believe he was the people’s choice in 2012. Between the massive vote fraud and the fact that virtually his entire victory came from inner cities, BHO was clearly NOT the people’s choice in 2012.

Romney had 65-35 numbers or better whenever you got out of the cities. And the cities are where the schools and conditions are worst, and the welfare state and vote fraud reign supreme.

13 posted on 12/23/2014 11:04:23 AM PST by jfd1776 (John F. Di Leo, Illinois Review Columnist, former Milwaukee County Republican Party Chairman)
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To: jfd1776
The second sentence is always said with tongue in cheek and is meant to be very sarcastic. There was more fraud than you can shake a stick at. Ditto the first as far as fund raising for the son of a bitch went.
14 posted on 12/23/2014 12:25:00 PM PST by sport
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