Note: I totally respect John McCain’s bipartisan work (with fellow senator Russ Feingold, D-HotStuff) on campaign financing reform, even if it never went anywhere (because the Bushpig Party just ran a big-ass dollar-driven steamroller right over it). But this is just ridiculous–and Fidel Castro has called him out for it:
Allow me to remind you, Mr. McCain: The commandments of the religion that you practice forbid lying. The years of prison and the injuries that you received as a consequence of your attacks on Hanoi do not excuse you from your moral duty to the truth.
There are facts that we should inform you of. In Cuba, there was a rebellion against a despot imposed on the Cuban people by the government of the United States on March 10, 1952, when you were approaching your 16th birthday, and the Republican government of a eminent military man, Dwight D. Eisenhower — certainly the first to talk of an military-industrial complex — acknowledged and immediately supported that government. I was a bit older than you, and would turn 26 in August, the month in which you, too, were born. Eisenhower had not yet completed his presidential term, begun in the 1950s, a number of years after the fame he acquired in the Allied landing in northern France, with the support of 10,000 aircraft and the most powerful naval forces known up to that point.
That was a war, formally declared by the powers that were confronting Hitler, initiated by surprise by the Nazis, who attacked without warning or a prior declaration of war. A new style of provoking mass killings was imposed on humanity.
In 1945, two atomic bombs of some 20 kilotons each were utilized against the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I once visited the first of those cities.
During the 1950s, the U.S. government was constructing nuclear weapons to the extent that one of them, the MR17, weighed 19.05 tons and measured 7.49 meters, and could be transported in bombers and trigger an explosion of 20 megatons, equivalent to 1,000 bombs of the kind that it dropped on those two cities on August 6, 1945. That is a piece of information that would drive Einstein insane, given that in the midst of his contradictions, he expressed remorse on a number of occasions for the weapon that, without intending, he helped to construct with his scientific theories and discoveries.
When the Revolution in Cuba triumphed on January 1, 1959, almost 15 years after the explosion of the first nuclear weapons, and a Agrarian Reform Act was proclaimed on the basis of national sovereignty, consecrated by the blood of millions of combatants who died in that war, the response of the United States was a program of illegal acts and terrorist attacks on the Cuban people, undersigned by the president of the United States himself, Dwight. D. Eisenhower.
The attack via the Bay of Pigs came about following the precise instructions of the president of the United States and the invaders were escorted by naval units, including an aircraft carrier. The first assault with U.S. government B-26 bombers that flew out of underground bases came in a surprise form, with the use of Cuban insignia to present it to world opinion as an uprising by our national Air Force.
You are accusing Cuban revolutionaries of being torturers. I seriously urge you to present just one of the 1,000-plus prisoners captured in the combats of Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) combat who was tortured. I was there, unprotected in a distant general command post. With some aides, I personally captured a large number of prisoners; I passed in front of armed squadrons still hidden in the forest vegetation, who were brought to a halt by the presence there of the Commander of the Revolution. I regret having to mention this, which could seem to be self-praise, which I sincerely detest.
The prisoners were citizens born in Cuba and organized by a powerful foreign power to fight against their own people.
You profess yourself to be in favor of capital punishment for very serious crimes. What attitude would you have assumed in response to such acts? How many would you have punished for that treason? A number of the invaders, who had previously committed horrendous crimes under Batista’s orders against Cuban revolutionaries, were tried in Cuba.
I visited the mass of prisoners from the Bay of Pigs, which is what you call the Girón invasion, more than once, and talked with them. I like to know people’s motives. They were very surprised and acknowledged the personal respect with which they were treated.
You should be aware that, while their release was being negotiated via compensation in food for children and medicines, the U.S. government was organizing assassination plots against my person. That is confirmed in the writings of people who participated in the negotiations.
I shall not refer in detail to the long list of hundreds of assassination attempts against my person. These are not inventions. It is what is stated in official documents released by the U.S. government.
What kind of ethics underlie those acts vehemently defended by you as a matter of principle?
Seeing as McCain is unlikely to answer that question, Fidel, please allow me to fill you in.
McCain is just pandering to the anti-Cuban lobby, whom he perceives as being hugely influential in Republican circles. (You’re probably familiar with them. They’re headquartered in Miami, and they’ve made over 600 attempts on your life.)
Now, you know and I know what really happened at Playa Giron (or the Bay of Pigs), when you and your fellow Cubans fended off an invasion. I can’t honestly say I blame you for importing Russian nuclear warheads in self-defence. In your shoes, I’d probably have done the same, with considerable regrets. Ever since I saw The Day After, in 1983, I’ve been a staunch peacenik and no-nuker.
However, as a Canadian, I’m live-and-let-live when it comes to Cuba. And I believe that Cuba, as a sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself by any means necessary. My belief is that it is the Cuban people who must decide, and if they decide they prefer you, or communism, over the US State Dept.’s handpicked candidates, so be it. I know there are many things worse than communism. (Such as, for example, the State Dept.’s handpicked candidates.)
But apparently, there are a number of crazies who think that communism is still THE #1 menace to the great global whatever, and that its embers, however small and dim, are to be stomped out wherever they feebly flicker. Is John McCain one of them? He certainly gives every impression that he is, and never more than when he is pandering to the Miami mafiosi who have repeatedly tried and failed to topple you.
Now, one thing I’ve noticed about those people is that they are all, to a man, bat-shit crazy. Perhaps McCain is, too; the treatment he endured in the Hanoi Hilton must have warped his brain. Whatever they did to him there, though, is no worse than what the US and its collaborators have done under Operation Condor throughout Latin America. In fact, from what I’ve read, I’d prefer to be in the hands of the North Vietnamese. (The South Vietnamese–the “friendlies”–were total sons of bitches. And guess who taught them what they knew!)
Of course, the charges that there were Cubans among the North Vietnamese torturers are nothing new. I found a PR release dated 1999, levelling just such accusations. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the prime accusers were from CANF, and your old pal Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is among them–like I said, they are bat-shit crazy! (And good on you, Fidel, for getting them out of country when you did.)
And if you want to know how I feel about it, these p
eople might want to clean up their own house before they point any fingers elsewhere. It seems they have plenty of torturers of their own, and some of them are ex-Cuban. But I doubt they learned their black arts from the likes of Fidel Castro.