Seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus returned from their trip to Havana singing the praises of their gracious host, Fidel Castro. Rep. Bobby Rush said talking to Castro was “like talking to an old friend,” and he told the dictator around the Rush household Castro is known as “the ultimate survivor.” Castro evidently wants to do all he can to help Obama succeed (unlike Rush and those mean ol’ conservatives, see? Castro’s not unpatriotic like them! /sarcasm). The claim impressed Rep. Laura Richardson, who gushed that Castro knew her name and district and looked right into her eyes. And remarkably, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, in an interview on NPR, said he saw no repression in Cuba.
The purpose of the trip was to highlight the need for revisiting the Cuban trade embargo, but the delegation ended up turning the Castros into heroes. Michelle Malkin gives the group her Commie Stooges of the Day Award, and Miami Herald columnist Myriam Marquez calls them the Clueless Seven.
The fact is that the Congressional delegation spent no time in the real Cuba, instead being entertained and fed a narrative by their oh-so-delightful hosts. It’s similar to when Sean Penn gave the Castros the rosy-glasses treatment after swinging through Venezuela and then wrote a sickeningly sweet love letter to Chavez and the Castros on Salon.com. The claim is made that these leaders are so fantastically popular that they’d win an election anyway. But that’s the point – that claim is never put to the test. It’s simply amazing to me that politicians and activists are willing to overlook the murderous and tyrannical pasts of dictators, claiming they’re just misunderstood. But the folks who don’t misunderstand the Castros are the 300 political prisoners in Cuban prisons, and the millions of Cubans who have yet to vote in an open election for their political leadership. The display put on by the Congressional delegation is atrociously embarrassing and tragically uncalled for.