Los campos de concentración de Castro
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Conan O’Brien overlooks dark side of Cuba

Conan O’Brien overlooks dark side of Cuba
03/04/2015 5:11 PM 03/04/2015 5:11 PM

Regarding his show on — and from — Castro’s Cuba scheduled for March 4,
Conan O’Brien warned us:

“I do not want this to be a snarky comedy take. And I don’t want to be
political…Maybe it isn’t a bad form of diplomacy to send a comedian
over. Maybe that’s not a bad first wave.”

Funny how people who make a career from snarking — poof! — dutifully
switch it off, totally wimp out when it comes to Castro’s Cuba, probably
the most richly snarkable phenomenon on Earth.

I mean, what’s so snarky about a millionaire American comedian
headlining an hour-long tourism ad for a Stalinist regime whose
“constitution” mandates three years in a KGB-designed prison cell for
any of its subjects overheard cracking a joke about a regime official?

To entice viewers, O’Brien recently posted a pic of himself from Havana
proudly posing with “the iconic” (O’Brien’s term) Che Guevara.

Che Guevara’s first decree when his “rebels” captured the town of Sancti
Spiritus in central Cuba during the last days of the utterly bogus “war”
against Batista’s army, outlawed alcohol, gambling and regulated
relations between the sexes. Popular outcry and Fidel’s sharp political
sense made him rescind the order.

“I have no home, no woman, no parents, no brothers and no friends,”
wrote Guevara in his diaries. “My friends are friends only so long as
they think as I do politically.”

In 1960, in a town named Guanahacabibes on the tip of Western Cuba,
Guevara set up Cuba’s forced-labor camp system. “We send to
Guanahacabibes people who have committed crimes against revolutionary
morals,” warned Guevara, whose definition of such “offenses” proved
pretty sweeping. In fact, they probably read like the daily planner of
many O’Brien viewers.

“We punish individuals who refuse to participate in collective effort
and who lead an antisocial and parasitic life,” read Beria and
Vishinky’s charges against millions of Stalin’s victims during The Great
Terror. “We punish individualists and antisocial miscreants!”

“Individualism must disappear!” thundered the Guevara (this idol of
‘do-your-own-thing’ bohemians) in a 1961 speech in Havana.
Interestingly, the cheeky Ernesto Guevara’s signature on his early
correspondence read, “Stalin II.”

In a famous speech in 1961, Che the party animal denounced the very
“spirit of rebellion” as “reprehensible.” “Youth must refrain from
ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates,” commanded Guevara.
“Instead they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service.”

And woe to those youths “who stayed up late at night and thus reported
to work (government forced labor) tardily.”

Youth, wrote Guevara, “should learn to think and act as a mass.” Those
who chose their own path (as in growing long hair and listening to
Yankee-imperialist rock & roll) were denounced as worthless lumpen and
“delinquents.” Guevara even vowed “to make individualism disappear from
Cuba! It is criminal to think of individuals!”

Tens of thousands of Cuban youths learned that Guevara’s admonitions
were more than idle bombast. In Guevara, the hundreds of Soviet KGB and
East German Stasi “consultants” who flooded Cuba in the early 60’s,
found an eager acolyte. By the mid ’60s, the crime of a “rocker”
lifestyle, long hair or effeminate behavior got thousands of youths
yanked from Cuba’s streets and parks by secret police and dumped in
prison camps with “Work Will Make Men Out of You” in bold letters above
the gate and with machine gunners posted on the watchtowers. The
initials for these camps were “UMAP,” not “GULAG,” but the conditions
were similar.

“I was shocked,” said O’Brien during his Cuba jaunt, “by how much we
were left completely alone.” (Presumably O’Brien means by Castroite

He shouldn’t be so sure.

“My job was to bug [celebrities’] hotel rooms,” revealed high-ranking
Cuban intelligence defector Delfin Fernandez. “With both cameras and
listening devices. Most people have no idea they are being watched while
they are in Cuba. But their personal activities are filmed under orders
from Castro himself…famous Americans are the priority objectives of
Castro’s intelligence.”

“When the celebrity visitors arrived at their Havana hotels,” continues
Fernandez, “we already had their rooms completely bugged with
sophisticated taping equipment. But not just the rooms, we’d also follow
the visitors around, sometimes we covered them 24 hours a day. They had
no idea we were tailing them.”

But who’s snarking?


Source: Conan O’Brien overlooks dark side of Cuba | Miami Herald Miami
Herald – http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article12513890.html

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