Writes Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen in “Hollywood’s Darling, Liberals’ Blind Spot”:

Just recently the government of Fidel Castro arrested about 80 dissidents and almost instantly brought them to trial — if it can be called that. Foreign journalists and diplomats were excluded from the proceedings, in which 12 of the accused face life sentences. All of them are undoubtedly guilty of seeking greater freedom and on occasion meeting with visiting human rights activists. In Cuba, those are crimes…[Castro] can rely also on the unswerving naivete and obtuseness of the American left, which consistently has managed to overlook what a goon he is. Instead, [the Left] concentrates on his willingness to meet with American intellectuals and chatter long into the night…I’d like to see anyone interrupt one of Fidel’s marathon soliloquies to ask about human rights violations…[Washington Post, April 8, 2003]

Perhaps this is because to Leftists, freedom of speech is not a mean and ends toward freedom, but only useful as a means to establishing the opposite: socialism–or some variant thereof, i.e., fascism, communism, etc. Once the socialist state is a reality, as in Cuba, freedom of speech becomes a liability that can only undermine the Leftist’s totalitarian dream.


Update: Or perhaps it is because they are too busy gushing over Castro…

Barbara Walters on Why Cuba is the Freest Nation on Earth: “For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent.” — [ABC’s 20/20, October 11, 2002]

Of course, given that it is illegal to disagree with Cuban government statistics in Cuba and illegal to lend books which makes makes the ability to read fairly useless in practice. Here is Dan Rather being “controversial” by speaking his mind on the morning of the Elian raid:

Dan Rather’s Very Small Mind: “. . . there is no question that Castro feels a very deep and abiding connection to those Cubans who are still in Cuba. And, I recognize this might be controversial, but there’s little doubt in my mind that Fidel Castro was sincere when he said, ‘listen, we really want this child back here.'”

Where is my bucket?

The Multicultural Approach to Totalitarianism: “What is deprogramming? What is reeducation? The young man [Elian] will go back into the, into the school system in Cuba. The school system inCuba teaches that Communism is the way to succeed in life and it is the best system. Is that deprogramming or is that national heritage? That’s certainly what he’ll be learning. He’ll also be living in a different kind of society, a society that many people here in Cuba like. The CIA, in fact, says that if the borders were open that most, 90 percent of the population here in Cuba would stay in Cuba because they like it.”– NBC News reporter Jim Avila from Cuba

Yeah and 100% of them would vote for Castro…

Why Elian’s Mom Died for Nothing: “To be a poor child in Cuba may in many instances be better than being a poor child in Miami and I’m not going to condemn their lifestyle so gratuitously.”- Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift

It is a shame Elian’s mother, Elizabet Broton, did not read Eleanor’s column at Newsweek, perhaps she would not have risked her life to bring her son to the U.S.

By the way, these are all actual quotes (Hat Tip: MRC). I am not making this stuff up.

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