Castro the Annihilationist 1

The Marxist Left and its fellow-travelers are mourning the death of Fidel Castro. It would be good if they realized that his death marks the moment when their appalling creed started to die. The last possible new Marxist regime was perhaps – in the hopes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their followers – to be the United States, and even the Whole World (“to save it from climate change”). But they lost their grip on power just when they thought they had it for keeps. And as they stood bewildered, wondering how it had happened, Fidel Castro croaked.

At present there are still lots of Marxists in the world to eulogize the dead tyrant of Cuba.

Among the mourning parties are the Greens.

Jeremy Lott writes at the Washington Examiner:

Green Party perennial presidential hopeful Jill Stein praised former Cuban strongman Fidel Castro on Saturday, as encomiums by many left-of-center politicians continued to roll in following his death.

“Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!” Stein wrote on Twitter Saturday afternoon. The verb form of the word literally means “present.” The way Stein used it was something like a military salute (“present arms!”) but for Latin American leftist radicals. …

Castro’s death Friday, she told [Paste Magazine], “feels like the passing of an era of incredible struggle against empire right across the water — whether you live in Haiti or in Cuba or even much of the rest of South America, there’s been a real struggle for social justice and it’s been very difficult. Cuba was in many ways the face of that movement, which continues to this day”.

In praising Castro, Stein joined former Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, and many others with progressive pedigrees in heaping praise on the Marxist ruler who has a great deal of blood on his hands.

Just how much blood is a matter of some dispute.

“In our country there have never been death squads – not a single disappearance, no political assassinations, not one person tortured,” Fidel Castro himself insisted in 2001.

However, countless people fled the country over several decades for some reason and many of them have stories to tell.

According to the Cuba Archive, which tries to document the atrocities of the Fidel regime, on his watch at least 3,116 people were killed by firing squad and 1,116 people were executed in other extrajudicial killings. All told, they chalk up an admittedly far from complete death toll of over 7,000 Cubans on his watch.

Far from complete is right. (More on that below.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin remembered Castro as a “strong and wise man” according to a statement released by the Kremlin.

“He embodied high ideals of a politician, citizen and patriot, and was sincerely convinced of the rightness of the cause, to which he gave his whole life,” the Russian leader wrote. “His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russian citizens.”

And this is part of the pablum issued by out-going President Obama:

For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity.

The past is always behind us. Thing is, what parts of it provide lessons we need to learn?

Paul Kengor writes at Western Journalism:

How many people were killed by Fidel and his communist dystopia? Unfortunately, no one truly knows … No one knows how many poor souls he tossed into his jails, from political dissidents to priests to homosexuals. Fidel’s prison-state has never permitted human-rights observers … Many sources have tried to pin down numbers and have generated some common estimates:

The Black Book of Communism, the seminal Harvard University Press work, which specialized in trying to get accurate data on the enormous volume of deaths produced by communist tyrants, states that in the 1960s alone, when Fidel and his brother Raul (Cuba’s current leader) established their complete control, with the help of their murdering buddy Che Guevara, an estimated 30,000 people were arrested in Cuba for political reasons and 7,000 to 10,000 were believed to have been executed. Even then, that was merely the start.

From the late 1950s to the late 1990s, it’s estimated that Castro killed between 15,000 to 18,000 people, whether victims of long-term imprisonment or outright execution by bullets.

That is a lot of people for a small island. And it isn’t all. Cuba is a surreal island of no boats, where boats are banned — because people with boats flee. Thus, untold numbers of citizens have attempted the treacherous nearly 100-mile swim to Florida in shark-infested waters. An estimated 100,000 have risked the journey. Of those, perhaps as many as 30,000 to 40,000 died from drowning. As they bob for breath, the Castro government sends military helicopters to drop large bags of sand on them from above. …

So, Fidel Castro is responsible for a lot of death.

Nowhere near enough to satisfy his appetite for it. 

But here, too, these numbers do not capture the level of Fidel’s brutal madness. Consider the actual millions he badly wanted to kill, especially here in America.

If Fidel Castro had his way in October 1962, the United States would have been leveled by atomic bombs and so would little Cuba, which would’ve ceased to exist. The fact is that Fidel recommended to Nikita Khrushchev that Cuba and the USSR together launch an all-out nuclear attack upon the United States, literally igniting Armageddon.

This is no secret. Castro admitted it. In an open forum discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis 30 years later, Castro told Robert McNamara, JFK’s secretary of defense: “Bob, I did recommend they [the nuclear missiles] were to be used.”

“Bob”, eh? The Communist tyrant of Cuba and Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense came to be on first name terms?

In total, said McNamara, there were 162 Soviet missiles on the island. The firing of those missiles alone would have led to (according to McNamara) at least 80 million dead Americans, which would have been half the population, plus added tens of millions of casualties.

That, however, is a conservative estimate, given that 162 missiles was far the sum total that would have been subsequently launched. The United States in turn would have launched on Cuba, and also on the USSR. President Kennedy made that commitment clear in his nationally televised speech on October 22, 1962: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” In response, of course, the Soviets would have automatically launched on America from Soviet soil. Even then, the fireworks would just be starting: Under the terms of their NATO and Warsaw Pact charters, the territories of Western and Eastern Europe would also erupt.

Once the smoke cleared, hundreds of millions to possibly over a billion people could have perished, with Western civilization in its death throes. If Fidel Castro had gotten his way, he would have precipitated the greatest slaughter in human history. (Che Guevara also wanted to launch the nukes.)

The Soviets were horrified. Their ambassador to Cuba, Alexander Alekseyev, was so stunned at what Castro told him that he stood frozen, speechless, crushed. Without waiting for an answer from the numb ambassador, Castro started writing his feelings on paper, which Alekseyev saw as a kind of “last testament, a farewell”.

Fidel was ready to go — go up in a giant mushroom cloud for Marxism. As McNamara learned, this was Fidel’s big chance to die as a “martyr” for Marxism-Leninism. He was ready to “pull the temple down on his head”. 

A shocked Nikita Khrushchev realized he was dealing with madmen. Khrushchev’s son Sergei, in his three-volume biography of his father, said that the Soviet general secretary huddled with top officials in the “code room” of the Foreign Ministry late on a Sunday night and repeatedly ordered, “Remove them, and as quickly as possible”.

Remove the Soviet missiles from Cuba, he presumably meant; not the “madmen” from power, which would have been even better.

Khrushchev urged Andrei Gromyko to instantly get in touch with Washington in order “to save the world from those pushing us toward war”.

As for Fidel, he was “furious” with Khrushchev. “Castro was mortally offended,” recorded Sergei. “He had not managed to engage in a fight with the Americans. He had made up his mind to die a hero, and to have it end that way.” He had been ready to “die beautifully,” as one Soviet official put it. Denied his glorious opportunity, he now considered Khrushchev “a traitor”.

Thankfully, the world averted nuclear war, through the leadership of Khrushchev and Kennedy, and no thanks to bloodthirsty lunatics like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who were ready to blow up the world in the name of their Marxist-Leninist nightmare.

In the name of their Marxist-Leninist religion, rather. To them it was no nightmare. To them, vast destruction, the laying waste of continents, the obliteration of cities, the death of all living things, was a glorious dream.

Enough social justice in it for you, Jill Stein?

But for the sane: whose voice among the voices that are heard by multitudes has said what needs to be said?

President-elect Donald Trump:

Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”

And Vice President-elect Mike Pence tweeted: “The tyrant Castro is dead. New hope dawns.”

A very disgraceful speech 1

Barack Hussein Obama is sympathetic to Communist regimes because he was raised from infancy to be a Communist and has continued throughout his life to like Communism.

As a young adult he was trained in the “community organizing” school of Communist radical Saul Alinsky.

In 1986, at the age of twenty-three … Obama was hired by the Alinsky team “to organize residents on the South Side [of Chicago] while learning and applying Alinsky’s philosopy of street-level democracy”.

So David Horowitz writes in his book Radicals*. The chapter titled A Radical Machiavelli outlines the whole story of Obama’s rise to power, diligently following the Alinsky way in order to use power for the radical transformation of America.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that Obama chooses to make friends with Communist dictators – notably, this month, with the blood-drenched Castro Brothers who are still ruling Cuba.

They weren’t very eager to entertain him. No Castro or his deputy met the president of the United States at the airport when he landed. Raul Castro took him to a ball game, where Obama cheered delightedly (soon after he’d been informed that jihadis had bombed America’s NATO ally Belgium, causing massive loss of life and injury). Later he danced the tango. And he made a speech.

What did he say?

We quote from an article by Carlos Eire at PowerLine:

A classic example of Obamaspeak, this boilerplate speech consisted of four essential elements: some truths (few in number), several myths (plentiful), many platitudes (even more plentiful), and a string of lies (all braided with the myths and platitudes). …

Nowhere in this speech do the Castro brothers show up. Nowhere are their many crimes against humanity mentioned. Nowhere is any blame laid on them for enslaving and ruining “the Cuban people” or for poisoning relations with the United States. In their place, another abstraction shows up to play the part of the villain: “ideology”.

As he has done countless times before, Obama inserts himself in history as the ultimate slayer of the “Cold War” dragon, which is always drawn by him as a caricature, a fairy monster of sorts with no teeth and no fire in his breath, whose scales are fluffy and whose wings are as diaphanous as all abstract thoughts. “Ideology” in Obamaspeak, is no real threat to life and limb, no powerful enslaving force, but an illusory phantom from some distant past …

To ensure that his Cuban audience recognized his power to dispel this toothless abstraction, Obama [told] them: “From the beginning of my time in office, I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past.”

Never mind the Castro brothers, or the tens of thousands of Cubans murdered by them, the hundreds of thousands imprisoned and tortured, or the two million driven into exile, or the nuclear missiles they pointed at the United States, or the soldiers and spies they’ve sent all over the world, or the terrorists they have sponsored.

Anywhere you look, it is easy to spot platitudinous metaphors and abstractions in this Obamaesque tapestry. There are so many of them, in fact, that they are hard to tally. So let’s just mention the more disturbing ones.

“In many ways, the United States and Cuba are like two brothers who’ve been estranged for many years,” he said, “even as we share the same blood.”

What blood? As it turns out, the closest Obama came to identifying that blood was to babble on about superficial similarities between Cuban and American culture, especially in the realms of music and sports.

Obama also spoke of “hope” repeatedly. He even had the nerve to tell Cubans of “hope that is rooted in the future that you can choose and that you can shape, and that you can build for your country.”

What hope, as long as the Castro dynasty is in control? What is this amorphous “hope” or this amorphous “future”? What of this “choosing” and “shaping”? How is that to happen when there is no civil society in Cuba, no rule of law, no chance to express oneself freely, no private property, no free market economy? …

The biggest lies in the speech have to do with history, and all of these falsehoods come straight from the Castro regime’s Ministry of Truth …

In Obama’s thinly disguised Marxist narrative there is a constant dialectic between an imperialist power (the United States) and an unjustly exploited subaltern (Cuba), and in this poisoned relationship, the United States is responsible for most of Cuba’s ills.

The exploitation, said Obama, began with the Spanish-American War: “The blue waters beneath Air Force One once carried American battleships to this island — to liberate, but also to exert control over Cuba.”

After that, with “control” over Cuba, the United States could not help but behave very badly. “Before 1959,” said Obama, “ some Americans saw Cuba as something to exploit, ignored poverty, enabled corruption.”

This is pure Castroite propaganda, which all Cubans born after 1959 have had force-fed to them as “history”. And in this false “history”, of course, it is always assumed that the Castro are the heroes who rescued Cubans from all of the exploitation.

That an American president should parrot such lies tells us a lot about the character of such a president, and the real-world value of his speech to the enslaved Cuban people.

One of the biggest [lies] is the claim that the so-called embargo “was not working” and that it was “hurting the Cuban people”.  This could be seen as the linchpin of Obama’s argument for “normalizing” relations. It sounds reasonable. But the truth is that the embargo was not put into place to force the collapse of the Castro regime, but to contain the damage it could do to the United States and its allies. And as far as that goal was concerned, the so-called embargo was indeed working.

As to the claim that the embargo hurt the Cuban people, nothing could be further from the truth. What really impoverished the Cuban people and made them destitute was the insane economic policies of the Castro regime. Cuba has been trading with every other country in the world while the embargo has been in place, and for the past decade and a half the island has been visited by tens of millions of non-American tourists. Yet, despite the opportunities made possible by such exchanges, poverty, deprivation, and repression continued to be the lot of all Cubans.

This lie about the “embargo” forms the basis for another equally heinous one, the claim that “the United States of America is normalizing relations with the Cuban people”. …

There is no real “normalization” going on insofar as the lives of Cubans are concerned. In fact, repression has increased and the economy has worsened since Obama began warming up to the Castro regime in December 2014. Secondly, the so-called “normalization” process does not involve “the Cuban people” at all, but only the Castro regime, that is, Raul Castro, his geriatric military junta, and his slightly younger oligarchs.

Obama also lied about the changes supposedly taking place in Cuba, such as the economic improvements brought about by self-employment, which are highlighted with a series of bogus feel-good stories about cuentapropistas or entrepreneurs. Every Cuban knows that the self-employment ruse is one of the biggest lies of all, and no ticket to prosperity or freedom, because the Castro regime owns absolutely everything on the island. …

The speech reaches a crescendo with the invocation of the term “reconciliation” …

What makes the use of this term incorrect in the case of Cuba – and what makes all talk of “reconciliation” a lie – is that genuine reconciliation involves penance and an admission of guilt on the part of wrongdoers. Those guilty of the worst sins in recent Cuban history – the Castro brothers and their supporters – have not only refused to admit their guilt, but actually remain in power and refuse to stop abusing the human rights of the Cuban people.

Until those who rule Cuba step aside and admit their guilt – and until those at the top ranks are tried in a court of justice for their many crimes against humanity – there can be no genuine “reconciliation” in Cuba.

To speak of “reconciliation” as the payoff of Obama’s many concessions to the Castro regime is akin to speaking of “reconciliation” between a rapist and his victim while the rapist continues to rape his victim repeatedly, with no remorse and no end in sight.

Finally, to sum up his own vapid, narcissistic, and self-aggrandizing rhetoric, Obama closed the speech with a Spanish rendition of his 2008 campaign slogan, si se puede (yes, it’s possible, or yes we can).

Yes, sure. Tell that to the Ladies in White, Obama, please, as they are beaten and arrested every Sunday. Tell that to the political prisoners who rot in tiny cells. Tell that to the Cuban schoolchildren who are fed lies and propaganda disguised as “education” and who have no hope of ever earning more than twenty dollars a month as adults. Tell that to the mother whose son or daughter just drowned while trying to flee on a flimsy raft from the hell that is Castro’s Cuba.

Tell them, please, how anything is possible other than what the Castro regime deigns to dole out to them.

Until there are no more masters and no more slaves, there can be no end to slavery.

For Obama to fling his campaign slogan “yes we can” to Cubans is no different from some Northern abolitionist visiting a Southern plantation to tell the slaves to ignore their chains and think happy thoughts.

To employ that recycled slogan in Cuba was downright shameful, and a very fitting end to a very disgraceful speech.

 

*Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion by David Horowitz, Regnery, 2012. (Our quotation comes from p. 181.)

Posted under communism, Cuba, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 24, 2016

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The left stamps on the Cuban heels 1

In our post Torture and death in Cuba (February 27, 2010), we said we would watch hopefully to see if the death of the political prisoner Orlanda Zapata Tamayo, who went on hunger-strike in a Cuban prison and was ultimately tortured to death, would “galvanize the pro-democracy movement”, and if it did, to what result.

Now Investor’s Business Daily brings us this report:

The death of a dissident on a hunger strike last month is still sending shock waves to Cuba’s regime. Cuba’s global support is falling away

It may be the end of the Cuban regime, but something changed when Orlando Tamayo Zapata, a political prisoner, died in a hunger strike last month. Tamayo, a construction worker, was arrested in the 2003 “Black Spring” wave of arrests against 75 democracy activists, drawing a sentence of 25 years. His hunger strike called attention to the plight of Cuba’s political prisoners.

When the Castro regime let him die, they assumed that his demise was the end of it and he’d be forgotten, same as all the others.

But it didn’t happen that way. Inside Cuba, other dissidents began hunger strikes. The Castroites also beat up dissident wives known as Ladies in White, who marched to protest the arrests of the 75.

There are signs that the regime is running scared since the death, but the biggest impact seems to be coming from abroad.

Outgoing President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica unexpectedly lashed out first against Tamayo’s death. Brazil’s center-right opposition, in the heat of a coming election, blasted Brazil’s outgoing president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, for backslapping with the Castro brothers in Havana the day the dissident died. Opposition politicians in Spain and Argentina also criticized their own governments for aiding the regime. And in Spain, a poll by Elcano Royal Institute released Thursday showed that 72% of Spaniards believe there’s not enough international human rights pressure on Cuba.

Another blow came Monday, when Chilean President Sebastian Pinera declared: “My government will do whatever it can to re-establish democracy in Cuba.”

Even more striking, Chile’s opposition socialist parties condemned for the first time Cuba’s treatment of its political prisoners. In the past, the socialists had always looked the other way.

Now the cultural establishment is stepping up: Prominent entertainers like actor Andy Garcia, singer Gloria Estefan, actress Maria Conchita Alonso and others are leading rallies and showing films that are critical of the Castro regime.

Chilean novelist Isabel Allende appealed for the release of the political prisoners. [That really surprises us – JB]

In Spain, film director Pedro Almodovar and novelist Mario Vargas Llosa wrote an open letter to Castro called “I accuse the Cuban government.”

With so many stars of the International Left leading the way, even the American Dictator found it politic to follow:

In light of this, President Obama’s added voice to growing global calls for human rights in Cuba is powerful, even if it’s just following the crowd. It means that the international apologists on the left who’ve justified Castro over the years are growing scarce, leaving Castro’s regime isolated — and perhaps answerable for its crimes.

Cuba: seeking a road back from serfdom? 0

From Newsmax:

President Raul Castro …  called for a national dialogue on the future of the country’s socialist system in an August speech.

Since then, authorities have set up discussions at universities, government workplaces and under the glow of street lamps. Community organizations called Committees for the Defense of the Revolution — created in part to root out anti-government activity — are now tasked with collecting criticism of the socialist system, along with suggestions for how to reform it.

Declining revenues and mounting debts have stretched the Cuban government to the point that it must trim some of its longstanding entitlement programs, Castro told the National Assembly during the August speech.

“Nobody, no individual nor country, can indefinitely spend more than she or he earns. Two plus two always adds up to four, never five,” he said. “Within the conditions of our imperfect socialism, due to our own shortcomings, two plus two often adds up to three.”

That losing formula has the Cuban government increasingly exhorting its citizens to work harder, expect less and come up with solutions to their own problems.

The input is funneled upward to Cuba’s leaders and will ostensibly be used to guide the reform process. Similar discussions soliciting criticism and ideas were gathered during a round of open-air discussions called by Castro in 2007. The government collected 1.3 million opinions from residents during that period, Castro said, nearly half of which were criticisms of one problem or another.

While Cuban authorities have made it clear that major political and economic reforms to the country’s one-party system are not on the discussion agenda, participants at the meetings are being encouraged to speak freely and openly about problems in their daily lives.

Many Cubans simmer with frustration brought by chronic transportation and housing shortages, a gargantuan state bureaucracy and salaries that average roughly $20 a month, even though most consumer goods in state-run stores are priced above what they would cost in the United States.

Subsidies for food, utilities and other basics offset those meager earnings, but as the government’s fortunes decline, authorities are increasingly telling Cubans to tackle their own problems. One high-ranking party official recently said Cubans can’t expect for the “daddy state” to fix everything, waiting with open mouths “like baby birds.”

Such a statement is “offensive” to the Cuban people, said dissident economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, who has spent time in prison for his opposition to the government.

This system was designed to control everyone, so it’s absurd that the official propaganda talks about the ‘daddy state,’” he said, referring to Cuba’s government-run media. “It’s as if the Cuban people were to blame for this economic debacle, and not the government. The government is to blame for the way Cubans behave, because this is the system it created.”

Espinosa Chepe said Cubans would gladly solve their own problems if the government would allow for more small businesses and other forms of economic independence. …

Two major rollbacks of the island’s socialist system are now under consideration, and both involve major government programs that, though often criticized, deliver basic nutrition staples to all Cubans. The first proposed reform would gradually eliminate the workplace cafeterias that provide nearly-free lunches to a third of the island’s population each weekday, at a cost of more than $350 million a year. Instead, workers will receive a cash stipend, doubling the average workers’ salary.

The second major reform threatens to eliminate the ration-card system that provides every Cuban with about two weeks’ worth of food at highly subsidized prices, but is beset by inefficiencies. In the name of egalitarianism, the program doles out the same amount of food to everyone, even to those who don’t need it. [Who could those be? – JB]

Earlier this month in a much-discussed editorial that appeared in the communist party daily Granma, editor Lazaro Barredo Medina said the ration book had become a drag on the state’s struggling finances and reform efforts. “The ration booklet was a necessity at one time, but it has become an impediment to the collective decisions the nation must take,” he said.

His words touched off rampant speculation about the imminent demise of the ration system. But it’s not clear how the Cuban government would be able to quickly implement such a measure, since so many seniors and low-income families depend heavily on it. Cuba has no income-tax system and a vast black market economy, so ascertaining citizens’ real earnings for the purpose of welfare eligibility would be extremely difficult.

Then there is the threat of inflation.

“Getting rid of the ration book seems like a good move, but only if salaries can keep pace with the price of food,” said Aurelio Alonso, deputy editor of Cuba’s Casa de las Americas journal.

For Cubans to be able to pay market prices for food, worker salaries would have to double or triple, he said, and that would bring inflation if food supplies remain the same. “And that would be a big problem,” he said.

Still, Alonso said he sees the younger Castro as a practical man who understands economics, and he expects further reforms to follow. “You can’t have social justice and social goods if you don’t have an economy capable of sustaining it.”

And if you have an economy capable of sustaining ‘social justice’ and ‘social goods’, you’ll wreck it if you put it to that use.

The choice is freedom or collectivism. You cannot have both. They are mutually exclusive. Freedom brings plenty, collectivism brings want. Will the ‘practical man who understands economics’ – Raul Castro – ever get to understand that?

America disgraced by its own president 2

From Redstate:

You are probably not surprised to find that Poland and the Czech Republic are not the only loyal and faithful American allies getting screwed by the Obama Administration these days. The ongoing drama in Honduras is an outrage and a disgrace, but not because the Hondurans have done anything wrong. It’s because the Obama administration is actively intervening on behalf of a thug would-be dictator whom the Hondurans properly and legally drove from power.

Shame on you, Barack.

Follow closely, because this is an extremely important and telling example of the kind of foreign policy we are getting from Barack Obama. Let’s review what’s been going on in Honduras this year, and how the Obama administration has come down completely on the side of tyrants, cheaters, and marxists They’ve done it deliberately, and in keeping with their overall global policy of rejecting freedom and snuggling up to the thugs and bandits of the world [remember Iranian protesters after the fraud election? remember soldiers shooting them? remember Obama’s reaction?]…

Honduras is one of the most impoverished countries in central America, but it has been and remains a democratic republic in a region currently overshadowed by several evil dictators who are intent on spreading the evils of drug-money fueled marxism and tyranny to the entire region: Fidel & Raul Castro of Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and most of all, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. [A cynic like me might add Daniel Ortega in neighboring Nicaragua to the list, as he’s lobbying to change their constitution to allow him to run for president again.]

Morales, Correa, and Chavez were ALL elected in free elections, then seized power by one means or another, and turned republics into their personal tin-pot dictatorships. In the crisis currently underway, Zelaya tried to do the same thing…

Read the rest of it here.