April 12, 2002

Castro's Anti-Semitism and the PLO

Agustin Blazquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton. Monday, April 15, 2002.

In 1941, as a student at a Catholic school run by Spanish Jesuit priests who were sympathizers of fascism at that time, Castro was looking for his ideology.

Displaying a fascination with power, war and domination since childhood, Castro discovered fascism and promenaded around campus with a copy of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in his armpit.

According to many fellow students, "the crazy," as he was nicknamed, mimicked the speeches of Hitler and Mussolini in front of a mirror, practicing their mannerisms hour after hour. When Castro entered the University of Havana in 1945, he soon joined a gangster-type group and carried a pistol, so he could impose his will.

When Batista's 1952 coup interrupted his political ambitions, Castro decided to fight against him and on July 26, 1953, he attacked the Moncada Barracks, an isolated outpost of the Cuban army in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba. The attack brought Castro national attention, but at the cost of the lives of about 100, including soldiers being treated in the infirmary, execution-style as they lay in their beds.

This event became the inaugural cornerstone of Castro's personal technique for attaining his goals.

But Castro does not get credit for creativity with this assault, since it mimicked Hitler's Nov. 9, 1924, insane attack on the War Ministry in Munich, which made him a national figure in Germany. Castro's attack and the highly publicized trial that followed in the Cuban media were highly successful in his own eyes since, like Hitler, it made him a national figure on the island.

Castro's self-defense and speech, ending with "history will absolve me," were similar to Hitler's Rathaus Putsch speech in 1924! And in 1953, Cuba's leading magazine, Bohemia, selected Castro among 12 of the world's most outstanding figures.

Like Hitler and his fascists, soon after grabbing power in 1959, Castro began eliminating people by summary executions, jail, concentration camps and exile, destroying them before they could become enemies.

By 1960, he had effectively crushed the Cuban free press, including Bohemia magazine (whose owner went into exile and committed suicide out of guilt for helping Castro take over Cuba). Soon, the over 200 private radio stations and about seven private television networks and all other institutions of the Cuban civil society fell under his absolute control, and freedom was completely eliminated.

Many Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jews from the Balkans and Palestine immigrated to Cuba before World War I. In the 1920s, many Polish Jews settled in Cuba after being refused entry into the U.S.

Other European Jews fleeing Hitler went to Cuba as a waiting place for entrance into the U.S. Once refused entry into the U.S., many stayed in Cuba. They liked the friendliness of the country and its free enterprise system and opportunities. Many Jews opened businesses, schools, community centers and synagogues. Many married Cubans and prospered in the 1950s economic boom. According to the Puebla Institute's 1991 "Castro's War on Religion," page 16, the number of Jews in Cuba was about "30,000 at their peak and [was] reduced to 15,000 by 1959. Most of those fled to the United States after the revolution."

Jews, acquainted with Hitler and the Nazis, were concerned by Castro's similarities. They foresaw what was coming and warned others. Castro's unbridled anti-Semitism, from his Hitler-admiring days, soon led to the expropriation of all assets of the thriving Cuban Jewish community, driving it into exile.

By 1967, around 2,000 Jews were left - less than 1,000 today, most of them elderly. Many joined the growing Cuban exile community in Miami, New Jersey and other places, where they share the same opinion of Castro with other Cubans in exile. Maybe that's the reason why the U.S. media have neglected them and most Americans ignore what they went through.

Fascism had become unacceptable thanks to the magnificent work of the victims of the Holocaust and the Jewish community worldwide. So, after the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion due to President Kennedy's betrayal, on April 1961, Castro publicly declared himself a communist. In spite of Castro's obviously Fascist techniques, this was done for his own convenience because Marxism (communism) has become the darling of the prevailing left intellectual elite and the media.

Examples of Castro's fascist techniques include the creation in October 1960 of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, modeled after the Nazi ones in 1930s Germany. These neighborhood committees, created for spying and controlling the population in each city block, are still active today. The creation of the Young Pioneers was modeled after the Hitler Youth to indoctrinate the children beginning in elementary school. The Young Pioneers are still active today. That's why Cuban exiles were so offended when Castro sent the "schoolteacher" with the other kids dressed in the uniform of the Young Pioneers to indoctrinate Elian Gonzalez on U.S. soil!

In January 1966, at Havana's Tri-Continental Conference attended by communists, revolutionaries and worldwide terrorist organizations, a resolution was passed calling for the breaking of all treaties with Israel, total economic and cultural ostracism of Israel and its expulsion from all international organizations.

In November 1966, Castro opened more than a dozen guerrilla training camps under the direction of KGB Col. Vadim Kotchergine where Palestinians were trained. And in 1967, after the Six-Day War, Cuba's U.N. ambassador, Richardo Alarcon - portrayed as a "moderate" by the U.S. media - called the war an "armed aggression against the Arab people ... by a most treacherous ... surprise attack in the Nazi manner."

In October 1973, Castro broke diplomatic relations with Israel after he deployed thousands of Cuban soldiers including helicopter pilots and tank crews to fight alongside the Syrians during the Yom Kippur War. How many Israelis did Castro's soldiers kill?

To insult Israel and the Jewish people even further, Castro gave the PLO an expropriated Jewish community center in Havana.

On Nov. 14, 1974, Yasser Arafat was enthusiastically received in Havana and given Castro's foremost decoration, the Bay of Pigs Medal.

On May 30, 1978, Reuters news service confirmed (11 years later!) that PLO personnel had been trained in Cuba and on Sept. 13, the Egyptian newspaper Ahar Sa'ah reported that 500 Palestinians were leaving for training in Cuba. Does anybody know how many terrorists and suicide bombers Castro trained in his camps and how many innocent people have been killed as a result?

From the 1970s to today, Jews have been scorned in Castro's controlled press.

Paradoxically, according to Irving Louis Horowitz's Preface in David J. Kopilow's "Castro, Israel and The PLO," the Jewish intellectuals and organizations in the U.S. "were in the forefront of singing the praises of Castro."

But with Castro's background of anti-Semitism, his decimation of the Cuban Jewish community, his plotting against the state of Israel and his connections with the PLO terrorist wing, it was puzzling and insulting to the Jewish community, including the Cuban Jews in exile, when Israel's Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau visited Cuba in 1974. On that occasion Lau said of Castro, "He is a great friend of the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism is extremely hateful to him." Hello?

Myles Kantor, in his April 2, 2002, article, "Passover in Cuba," criticizes Jewish organizations in the U.S. like the B'nai B'rith and American ORT for looking the other way about the violations of human rights of the Jewish community in Cuba, and for the years of silence on Castro's crimes. Kantor asks of these organizations, why don't they "demand the emancipation of their Cuban brethren?"

"On the contrary," Kantor says, "they pour copious dollars into the regime through 'humanitarian missions' where they stay at luxurious hotels from which ordinary Cubans are excluded. They taste rum and cigars at the Hotel Nacional and feature a photograph of the fatigues-clad pharaoh."

Kantor says that the behavior of these Jewish organizations is a "disgrace."

So, let's think about it before we lend a hand to the wrong guy. Keep in mind that Castro's Cuba has been designated as "terrorist" by the U.S. State Department for many years. Cuba shares "honors" with six other rogue nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Syria - all virulently anti-American. Obviously, Castro is in partnership with international terrorism. And this partnership is bonded mainly by anti-Semitism. So there you have it.

© 2002 ABIP

Agustin Blazquez is producer/director of the documentaries "Covering Cuba," Covering Cuba 2: The New Generation," and the upcoming Covering Cuba 3: Elian," and author with Carlos Wotzkow of the book "Covering and Discovering."


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