Jimmy Carter does Havana
Ex-president sympathizes more with Castro thugs than their murdered victims
By Humberto Fontova
The Washington Times
Embracing a recent invitation by the Castro brothers, Jimmy Carter
visited Cuba last week. "We greeted each other as old friends," gushed
the former president after his meeting with Fidel Castro.
"In 2002, we received him warmly," Fidel reciprocated. "Now, I
reiterated to him our respect and esteem."
"Jimmy Carter was the best of all U.S. presidents," gushed Raul Castro
while personally seeing off his American guest.
Jimmy Carter earned all this warmth, esteem and joviality from Cuba's
Stalinist rulers by doing everything within his power to dismantle the
so-called embargo against them. "The embargo of Cuba is the stupidest
law ever passed in the U.S.", he said in 2002. And yet, as president,
Mr. Carter imposed more economic sanctions against more nations than any
other American president in modern history. These sanctions were against
Chile, Iran, Rhodesia, Nicaragua, South Africa, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Mr. Carter was extremely selective in imposing his sanctions – let's
give him that. He was careful to punish only U.S. allies.
In Cuba, Mr. Carter also took time to visit and console some bereaved
Cuban families. According to the "Black Book of Communism" (no tome of
the vast, right-wing conspiracy, much less of the "Miami Mafia") Mr.
Carter's Cuban hosts murdered 12,000 to 14,000 Cubans by firing squad.
According to Freedom House, more than half a million Cubans have
suffered in the Castros' various gulags, dungeons and torture chambers,
an incarceration rate higher than Josef Stalin's. According to the
scholars and researchers at the Cuba Archive, the Castro regime's total
death toll – from torture, prison beatings, firing squads,
machine-gunning of escapees, drownings, etc.-approaches 100,000.
So Mr. Carter would seem to have little trouble in finding bereaved
Cuban families to meet. And he did meet the grieving families of some
Cuban-born prisoners. But these prisoners were serving time in U.S.
prisons, after being convicted by U.S. juries for espionage against the
nation that elected Jimmy Carter president and for conspiracy to murder
fellow citizens. These Cubans, you see, are the ones who tugged at Mr.
Some background: On Sept. 14, 1998, the FBI uncovered a Castro spy ring
in Miami and arrested 10 people. Five were convicted by U.S. juries
(from which Cuban-Americans were scrupulously excluded) and became known
as "the Cuban Five" in Castroite parlance.
According to the FBI's affidavit, these Castro agents were engaged in,
among other acts:
c Gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key
West, the McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the
U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Fla.
c Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S.
Southern Command's top officers, along with those of hundreds of
officers stationed at Boca Chica.
c Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.
c Sending letter bombs to Cuban-Americans.
c Spying on McDill Air Force Base, the U.S. armed forces' worldwide
headquarters for fighting "low-intensity" conflicts.
c Locating entry points into Florida for smuggling explosive material.
One of these Castro agents, Gerardo Hernandez, also infiltrated the
Cuban-exile group Brothers to the Rescue, who flew unarmed Cessnas to
rescue Cuban rafters in the Florida straits, also known as "the cemetery
without crosses." Estimates of the number of Cubans who have died
horribly there run from 30,000 to 50,000. Brothers to the Rescue often
would drop flowers into the sea for those they had been unable to rescue.
These pilots risked their lives almost daily, flying over the straits,
alerting and guiding the Coast Guard to any rafters and saving thousands
of these desperate people from joining that terrible tally. Before the
Castro Revolution, Cuba was deluged with more immigrants per capita than
the United States.
In February 1996, Castro agent Gerardo Hernandez fulfilled his mission
by passing the flight plan to Castro for one of the Brothers'
humanitarian flights. With this information in hand, Cuba's top guns
saluted and sprang to action. They jumped into their MiGs, took off and
valiantly blasted apart (in international air space) the utterly
defenseless Cessnas. Four members of the humanitarian flights were thus
murdered in cold blood. MiGs against Cessnas, cannons and rockets
Three of these murdered men were U.S. citizens, one a decorated Vietnam
veteran. The other was a legal U.S. resident. No record exists of Jimmy
Carter ever meeting with their families. But in Havana, Jimmy Carter
smilingly met with the families of the man convicted in U.S. courts of
helping murder them, and with Raul Castro himself, who personally gave
the order to shoot down the defenseless planes.
"I had the opportunity to meet the families of the five Cuban patriots"
(Hernandez's among them), Mr. Carter said during an interview with
Castro media apparatchiks, "with their wives and with their mothers. …
I'm well aware of the shortcomings of the U.S. judicial system [but
apparently not the Cuban] but hope that President Obama will grant their
pardon. He knows my opinion on this matter, that the trial of the Cuban
Five was very dubious, that many norms were violated."
In the Castros' fiefdom, people are sent to the firing squad and prison
based on Che Guevara's famous legal dictum: "Judicial evidence is an
archaic bourgeois detail. We prosecute and execute from revolutionary
So during an interview in Havana, Jimmy Carter saw fit to castigate "the
shortcomings of the U.S. judicial system," and hailed the Castros'
KGB-trained and U.S. convicted spies as "patriots."
No wonder P.J. O'Rourke famously dubbed Jimmy Carter, "that most ex of
Humberto Fontova is author of "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant"