March 14, 2006

Bishop praises Cuba

Jay Nordlinger reports that Frank Tracy Griswold, head of the Episcopal Church in America, lauded Fidel Castro and his government's healthcare system during a recent visit. He says:

Such clerics never give the dictator any trouble, as they move about the island, with their minders. Political prisoners are safely out of sight, in their dungeons.

I could go on about this — you know I could — but I will simply say, When the history of totalitarian Cuba is written, mainstream U.S. religious leaders will occupy a dark, dark chapter. They already do.

More here and here.

It is always amazing when "leaders" such as these, who get guided tours by gov. officials, offer glowing accounts of the island, specifically its leader and its system. Why don't they request no "official guides" so they can wander Cuba at will to speak freely with the average Cuban? Or even better, come anonymously with some expatriate Cubans who're visiting to get the real story. It boggles the mind.

I know several Cubans -- those who escaped Castro (or whose relatives did), and they have been back to the island since. Foreigners are treated like gods as the island wants dollars and euros badly. The average Cuban is forbidden to enter hotels (unless they're employed there) as that "would be bad for business." And being "employed" also means "being a prostitute." One acquaintance of mine who recently returned to Cuba to visit some relatives told me that not only is prostitution rampant, it is "official" -- the government encourages it in order to get a hold of more hard currency. Nice, eh?

The US State Dept. classifies Cuba (and Venezuela, by the way, Castro's buddy Hugo Chavez' country) as a "Tier 3" country -- the classification that is the worst for human trafficking. Here is Cuba's specific report. An excerpt:

Cuba is a source country for children trafficked internally for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced child labor. Trafficking victims from all over Cuba are exploited in major cities and tourist resorts. There are no reliable estimates available on the extent of trafficking in the country; however, children in prostitution is widely apparent, even to casual observers. These children are sometimes trafficked into prostitution by their families and exploited by foreign tourists. Anecdotal evidence suggests that workers at state-run hotels, travel company employees, taxicab drivers, bar and restaurant workers, and law enforcement personnel are complicit in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.

Such is what I heard from my friend -- at hotels and bars/clubs, the women work for the state.

Funny, then, that I was chastised for praising another Latin American country months ago because that country apparently has a "big" trafficking problem. That country, Costa Rica, is labeled a "Tier 2" country by the State Dept., the next level worse than "Tier 1" (obviously). "Tier 1" includes virtually all "First World" countries; "Tier 2" countries obviously need to do better, but out of the four rankings (worse than "Tier 2" are "Tier 2 Watch" and then "Tier 3," the worst) CR's isn't "abysmal" as some put it.

Cuba and Venezuela: National healthcare, national education and ... national prostitution/child exploitation.

Posted by Hube at March 14, 2006 03:37 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Leftists seem to care more about a greedy business man making money by selling things to the poor that they need in order to buy himself some needless luxury than they do about the poor actually having the things that he sells them.

That type of blindness in their moral reasoning is constant, why would that be?

"The safest sin: envy, which is easily disguised as enthusiasm for equality."
(The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary
by Thomas Szasz :37)

There are some psychological dynamics that turn some fellows just Green with envy. Saftey first!

Posted by: mynym at March 14, 2006 06:13 PM

I saw a comment once: a quick way to judge a government is watch what the people do. If people are leaving the nation, it's bad. If people are going to that nation, it's good. If the government people are leaving uses violent force to stop them (Cuba, East Germany), it's really bad.

Posted by: Paul Smith at March 15, 2006 09:05 AM

What the heck is up with my Episcopal Church? First a gay bishop and now coddling dictators. I tell you, Bishop Walker wouldn't have stood for this kind of crap.

Posted by: G Rex at March 15, 2006 11:18 AM

A few years ago I read reports of Castro publicly praising Cuba's sex tourism industry and all its wonderful, beautiful whores. Just a little reminder that there is no form of exploitation that commies will not embrace.

Posted by: pst314 at March 25, 2006 11:02 PM

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