“Viva Christ the King! –Down with Communism!” The defiant yells “made the walls of La Cabana prison tremble,” wrote Armando Valladares, an eyewitness to these firing squad massacres who suffered 22 torture-filled years in Castro’s prisons and was later appointed by Ronald Reagan as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
The La Cabana prison and killing field wasn’t far from where Pope Benedict gave his speech this week in Havana, while hosted by the killers.
After the yell came, “FUEGO!”, the volley shattered another young patriot. By mid-1961, the defiant yells started unnerving the trigger-pullers, and many shots were going wild. The coup de grace, recall some eyewitnesses, was often delivered to a man (or boy) fully conscious, with eyes open but convulsing in agony. In the early days of Castroite rule, Che Guevara himself reveled in applying these final shots. Earlier, while in Cuba’s mountains, Raul Castro specialized in gleefully blasting the skulls apart, say eye-witnesses now in exile.
Most patriots murdered in La Cabana were buried in unmarked graves not far from where Pope Benedict gave his speech this week in Havana, hosted by Raul Castro and with a huge Che Guevara image as backdrop.
Catholic youth groups were among the most militant of the Revolution’s early enemies and among the first to mount resistance to Castro and Che Guevara’s Stalinization of Cuba. The Soviets then provided Castro’s economic lifeline.
So Cuban Catholics be dammed-- and jailed, and tortured, and massacred by firing squads. Nowadays tourists and remittances from the U.S. (many from U.S.-based Catholics) provide the largest lifeline to Castro’s Stalinist regime, right behind Venezuelan subsidies. So obviously a propaganda make-over was in order. And what better propaganda than a visit and blessing from the Pope himself, complete with a condemnation of the “Yankee embargo”?
You simply cannot top this kind of PR, even from Madison Avenue.
“Down With Communism!” was heard again this week in Havana. A young Cuban Black attending the Pope’s speech stood and yelled it in front of the stage. Then he was beaten and dragged off. As we go to press his fate is unknown.
But don’t look for this incident to be mentioned anywhere in the MSM. These “reporters” get Castro-accredited Cuban visas, after all. And as a reminder to those who came of political age after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Stalinist regimes do not issue journalist visas randomly. These coveted visas come with conditions.
Offer your dog a doggie treat. Ask him to beg and roll over first—and you’ll see the nature of these conditions.
Amnesty International confirmed the Castroite wave of terror in preparation for the Pope’s visit. “The detention of more than 150 political opponents is yet another example of how authorities in Cuba completely disregard human rights,” they wrote this week.
Andrea Mitchell, on the other hand, seemed characteristically smitten with Castroism. “The advantages of the Cuban system, the low infant-mortality rate… which is legendary around the world,” she gushed from Havana this week, courtesy of her Castro-issued “journalist” visa.