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When Barbara Walters sat quivering alongside Fidel Castro in 1977 cooing: “Fidel Castro has brought very high literacy and great health-care to his country. His personal magnetism is powerful.” dozens of Cuban suffragettes suffered in torture chambers within walking distance of the hyperventilating Ms. Walters.
“They started by beating us with twisted coils of electric cable,” recalls former political prisoner Ezperanza Pena from exile today. “I remember Teresita on the ground with all her lower ribs broken. Gladys had both her arms broken. Doris had her face cut up so badly from the beatings that when she tried to drink, water would pour out of her lacerated cheeks.”
“On Mother’s Day they allowed family visits,” recalls Manuela Calvo from exile today. “But as our mothers and sons and daughters were watching, we were beaten with rubber hoses and high-pressure hoses were turned on us, knocking all of us unto the ground floor and rolling us around as the guards laughed and our loved-ones screamed helplessly.”
“When female guards couldn’t handle us, male guards were called in for more brutal beatings. I saw teen-aged girls beaten savagely with their bones broken their mouths bleeding,” recalls Polita Grau.
Ok, I apologize for baiting feminist readers during this Women’s History Month “with the term “suffragette.” In fact, voting was merely one of the rights these heroic Cuban ladies sought. Castro’s Stalinist regime jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s own, murdered more political prisoners in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered in its first six, and abolished private property. And yes, Castro also outlawed voting. So you’ll please excuse these Cuban ladies if they regard the “struggles” of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem as a trifle overblown.
I also apologize for singling out Barbara Walters. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell also had praise for the tryant: “Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!”
Back in 1996 Fidel Castro was hosted by Mort Zuckerman at his Fifth Avenue pad. A throng of Beltway glitterati, including Mike Wallace, Peter Jennings, Tina Brown, Bernard Shaw, Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer all jostled for a photo-op and stood in line for Castro’s autograph. But Diane Sawyer was so overcome in the mass-murderer’s presence that she lost control, rushing up, breaking into that toothy smile of hers, wrapping her arms around Castro and smooching the Stalinist torturer on his bearded cheek.
“You people are the cream of the crop!” beamed the Stalinist/terrorist to the smiling throng he’d come within a hair of nuking in 1962.
“Hear, hear!” chirped the delighted guests, while tinkling their wine glasses in honor of the smirking agent of their near vaporization.
We’re smack in the middle of “Women’s History Month.” So let’s chew on this: Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s regime jailed 35,150 Cuban women for political crimes, a totalitarian horror utterly unknown–not only in Cuba–but in the Western Hemisphere until the regime so “magnetic” to Barbara Walters, Andrea Mitchell and Diane Sawyer came into power. Some of these Cuban ladies suffered twice as long in Castro’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s.
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