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“If I were a U.S. citizen I’d vote for Obama for president,” boasted Mariela Castro during her San Francisco conference last week. “I think he is sincere, I think he speaks from the heart.” To cheers and applause from the San Franciscan crowd Raul Castro’s daughter also proclaimed that “what we want is the power of emancipation through socialism.”
Last year, former Democratic president Jimmy Carter thoroughly charmed Mariela’s father and uncle in Havana. “We greeted each other as old friends,” gushed Carter regarding his meeting with Fidel Castro.
“In 2002, we received him warmly,” reciprocated Castro. “Now, I reiterated to him our respect and esteem.”
“Jimmy Carter was the best of all U.S. Presidents,” gushed Raul Castro while seeing his American guest off personally and jovially.
In fact, for many prominent Democrats, Castro’s Cuba resembles the very Land of Oz, with Cubans laughing the days away. If this sounds hyperbolic, here’s “Conscience of the Democratic Party” George McGovern after a visit to Cuba in 1975: “Everywhere we were surrounded by laughing children who obviously loved Fidel.”
Here’s the late Frank Mankiewics, a lifelong Democratic factotum, who served as campaign chairman for presidential candidate George McGovern, press secretary for Senator Robert Kennedy and as head of NPR from 1977-1983: Mankiewics was greatly impressed by “the enthusiasm and unity of the Cuban people…they are proud of their accomplishments and sing songs about themselves and their country that reflect this self-pride.”
Mariela’s uncle Fidel ringingly endorsed Obama the first time around, while greatly fearing for the Democratic candidate’s life. “A profound racism exists in the U.S.,” Fidel revealed in an essay dated October 2008. “It’s a miracle that the Democratic candidate (Obama) has not suffered the fate of other Americans who dreamed of equality and justice like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.”
For the record: Fidel Castro, forcibly overthrew a black Cuban head of state (Fulgencio Batista) and replaced his government with one where only nine percent of the ruling Stalinist party is black and where the prison population is 80-90 percent black. He jailed the longest suffering black political prisoner of modern history (Eusebio Penalver who suffered longer in Castro’s dungeon than Nelson Mandela suffered in South Africa’s). He sentenced other blacks (Dr. Elias Biscet, Jorge Antunez) to 20 year sentences essentially for quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in a public square.
And Chris Matthews isn’t alone in swooning over Obama’s charisma, verbal agility and smarts. Fidel’s leg also tingles: “(Obama) has a habit of looking at his adversary with serenity and laughing at the verbal gaffes of an opponent who looks blankly into space,” continued Castro’s endorsement, where he also denounced McCain as “a habitual liar, who lacks an ethical code and is an instrument of the ‘Miami Mafia'” (i.e. overwhelmingly Republican Cuban-Americans.)
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