Elian and the Establishment
Edward Zehr

How The Power Elite Crush A Cuban Kid

Lawyers representing the parties in the Elian Gonzalez affair
presented arguments to three federal judges of the 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals in Atlanta last Thursday. The point in
contention is Elians's right to request asylum in this country
despite his father's apparent determination to return him to
communist Cuba. Greg Craig, who is said to represent Juan
Gonzalez, the boy's father, insisted that Juan has been free to
"openly express his feelings and opinions," although skeptics
point out that communist dictator Fidel Castro holds his family
as virtual hostages in Cuba and keeps the father and son under
close watch at the secluded Wye Plantation in Maryland, with the
cooperation of U.S. authorities.
Kendall Coffey, an attorney representing the Miami relatives,
maintained that, "There is no parent in Cuba who controls what
happens to his or her child, and there is no power in this
country that can protect this child if he is removed to Cuba."
Coffey contended that Elian would be subject to political
persecution if he returned to that captive country because his
mother and stepfather, both of whom drowned during the escape
attempt, are considered to be traitors there.
Judge J.L. Edmondson expressed concern about a possible conflict
of interest since the child is within the jurisdiction of the
U.S. while the father resides "in what I understand our State
Department calls a communist, totalitarian state." Attorneys for
Elian's Miami family have been denied access to the boy by the
Clinton administration which illegally seized him at gun point,
without obtaining the necessary court order, and is holding him
incommunicado. The government has allowed Cuban officials to see
Elian, however, and many suspect that they are attempting to
browbeat the boy into withdrawing his request for asylum. Some
began to suspect that he has been drugged with tranquilizers
after such drugs were found in the possession of his
pediatrician. Judge Edmondson made the point that the father's
parental rights are not paramount in this case; they may be
considered secondary to the best interest of the child.
A decision is expected from the court in a matter of weeks as to
whether Elian is entitled to an asylum hearing. Greg Craig, the
attorney retained ostensibly to represent the father in an
elaborate deception set up by the Archer Daniels Midland company,
involving the pro-Castro National Council of Churches, was
shouted down by the crowd in front of the court house in Atlanta
as he attempted to spin his side of the case for the evening
news. The only word clearly intelligible to viewers was the
crowd's repeated chant, "com-mu-nist."
Everybody seems to be thoroughly tired of the Elian story by now,
so why doesn't it just go away? Pack the kid off to Castro's
captive island and forget about him. Get on with the good life
which we more fortunate types so thoughtlessly take as our due.
The opinion polls all indicate that the public approve of
Clinton, "The Ice Man's," disdain for the rule of law and his
cold, unfeeling lack of human decency, even if Janet Reno's
Gestapo tactics leave them just a bit uneasy. I suppose that at
some future date, when the terrible truth about this shameful
episode is finally made known, the public will be able to plead
ignorance, much as the Germans did regarding Nazi atrocities. And
not without some justification -- the public have been fed a pack
of lies regarding the Elian affair by our elite, puppet press.
So why do the public continue to follow this story? Most people
have long since made up their minds about it, based on the
inadequate and often erroneous information provided them by the
mainstream press. Others find the matter "too complex" to fathom,
despite the fact that the essential issues involved are few and
well defined. What is the shouting about? Either the parental
rights of the father are paramount or the boy's best interests
must take precedence.

Given the fact that the child was born out of wedlock, was never
supported by the father, and was in the custody of the mother --
with the father's consent -- at the time he was plucked from the
sea and brought to these shores, there can be little doubt as to
how a domestic family court would rule if they were allowed to
decide the case, as Clinton and Reno had originally intended. (Al
Gore still supports this approach -- theoretically -- although he
does not have the guts to assert his opinion at this stage of the
Andrew P. Napolitano, a former Superior Court judge who now
teaches constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School, recently
made the point that "in Florida, as in all states," child custody
cases come under the jurisdiction of state family courts, not
federal courts. The family courts only concern is ". . . the
best interests of the child not the interests of a parent, not
the interests of a president, not the interests of a foreign
As to the question of whether Elian would have a better future as
Castro's slave, or as a free citizen of a country where the civil
liberties of the individual are guaranteed (for the more
privileged, until recently at least), those who have to ask will
not understand the issue involved.
But supposing that we consider the parental rights of the father
to be overriding, as do many Americans in their profound
ignorance of the laws of their own country. Will the father, Juan
Gonzalez, actually have custody of Elian if and when they return
to Cuba? There is no reason to suppose that he will. Under Cuban
"law" a child belongs to the state, not to his parents. As Casey
Fahy wrote in the New Australian last week:
"Elian is now headed for psychological deprogramming in a
halfway house in Havana 60 miles from his father's home
where, according to Castro's government, he will spend three
months or however long it takes. And no one, including his
father, will have the right to say anything about it. No one
but Fidel Castro."
And even if the boy were returned to his father after being
thoroughly deprogrammed, he would be taken away again when he is
a bit older and returned to the custody of the state, as are all
Cuban children. How is it possible to decide the issue on the
basis of Juan Gonzalez's "parental rights" when, under Cuban law,
he clearly has no such rights? Once again, the decision is a no-
At this point one must conclude that all those Americans who
approve of the government's actions in this case are either
woefully misinformed, or have made their decision on the basis of
considerations other than the merit of the government's case --
presumably personal or partisan considerations. This is the way a
great many people deal with political issues -- they speak in
political terms, but their motives are mostly personal and
selfish. For example, they are concerned about their own
parental rights and act out their anxiety using Elian as a
surrogate. Typically, they come up with arguments that begin,
"How would you feel if your child . . ." Or perhaps they are
concerned about the international ramifications of the case.
These arguments often begin with, "How would you feel if some
foreign government . . ." And then there are those who rigidly
maintain that the Clinton administration is always right in
everything it does, whether this involves gassing and burning to
death dozens of little children at Waco (religious fundies --
won't be missed), or blowing them to bits by the hundreds with
cluster bombs in Serbia. (Serbian devils -- serves 'em right).
And if the Clinton/Reno regime arranged a scaled-down rerun of
the Holocaust, no doubt they would find a way to rationalize that
as well. Thus do political considerations twist the minds of
nominally "decent" people.
This whole affair seemed innocuous enough at its inception. How
did we get here from there? At the beginning of the Elian affair,
Clinton and Reno gave assurances that custody would be determined
"in the usual way," i.e. by a Florida family court. What made
them change their minds?
Around the end of the year, Fidel Castro, alerted by all the
publicity lavished upon young Elian by the American mainstream
media, became interested in the matter. At the time he was
engaged in cutting a deal with the Archer Daniels Midland company
for trade concessions in Cuba worth a half-billion dollars or
more. Of course, the Cuban tyrant is not in the habit of
bestowing freebies upon bloated plutocrats, so he demanded
concessions in return. One of them was Elian Gonzalez, to be
returned to Cuba where he could be properly brainwashed and
prominently displayed as a propaganda trophy. In Castro's
demented way this would be seen as a triumph over the Miami
Cuban-Americans who have given him so much grief in the past.
But there is another aspect to the story which has been ignored
by the mainstream press. Castro is not going to live forever --
he is getting a bit long in the tooth. The Miami expatriates are
successful and influential. When Castro departs they are certain
to make a bid to reclaim their country. But Castro's lieutenants
have their own plans to retain control of Cuba. By using the
Elian affair to discredit and demonize the Cuban-American
community in Southern Florida, the American mainstream press,
which is crawling with closet-Marxists, have thrown in their lot
with the totalitarian clique which hopes to retain power in Cuba
well into the post-Castro era. The pretense by our quisling
newsies that they promote a "relaxation" of conditions in Cuba by
propping up Castro's destitute regime with "normalized" relations
is just a smokescreen. What they are really attempting to do is
keep alive their shabby pipe-dream of world revolution "by other
means." If this entails crawling into bed with decadent
capitalist exploiters of the working class such as Archer Daniels
Midland in order to promote the New World Order, they are quite
prepared to do this.

I have already outlined the involvement of ADM with the Elian
affair in previous columns. It is they who have facilitated the
laundering of the money, said to amount to about $150,000, used
to pay the fee of fat cat Washington attorney Greg Craig for
representing Juan Gonzalez (who is under the control of the
Clinton/Castro coalition). Since the agricultural behemoth was a
little shy about going public with their support for Castro,
understandable in view of their lucrative business arrangement
with the Cuban tyrant, they used the left-wing National Council
of Churches and the affiliated United Methodist Church as "cut-
outs." In other words, these organizations acted as fronts for
ADM, collecting funds from "anonymous donors" and passing the
money along to Craig, whose law firm, Williams and Connolly has
long represented (the envelope please) Archer Daniels Midland.
The coziness of this relationship is emphasized by the fact that
the recently installed president of the NCC is none other than
Andrew Young, a member of the board of ADM and of its public
policy committee.
But that's not all. ADM's chairman of the board at the time this
deal was set up is a 77-year-old millionaire named Dwayne Andreas
(who is handing over power to his son). He has long been a big
contributor to Barry University located in Miami. His wife was
once chairman of that institution. By merest "coincidence," when
Elian's grandmothers came to this country (at Castro's behest) it
was decided that they should meet at -- Barry University. This
turned out not to be a very good idea, although it must have
seemed so at the time. Attorney General Janet Reno appointed
Sister Jeanne, the president of the university and a longtime
friend, to be a mediator in discussions with the grandmothers. At
first Sister Jeanne had supported the return of Elian to the
custody of his father. But, according to Gerard Jackson, writing
in the May 8-14 New Australian, after speaking with the
grandmothers, Sister Jeanne "noted their 'intangible fear' and
how they were controlled by their Cuban escorts." The sister, a
Dominican nun, became convinced that "the grandmothers were
acting as Castro mouthpieces" leading her to conclude, "I do not
think that child will be able to live without fear if he goes
It has not been revealed exactly what the grandmothers said to
Sister Jeanne, but the Miami Herald reported that one of them
told the sister that she wanted to defect. It goes without saying
that all of this has been treated as a state secret by the
national press. (The Miami Herald is acting as a local newspaper
in reporting on this story. The perceptive Net surfer will have
noticed by now that one must always go to the local press in
order to get the details of stories such as this one. The
national press invariably weigh in with politically correct
What makes the main thrust of this story so obscene is the manner
in which the way has been greased with corporate pork. One can
but marvel at the cheesy, amateurish attempt by Archer Daniels
Midland to conceal the role they played in this scam, while
tracking their big, muddy footprints all over the scene. Whoever
planned this caper should be walking the plank about now. Of
course, our incomparable "free" press, ever eager to play the
part of quisling to the power elite, have done their best to
conceal the role of corporate greed in this affair. We should
remember this the next time they pontificate on the need for
campaign finance reform. The only "reform" that interests the
mainstream media is that which would place absolute control over
the flow of information into their own greedy hands.
ADM has long been in contention for the title of the nation's
number-one corporate welfare queen. Thus, it is none too
surprising that they have contributed more than $3 million to the
two major political parties since 1988. According to an article
that appeared in the Baltimore Sun on July 19, 1998, the
contributions represent insurance "to protect the huge government
subsidy for a corn-based fuel additive called ethanol," no matter
who wins the elections. "ADM is the nation's largest producer of
The payoff was described by the Cato Institute which depicted ADM
as "the most prominent recipient of corporate welfare in recent
U.S. history. At least 43 percent of ADM's annual profits are
from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American
government." The company's subsidized ethanol profits just go on
and on, despite their 1996 guilty plea for price fixing that
resulted in ADM paying the largest fine ever imposed in a federal
anti-trust case. And this even though numerous studies show that
ethanol does little or nothing to diminish pollution or reduce
our reliance on foreign oil imports. The company's 54-cent-per-
gallon ethanol tax credit is scheduled to run through 2007. ADM
produces 60 percent of all the ethanol sold in the country. The
General Accounting Office estimates that the ethanol subsidy has
already cost taxpayers more than $7 billion since 1979. Not a bad
return on a $3 million "investment." Dan Carney, a freelance
writer based in Washington, DC, observed that, "No other subsidy
in the federal government's box of goodies is so concentrated in
the hands of a single company."
The Stop Corporate Welfare Coalition headed by three congressmen,
House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, Republican Ed Royce
and Democrat Rob Andrews has called for the elimination of 12
corporate welfare programs, designated "The Dirty Dozen," but
ADM's ethanol subsidy is not on their list, even though the
company is the country's number one recipient of corporate
welfare. As Arianna Huffington explained, "ADM's chairman, Dwayne
Andreas, is the third rail of corporate welfare reform: Touch him
and you die."
Archer Daniels Midland is the largest producer of food and
agricultural products in the country. It's products include
grain, margarine, and alcohol, none of which are sold under the
company's logo. They were big contributors to the 1992 campaign
of George Bush. In June of 1994, Bill Clinton received a campaign
contribution of $100,000 from ADM and a few days later came up
with a policy which "mandated that 30 percent of the gasoline
sold in the nation's most polluted cities contain ethanol
products by 1996," according to Carney. The timing was just
another "coincidence" Andreas explained. (The mandate was later
overturned by a federal court).
Dwayne Andreas' main political champion was Bob Dole, an ardent
booster of ethanol. Andreas often vacationed with his buddy Bob,
and even helped him acquire a condo at the Sea-View Hotel which
he owned in Bal Harbour, Florida. Carney quotes Andreas' in an
article titled "Dwayne's World," on the subject of capitalism,
which Andreas considers to be an illusion:
"There isn't one grain of anything in the world that is sold
in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free
market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not
in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist

Carney believes that Andreas is correct. "Agriculture is the last
industry where the U.S. government so routinely sets prices and
determines production levels, a complex arena in which doing
business often has more to do with influencing legislation than
with responding to supply and demand. Prospering in this
environment is ADM's forte," he writes.
Andreas describes ADM as the largest agricultural company in the
world, producing 35 percent of the bread in this country, as well
as much of the margarine, cooking oil sold under brand names such
as Crisco and Mazola. ADM also produces ingredients used in
products such as Nabisco Cheese Nips, Life cereal, and Reese's
Peanut Butter Cups. It makes the corn sweetener used in Coca
Cola. And yet the company is still run as a family business,
with four family members serving as senior executives in the
company. The vice president of the company, Howard Buffett, is
the son of the investment wizard Warren Buffett. Warren was made
chairman of the finance committee at the Washington Post in 1974
and is credited with turning that newspaper into an extremely
profitable business enterprise. His influence on publisher Kay
Graham was noted by Carol Felsenthal in her book "Power and
Privilege At the Post." Felsenthal quotes Graham as saying,
"I've had two great professors, one is Warren Buffett and the
other is experience." In case you are still wondering why the
nation's number one corporate welfare queen gets a pass from a
news media that rails against corporate welfare and promotes
campaign finance reform, ADM is family.
Dwayne Andreas has been extremely generous to politicians of both
parties. According to Richard Nixon's former secretary, Rose Mary
Woods, he handed Nixon an unmarked envelope containing $100,000
in $100 bills during a visit to the White House in 1972. Could
this sort of even-handed generosity have influenced GOP senators
to "postpone" their investigation of Janet Reno's raid on the
home of Elian's Miami relatives? The trail leading from Greg
Craig back to ADM would be difficult for them to ignore.
Carney writes that ADM is presently seeking "greener pastures"
abroad. As Al Gore recently told a group of "Future Farmers of
America," there is no future for farmers in America. In time all
of our food will be imported from foreign countries. ADM is not
about to be left behind as the New World Order takes off. The
company now has operations in every one of the former Warsaw Pact
countries of Eastern Europe and is selling increasing quantities
of food to China. ADM's trade agreement with Castro is part of
this developing relationship with the NWO.

Of all the establishment figures involved in the Elian affair,
none have been more active than Joan Brown Campbell, the retiring
secretary general of the National Council of Churches. The Elian
affair is Campbell's last hurrah. Her successor appointed her to
act as point person in the organization's frenetic campaign to
return Elian to the outstretched arms of Fidel. (Campbell has
strong ties with the Cuban tyrant). Campbell made a trip to Cuba
to meet with Juan Gonzalez under the watchful eyes of his
keepers, then returned to this country to hold a series of press
conferences, following which she returned to Cuba to collect
Elian's grandmothers and fly them here in a chartered jet. There
followed another spate of media events, a meeting with Janet
Reno, and another meeting with members of Congress who are
sympatico with Castro and want little Elian returned to him
All of this is just routine for the church lady who has devoted
her life to spreading the Gospel according to Marx, but her
activities have had a noticeable effect on public opinion. For
example, Campbell is the one who started the spin critical of
Elian's mother for risking his life in a hazardous attempt to
flee (communist tyranny in) Cuba. This line was picked up and
amplified by our quisling press, ever eager to strike a sneaky
blow for Fidel. It goes without saying that the newsies never
mention the possibility that Elian's relatives might be the least
bit circumspect about expressing their true feelings to a left-
wing Castro collaborator, or to left-leaning journalists who
could be expected to tattle on them at the first opportunity.
Writing in the newsletter "Heterodoxy," Marc Tooley notes that:
"For the last nine years Campbell has been defending Castro
and the world's dwindling number of other communist despots,
creating dangerous myths about racial violence, lobbying for
socialized medicine, fighting for gun control, touting gay
and abortion rights, supporting campaign-finance 'reform,'
opposing the U.S. war and subsequent sanctions against Iraq's
Saddam Hussein, condemning organized school prayer, defending
President Clinton in the wake of sexual scandal, and ignoring
the plight of persecuted Christians around the world."
How's that for advancing a "Christian" agenda? Is it surprising
that the NCC has become such an embarrassment to its member
denominations that even the liberals among them have begun to
suggest that the organization has outlived its usefulness?
The National Council of Churches was founded in 1950 for the
purpose of promoting Christian unity. Thanks to Campbell's
incompetence as a leader the organization is now in disarray and
deeply in debt. The NCC raised $9.1 million for its "Burned
Church Fund" during Bill Clinton's campaign of "church burning"
demagoguery, contrived to get out the African-American vote in
1996. (The NCC staunchly supports separation of church and state
so they don't have to worry about the IRS pulling their tax
exemption as they have for more conservative religious
organizations). But now the money has all been used up and it
turns out that only $6.4 million was spent on church construction
-- the rest went into "overhead" and attacking the "root causes"
of the problem, or whatever. Campbell commented on the NCC's
financial problems, saying that when the mainline churches catch
cold, the NCC gets pneumonia. In other words, she can't be
blamed. It's all the fault of those hate-crazed Christians who
are so beastly to Bill Clinton.
When Campbell, a former 1960's activist, took over the NCC, she
seemed eager to avoid the organization's past mistakes of cozying
up to communist governments and their collaborators in this
country. As late as 1993 she said:
"We did not understand the depth of the suffering of
Christians under Communism. And we failed to really cry out
against the communist oppression. I do give credit to people
who called for that and did not get a response, at least from
She got that right, at least. So why is Campbell now doing her
level best to send a six-year-old kid back to communist tyranny?
Could it be that she did not mean a single word she said in her
1993 apologia? If you will recall, the Soviet Union had only just
collapsed at the time. It probably seemed appropriate to make
some sort of conciliatory statement seeing that her side had
lost. But now, with Castro's time growing short and the future of
his captive nation up for grabs, Campbell seems determined to do
her bit to ensure continued communist control of Cuba, ignoring
once again those who "cry out against the communist oppression."
Campbell attempts to justify her campaign to send Elian back to
Castro by saying that it's all about "family values," a somewhat
paradoxical position considering that her marriage failed because
of her commitment to trendy social causes. (Campbell is the
mother of three children). The problem is, her idea of "family
values" entails placing a child with an abusive father who
abandoned him and sending him to an oppressive environment where
he will be denied the basic liberties that people such as
Campbell take for granted. Would she advocate doing that to a
child residing in this country? I would hope not. So why is it
all right to do it to Elian? Does this progressive advocate of
the social gospel perhaps see him as a second-class human being?
Could this possibly have something to do with his ethnic
background? Pardon my skepticism, but I can't help notice that
people who protest too much about "bigotry" are often the most
intolerant of all. Of course they are a lot more sneaky about it
than the average bigot.
The National Council of Churches is a thoroughly discredited
organization whose ties to Marxist revolutionary groups were
exposed back in the 1980s. Campbell's predecessor felt impelled
to resign when the Greek Orthodox Church finally had enough and
threatened to leave the NCC. No doubt this accounts in part for
Campbell's conciliatory statements at the time she assumed
leadership of the organization. The NCC has avoided taking an
official position on issues such as abortion and homosexuality in
order to avoid alienating the Eastern Orthodox denominations, but
Campbell, in keeping with her devotion to "family values," is a
strong advocate of both.
After Clinton was elected president in 1992, NCC delegations were
frequently seen visiting the White House. Campbell was feted at
state dinners for foreign heads of state and taken on flights
aboard Air Force One. When the GOP regained control of Congress
in 1994, Campbell led a delegation to the White House to urge
Clinton to stand firm against the rascally Republicans. She
requested that church members wear purple ribbons during Holy
Week (for the benefit of heathens who may read this, that's the
week before Easter Sunday) "to symbolize opposition to the
Contract with America." Of course Campbell was outraged when
George W. Bush named Jesus Christ as the philosopher who has most
influenced him. Why, hasn't he ever heard of separation of
church and state? Note to conservative religious organizations:
do not try any of the tricks in Campbell's repertoire, else your
tax exemption will be toast.
Asked to explain the double standard as it applies to her
organization and the conservative Christian Coalition, Campbell
replied, "We're a religious organization, and it is not. They are
blatantly political [and] partisan." (Presumably she was able to
say this with a straight face). See, the religious right is
attempting to "manipulate religious leaders and people of faith
and good will." Of course the NCC would never do anything like
The spinning of the Elian story by the mainstream media has been
extremely cynical and deliberately misleading. In truth, Elian is
being used as a burnt offering to appease the communist tyrant
Castro and thereby facilitate a sleazy trade agreement that will
further enrich the enterprise of a manipulative tycoon of dubious
ethics who makes a practice of buying politicians by the dozen.
Consider the elements of the story as it actually unfolded. First
Elian is rescued from an inner tube in the Florida Straits and
brought to these shores. The INS place him in the home of his
Florida relatives, where he is well cared for. At about that time
Dwayne Andrews of Archer Daniels Midland is attempting to close a
trade agreement with the Cuban tyrant Fidel Castro. The story of
little Elian, which is getting considerable play by the American
media, attracts Castro's attention. The tyrant decides that Elian
would make a nice propaganda trophy so he has the father, who had
previously abandoned the child, demand custody. President Clinton
tells the press that the matter should be settled by a family
court in Florida.
But then Dwayne, presumably under pressure from Castro, arranges
for the NCC, a left-wing "religious" group friendly to Fidel to
set up a slush fund using the United Methodist Church (whose
leaders also tilt left) as a front. The identity of the "donors"
is kept secret and the slush fund is used to hire Washington
lawyer Greg Craig to represent the father (who is controlled by
Castro). Craig just happens to be a friend of Bill Clinton, and
is one of the lawyers who represented him during his impeachment
trial in the Senate. Not only does he represent the father, he
appears to have Clinton's authorization to call the shots for the
entire operation. Clinton reverses his earlier opinion and says
that Elian should be placed in the custody of his father. The
real reason for the president's reversal of his views in the
matter remains the subject of speculation.
The link between ADM and the NCC is Andrew Young who is an ADM
board member as well as the recently appointed president of the
NCC. When the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denies the federal
government authorization to place Elian in the father's custody,
Clinton ignores the court and orders the attorney general to
illegally seize the boy by force. Elian is taken first to a
military base, then to the secluded Wye Plantation where he is
held incommunicado and visited by a number of Cuban specialists,
psychiatrists and doctors who allegedly dose him with
tranquilizers to control the boy and make him appear content.
Elian's father is kept under close supervision by his Cuban
communist keepers and allowed to see only visitors friendly to
the Castro regime.
Why was the NCC picked to play a key role in this police state
power play? Tooley opines that "Campbell earned the role Castro
allowed her to play in the Elian Gonzalez affair by her long
praise of Cuba for having made a 'priority of caring for the
poor.'" Campbell publicly apologized to a crowd of 100,000 Cubans
last year for the dastardly way this country has treated poor,
blameless Fidel and his captives:
"We ask you to forgive the suffering that has come to you by
the actions of the United States. It is on behalf of Jesus
the liberator that we work against this embargo."
So there you have it, folks, Cuba's economic problems are all our
fault. The sadistic, torturing, murdering tyrant Castro, whose
despotism and crackpot Soviet-style economic policies transformed
Cuba from the most prosperous country in Latin America into one
of the poorest economic basket cases in the region, is portrayed
as the victim by this useful idiot who has made a career of
perverting religion to promote the interests of atheist despots.
As for our glorious, heroic "free" press, one gets the impression
that they have never even heard of Archer Daniels Midland and
consider the National Council of Churches to be an authentic
religious organization rather than the pro-Castro, left-wing
extremist front group it so obviously is. Of course ADM has a way
of getting around the working stiffs of the mainstream press to
the boys in the back office. Did you ever wonder why a company
that sells nothing under its own name finds it useful to sponsor
the PBS News Hour? No doubt ADM's family tie with the Washington
Post has been useful as well. The Clinton administration has long
since expressed its appreciation to that bastion of intellectual
integrity by slipping into the GATT enabling legislation a
regulatory concession said to be worth a nine-figure sum to the
Post's parent corporation. And Ricky Kaplan, the president of CNN
News, thinks the world of Clinton, who puts him up in the Lincoln
Bedroom during his frequent visits to the White House. One of
Kaplan's first acts when he took over at CNN was to admonish the
staff to stop beating up on Bill. But then, Ted Turner, the
founder of CNN, has his favorites as well -- he and Fidel are
golf buddies. It's the old-boy network, folks. It just isn't
socially acceptable to bad-mouth one's bosom-buddies.
Not that the "working" press are all that inclined to find fault
with Fidel, or expose the interlocking directorate of his pals
within the American establishment. Their motivation (apart from
the incentive of staying employed) appears to be ideological.
Having been inculcated at J-school with the tenets of the One
True Faith (doctrinaire knee-jerk liberalism), continually
reinforced by the vacuous PC-prattle of their pretentious peers,
these worthies are disinclined to challenge the conventional

Jean-Francois Revel, the former editor of the French news
magazine "L'Express," writes in his book "The Flight From Truth,"
that "the noncommunist Left has in no wise corrected its
partiality in favor of totalitarian Marxist regimes. Its
unilateral silence can doubtless be explained as being due more
to a kind of intellectual paralysis than to a deliberate choice.
. . For such leftists, if only through mental inertia, Castro
remains on the good side of the dividing line, while Valladares
had placed himself on the bad side, even if his only crime was to
have been thrown into prison by the Cuban dictator."
Armando Valladares is a Cuban poet who was imprisoned for
twenty-two years by the savage Castro regime under conditions
that recall the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. In April
1986 a conference organized by Valladares on behalf of Resistance
International was held at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris. According
to Revel, "a number of former political prisoners from Cuba
testified about the tortures and the brutal hardships they had
been made to endure." Among the two hundred or so spectators
were about a dozen journalists. Revel notes that they "were in no
hurry to use the 'sacred right of information' that they brandish
with such insistence when other matters are being discussed."
Matters such as human rights violations that could be used to
advance the agenda of the left, that is.
The most notable reaction to this conference was "a campaign of
defamation and calumnies launched against Valladares." The Greek
newspaper Pontiki referred to him as a "fascist, an assassin, a
torturer, a humanoid, a phony poet fabricated out of nothing by
the CIA." The Cuban and Soviet intelligence agencies phonied up
some documents which supposedly demonstrate that the Cuban poet
had once worked as an agent for the secret police under the
former dictator Batista. The forgeries were not very convincing,
the picture on the fake ID card was far too recent -- Valladares
was much younger in the Batista days than the photograph of him
indicates. The forgers also made the mistake of giving his height
in metric units -- Cubans still used feet and inches in Batista's
Does any of this sound familiar? Recall Joan Brown Campbell's
assertion that it was Elian's mother who placed him in danger by
seeking freedom, not Castro for trying to keep him enslaved.
Consider the New York Times' trashing of "El Pescador," the
fisherman Donato Dalrymple, who rescued Elian from the sea and
was holding him when Reno's masked thugs abducted the child at
gunpoint from the Gonzalez residence. Ponder the spiteful,
thinly-veiled ethnic bigotry with which the mainstream media have
attempted to discredit the Cuban-American community. (This is a
major agenda of the power-elite -- Cuban-American opposition to
normalization of trade relations interferes with their plans to
profit from commerce with Cuba. Small wonder that their
mainstream media puppets labor so diligently to advance this
agenda). Smearing their opponents has long been a fundamental
tactic of the political left. The corrupt Clinton regime has
raised it to an art form.
Now consider the harsh reality our quisling press is too cowardly
and deceitful to confront. Valladares writes in his book "Against
All Hope":
"On the Island they began to build three huge concentration
camps. One of them was on a farm called La Reforma, another
on a farm called Mella, and the third, in the south part of
the Island, in the Valley of the Indians (Valle de los
The Cuban Communist Party was very practical in their handling of
political prisoners. Their approach recalls the slogan emblazoned
over the main gate at Auschwitz: "Arbeit macht frei." (Work makes
[you] free). Valladares explains the scheme:
"The concentration camps were located in very strategic
places from the point of view of forced labor, in areas where
the most work was needed. That way prisoners didn't have to
be transported across the Island. But in their plans the
Party didn't take into consideration the fierce resistance of
the prisoners, who were determined not to enter the
Rehabilitation Program. The prisoners had decided that the
government would not have prisoners who worked like slaves."
The communists reacted with characteristic brutality. The heads
of the work gangs "were given free rein to kill prisoners in each
gang." Valladares describes the consequences:
"They were always trying to make us rebel so they'd have an
excuse to kill us. If prisoners protested about some act of
aggression, the escorts in the cordon might simply open fire.
Eddy Alvarez and Danny Crespo, in block 31, were killed just
that way."
And what was the response of the "international community" to
these horrors? "Every effort to get the Commission on Human
Rights of the United Nations even to consider our denunciation
was fruitless. We sent that organization detailed information
about the tortures, murders. . . but it did nothing." The
prisoners had no better luck with the International Red Cross.
"Talking to it about violations of human rights in Cuba was like
talking to a post; it refused to listen. Cuban political
prisoners simply did not exist. Why get upset about them?"
It was only years later, Valladares tells us, that the Red Cross
finally began to believe the stories told them by Cuban
prisoners. Now the United Nations and its member nations know
all about "the horrors of the Cuban jails, but they don't dare
condemn Cuba in their annual assemblies."
The brutality continues even to this day. Castro's apologists
continue to ignore it. Many of them are the very same people who
used to pontificate so sanctimoniously about the horrors of the
Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler. The Germans, they told us, were
guilty of the "Crime of Silence." I once heard the German take on
this at an office party in the Munich firm where I worked at the
time. A drunken Brit, referring to the horrors of the Nazi
regime, asked my German boss, "How could you allow such things to
happen? Why didn't you do something about it?"
Patiently, as though explaining the facts of life to a 10-year-
old, the boss replied, "We didn't do anything about it because we
didn't wish to be tortured and shot. Why didn't YOU do something
about it?"
So there you are. Did the Brit, who had never had the privilege
of living in a police state, get the point? I don't think so. And
neither do most of us.

Edward Zehr can be reached at ezehr@capaccess.org

Published in the May. 15, 2000 issue of The Washington Weekly
Copyright 2000 The Washington Weekly.

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