These five separate reports about the hidden reality of Cuba illustrate why the environment created by the Castro regime is so toxic to the development of human beings. Would American parents like their children to be raised in a country where the following aberrations are the norm?

First: (Taken from an October 30, 1999 CubaNet report by independent journalist Carmelo Díaz, Havana) David, the son of Daisy and Isaac Cohen Levi, had been fired in 1994 from the clinic where he worked as a physician for wearing a Star of David. As a Jewish family, the Cohen Levis have lived under constant harassment from State Security (SS) since 1995, when they obtained visas to leave Cuba. Daisy Cohen was fired from her job in 1995.

Second: (Taken from a November 19, 1999 CubaNet report by independent Journalist María Elena Rodriguez, Cuba-Verdad Press, Havana) Books donated by Spain to Cuba on such subjects as children's literature, medicine, law, and history were burned, buried and otherwise destroyed last November in the Havana municipality of El Cerro.

Ms. Rodriguez and several witnesses (who wish to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals) saw hundreds of books being burned on the patio of the People’s Power municipal agency. According to witnesses, books were buried on the site with the aid of a bulldozer, and the remainder were "taken away to an unknown destination, although it is presumed the trucks carrying them were heading toward the garbage dumps that exist on the outskirts of the city."

On December 10, Ms. Rodriguez reported that Cuban officials attempted to cover up this incident after the Spanish newspaper ABC picked up her original report. According to Ms. Rodriguez, orders to suppress information were issued by the Communist Party in coordination with the SS police.

Municipal directors in El Cerro reportedly warned their employees: "With regard to what happened to the books, you didn't see anything." Ms. Rodriguez closes her report by remarking that "the bureaucrats seem to forget that the books remain buried under the patio of the People's Power agency."

On December 10, the Friends of Cuban Libraries in New York issued the following statement about the book burning incident, "We suspect that many of the books sent to Cuba by well-intentioned foreign donors have met the same fate as the Spanish books documented by María Elena Rodriguez.

"Some people abroad are still sadly uninformed as to the degree of intolerance prevalent in Cuba (although even the Friends of Cuban Libraries are surprised by the destruction of children's materials and medical books).

"All publications are subjected to strict censorship, and any library book that deviates from official orthodoxy is banned; the Internet and e-mail are also prohibited in Cuba, except for a few favored (and closely monitored) individuals.

"President Fidel Castro's attitude toward intellectual freedom may be best summed up by his remark that ‘All disagreement is opposition and all opposition is counterrevolutionary."

Last September 1999 the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) condemned the Cuban government's "campaign of threats, intimidation, harassment, eviction, short-term arrests, and the confiscation of the independent librarians' incoming book donations or book collections." And in November 1999 Amnesty International adopted Ramon Colas, the co-founder of the independent library movement in Cuba, as a "Prisoner of Conscience."

Third: (Taken from a January 10, 2000 CubaNet report by independent journalist Ernesto Sigler, Cuba Press) Castro’s SS officers confiscated toys that were to be distributed among poor children in Pinar del Río province, west of Havana. The toys were acquired legally in Castro’s US-dollars-only stores with private money donations from abroad. Various independent civic organizations were planning to give them to children for the celebration of the Three Wise Kings’ Day.

The SS toy confiscation conducted on January 8, 2000, lasted from 11 am until 2 pm. Some people who bought the toys were arrested. On January 14, one of the arrested, Victor Rolando Arroyo was sent to jail for 6 months for buying the toys. Apparently, it’s not that there are no toys for ordinary children in Cuba – it’s that Castro doesn’t want ordinary children in Cuba to have toys. The confiscated toys likely will reappear on the shelves of Castro’s US-dollars-only stores to be sold again.

Fourth: (Taken from sources inside Cuba that wish to remain anonymous for fear of SS reprisals) Demonstrations and political rallies in Cuba like the ones shown on U.S. television lately because of 6-year-old Elián Gonzalez are staged. The children shown wearing the uniform and blue and white scarves around their necks are members of the young Pioneers and Young Communists, fashioned after the Hitler Youth of Nazi Germany.

People are both forced and lured to go. In Cárdenas, the economic situation is so desperate that Castro’s regime bought the attendees by giving each a T-shirt with a photo of Elián, a can of sardines, 2 crackers and an orange (which Cubans haven’t seen in years because they are exported to Israel). The people were bused to the rally but rides back home after they were used were not provided.

Besides the compulsory attendance at the rallies being held in Havana, people are also lured by the gift of a T-shirt, snacks, beer, rum and music bands. In today’s Cuba, the standards are very low and it is easy to buy the cooperation of the masses in such dire need.

How can we afford any credibility or allow ourselves to be influenced by these highly staged rallies in Cuba?

Castro’s regime survival – all communist regimes’ survival – is based on propaganda and deception. Everybody who has first hand experience living inside a communist country is very well aware of it.

Fifth: (Taken from a visiting source who wants to be anonymous for fear of SS reprisals after returning to Cuba) The school in Cárdenas that Elián attended was "dilapidated, in need of paint, with the student’s desks falling apart with exposed nails pinching some of the children. Under a leaking roof, the children had to use their Pioneers scarves as towels to dry themselves. The bathroom facilities consisted of a fetid exterior outhouse. There was no toilet paper, just the usual pages of Castro’s official newspaper Granma with its staining ink."

After the story of Elián broke in the U.S.and abroad, Castro foresaw the visit of the international press to Cárdenas and the school. So, Castro decreed the total renovation of the school for the anticipated media representatives.

SS construction brigades appeared as if by magic. "In two days the school had a new roof and repaired walls, a fresh coat of paint, new floors and desks – including a fake one with Elián’s name engraved on it – and the luxury of a new toilet with running water and toilet paper! The children were supplied with new uniforms and scarves. To assure her cooperation, Castro’s regime gave a new house to Elián’s former teacher." Everything for its propaganda value. But if you do not live in Cuba as a Cuban, you don’t know what is going on behind the façade.

These five reports are just the tip of the iceberg. Would you like your children to be raised in Cuba? Apparently, Clinton would be willing to send his child there as he works so hard behind the scenes to send 6-year-old Elián back.

Meanwhile, Clinton keeps saying that he wants to distance himself from the politics of Elián’s case, while apparently he is in it up to his neck with all his under-the-table "secret" arrangements with Castro, some of which have now been announced.

Are we to believe that the recent return of criminals held in jail since the 1980s - that Castro has been refusing to take back - is not part of a swap? Castro takes the criminals he purposely sent to the U.S. and Clinton returns Elián (a needed trophy for Castro’s victory against the evil Yankees).

For as long as the current administration is in the White House, Elián’s fate apparently is in the hands of a Mafia-type deal between an unpredictable and very dangerous man and another one who’s moral principles, conduct and judgements have been questioned repeatedly.


Agustín Blázquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton

Mr Blázquez is the Producer/Director of the documentaries

2000 ABIP

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