Absolutely nothing regarding “human rights abuses,” much less “murder” or “torture” appeared regarding Castro.
In a Reuters article titled “Legacies Bind Castro, Pinochet in Their Twilight,” which ran everywhere from the Washington Post to MSNBC in December 2006, Anthony Boadle dispensed with the subtleties and tackled the double standard head on. “Dozens of Pinochet’s agents were convicted of assassination and torture,” he wrote “and Castro’s government has not hesitated to jail dissidents. But there are no credible reports of disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture in Cuba since the early 1960s, according to human rights groups.”
Just what “human rights groups” Boadle consulted he didn’t say. But let’s hand it to him for boldly displaying his bias on his shirtsleeve. His concern over “extrajudicial killings” presents a thoroughly fascinating specimen of logic. Applying it to other historical settings we discover that the regimes responsible for the Great Terror and the Nuremberg Laws are preferable to the one responsible for the Kent State killings. The first two were perfectly “judicial,” after all. The third was not.
Indeed, Stalin’s massacres were usually preceded by “trials” featuring detailed “confessions” from the “criminals” with cameras and reporters on hand lest anyone doubt these proceeding’s scrupulously “judicial” nature. Among the westerners who lauded these trials’ propriety were Albert Einstein, Lillian Hellman and the New York Times’ Walter Duranty. We can only suspect that Anthony Boadle would have followed suit.
The very trademark of a totalitarian regime is that its mass-murders, mass-jailings and mass-larcenies are all perfectly “judicial,” because every judge is a regime apparatchik. Any judge who temporizes over the rubber-stamping of a Communist regime decree disappears, not just from his bench, but from the face of the earth. His former colleagues, or perhaps his successor, then sign the proper documentation making his disappearance properly “judicial.”
Executive producer of the movie, Robert Redford, (who always kicks off the Sundance Film Festival with a long dirge about the importance of artistic freedom) was forced to screen The Motorcycle Diaries for Che’s widow (who heads Cuba’s Che Guevara Studies Center) and Fidel Castro for their approval before release. We can only imagine the shrieks of outrage from Hollywood about “censorship!” and “selling out!” had, say, Robert Ackerman required (and acquiesced in) Nancy Reagan’s approval to release HBO’s The Reagans that same year.
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