But when Nelson Mandela addressed Congress in June 1990, after a tumultuous ticker tape parade in New York, every U.S. network carried his every word along with the frequent and thunderous Congressional ovations accompanying them. The ovations from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, needless to add, were particularly thunderous.
But rather than hailing the black torture victim (Antunez) this same Congressional Black Caucus hails his torturer, and in a manner that can only be compared to Ann Margaret’s hailing of Conrad Birdie. If this also sounds hyperbolic, here are direct quotes from CBC members after their visit to Cuba in April 2009:
“He (Castro) looked directly into my eyes,” gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA), “and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed.”
“It was quite a moment to behold,” hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA) “Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic.”
“He’s one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met,” gushed Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
“Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man … someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend,” (former Black Panther Bobby Rush (D-IL).
During last week’s Senate hearing, Antunez denounced the Obama administration’s granting of Mariela Castro a U.S. visa as an “insult to all suffering Cubans.” Even worse (better), Antúnez denounced Obama’s “policies of rapprochement with Cuba for strengthening the repressive apparatus and the impunity of the aggressors.” “Neither remittances,” he stressed, “nor travel, nor cultural exchanges will help the democratization of Cuba.”
Any questions why his testimony was blacked out?
According to a recent report from Antunez’s wife in Cuba, a squad of Castro’s police swarmed over her husband with billy clubs — after macing him. They beat him unconscious and dragged him off.
As we go to press, Antunez’s exact condition and whereabouts are unknown. (No word on the arrest from CNN, and we expect none.)
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