Home  |   Jihad Watch  |   Horowitz  |   Archive  |   Columnists  |     DHFC  |  Store  |   Contact  |   Links  |   Search Wednesday, May 23, 2018
FrontPageMag Article
Write Comment View Comments Printable Article Email Article
Jesse Ventura in Cuba By: Myles Kantor
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, October 01, 2002

The first governor of Minnesota, Henry Sibley, held office from 1858 to 1860. Imagine that, during his tenure, Governor Sibley visited slave plantations in South Carolina. When asked about abolishing slavery, he responded, "Ultimately it is the decision of the slaves, not ours. It is the slaves' state, and if there are going to be changes in South Carolina it will be the slaves who make those changes."

Sibley's response would have been oblivious to the nature of South Carolina's social order. Since enslaved individuals had no freedom of speech, assembly, political participation, or the right to bear arms, it was a bit tough for them to make changes. Furthermore, the violence perpetrated upon rebellious slaves terrorized others into submission (not to be conflated with consent). Minnesota's current governor has made Sibley's fictional response a reality.

Jesse Ventura recently visited Havana "to hopefully expand business between my state of Minnesota and Cuba." He responded when asked about political change in Cuba, "Ultimately it's up to Cuba, it's not up to us. It's their country, and if there are going to be changes in Cuba it will be the Cubans who make those changes."

This begs the question, "How are Cubans supposed to make those changes, Governor Ventura?"

Only adherents of communism can politically participate in Cuba; non-communists can't hold office or establish parties to contest the Communist Party. (Ventura describes himself on his homepage as "the first-ever Reform Party candidate to win statewide office," so one would expect some indignation over the absence of pluralism under Castro.)

Neither can Cubans establish their own media or gather to discuss ideas. Former diplomat in Cuba Catherine Moses observes in Real Life in Castro's Cuba, "If people were permitted to meet in groups, they might be able to organize and create a real opposition to Fidel Castro." With savage logic, Castro therefore criminalizes conscientious association.

Accordingly, it's a crime to criticize communism, Castro, and his henchmen. Ventura said, "That's one of the great things about the United States: You always have the ability to disagree." How much Cubans yearn to be able to disagree with Castro!

Every totalitarian regime entails a colossal police apparatus, and Castro's is no exception. His ubiquitous secret police and informers terrorize Cubans and chill dissent.

It will come as no surprise that there's no right to bear arms in Cuba. Castro understands that armed Cubans would not remain enslaved for long, so he segregates them from the tools of emancipation. (In Cuba in Revolution, Miguel A. Faria, Jr. discusses Castro's confiscation of firearms, expedited by registration lists established under Fulgencio Batista.)

Again, Governor Ventura, how are Cubans supposed to make changes?

Ventura's ugliest statement was when he indicated no intention to meet with Cuban human rights activists. "I don't know where they are," he said. "I mean, if they know my hotel is here and they want to come here and meet, I'll be happy to meet with them."

Unfortunately, heroic Cubans like Oscar Elias Biscet and Juan Carlos González Leiva couldn't visit Ventura because they're in Castro's prisons (fully functional despite the U.S. embargo). If Ventura had a scintilla of decency he would have requested to see Cubans such as these.

Ventura didn't know where they are because he didn't want to know. He had an hour of face time with Castro, though. Ventura discussed wrestling and other subjects with the autocrat, whom he described as "an extremely bright man."

Minnesota's governor prides himself on bluntness, so I'll be blunt: You're despicable, Governor Ventura, but not because you went to Cuba. You're despicable because you chummed with a slave master, snubbed his victims, and acted as if Cubans' future belongs to them.

Myles Kantor is a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and editor-at-large for Pureplay Press, which publishes books about Cuban history and culture. His e-mail address is myles.kantor@gmail.com.

We have implemented a new commenting system. To use it you must login/register with disqus. Registering is simple and can be done while posting this comment itself. Please contact gzenone [at] horowitzfreedomcenter.org if you have any difficulties.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Home | Blog | Horowitz | Archives | Columnists | Search | Store | Links | CSPC | Contact | Advertise with Us | Privacy Policy

Copyright©2007 FrontPageMagazine.com