Joe Giardiello

Alex Aichinger
Kirsten Andersen
Brent Barksdale
Jim Couture
Andrew Downey
Natalie Farr
Joe Giardiello
Bret Hrbek
Sang Mi Kim
Ramesh Ponnuru
Tom Scerbo
Dorothy Seese
Jason Soter

Senate Candidate Bob Franks of New Jersey

Myriam Marquez is a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel

Fidel, Kiss Our Collective Ass

Ok, so you sided with Elian's father from the beginning. You believe Elian was "rescued" from his Miami relatives. You figured the first priority should be to keep Elian with his father. Elian should be sent back to Cuba for his own good. I can accept that.

But what about this "Father's Day Letter to Fidel," in which El Commandante is given a "well deserved kiss," doesn't register? Fidel Castro has infinite love for his people? His teachings are unrivaled? Well, at least they got the "Commander-in-Chief" part right for the thug that rules Cuba with an iron fist.

Does all this sound familiar to anyone? They called Stalin, that lover of families everywhere, Uncle Joe. In the early days, they thanked Hitler for building the frontline defense against the "anti-christ." Mao, quite possibly the most prolific mass murderer in history was touted as a great reformer. So I guess Fidel can be a great teacher and full of love.

Besides, those designations are easier to chant than the ones he really deserves. For some reason, "Leader who has forced us to ride bicycles because we can no longer afford to pay for a gallon of gas because of your rape of our economy" just doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easy.

This is a guy who won't even admit how many kids he has. He doesn't tell anyone because he probably doesn't know himself. Not that all his kids are even in Cuba. You see, they have been known to flee the country also.

Mass demonstrations in the streets of Cuba? Well of course there are. They don't have a choice. They were told to be there.

Back in the 30's the Soviet Union herded friendly journalists through model towns to prove to the world the wonder of the New Soviet Man. They returned home to spread the word about the progressive happenings in the workers paradise. What's changed? The media buys everything coming out of the Fidel's propaganda machine. The official Communist Party mouthpiece in Cuba says Elian wished Fidel a Happy Father's Day, so that's what gets reported.

One of the major wire services referred to Elian's mother and the other 10 people who died in the shipwreck with her as "illegal Cuban migrants." Excuse me, but I come from a state where the major media call illegal aliens "undocumented workers." There was a case where an illegal was caught committing murder and he was still called an "undocumented worker." Just what the hell was he working at? There is no such thing as an illegal alien in California anymore. Only in the waters off Florida. Of course we must note that the only crime they had committed was fleeing Cuba. That's right, it's illegal to leave Cuba without permission.

So then who exactly wrote this Father's Day letter to Fidel? Both the main signers, Elian and his father, were spoken of in the third person. This is like the grade school student who signs his mother's name to his report card: "Bobby's mother." It seems it's the Ministry of Propaganda meets the Keystone Kops. But there it is, in black and white, in my newspaper.

So, history repeats itself. It seems 50 years of a Cold War taught some people nothing.

There's a "well-deserved kiss" in all this all right. It's time the United States bent over and said, "Fidel, kiss our collective ass!"

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