State Dept. Provides Unhealthy Cynicism for U.S. Hostage and Cuban Dissidents

Sunday, May 5, 2013
Last week, the State Department reconsidered its decision to deny Cuban dictator's daughter, Mariela Castro, permission to visit Philadelphia to attend the LGBT Equality Forum.

During her trip, she was given a VIP tour of the Liberty Bell, which stands as a symbol of those who sacrificed for America's freedom and independence.

Predictably, Mariela used this opportunity to cynically laud her father's brutal regime and hail its human rights practices (violations).

To add further insult, the Equality Forum was held at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

This is particularly tragic, as Mariela's family has been holding a Jewish-American development worker, Alan Gross, hostage for helping the island's Jewish community with its Internet connectivity.

Did the State Department not think of this mockery?

Moreover, did the State Department not think how repulsive and insulting Mariela's visit is for Cuban democracy activists?

For 17-year old, Enrique Lozada, who is dying from a hunger strike protesting his dissident father's unjust imprisonment.

For the 60 members of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), also on hunger strike, protesting the continued imprisonment of 30 fellow activists.

For Sonia Garro, a member of the Ladies in White, who has been imprisoned for over one-year without trial or even charges filed.

For Madelin Lazara Caraballo, of the Republican Party of Cuba, who has been imprisoned for over six-months without trial or even charges filed. 

For Raul Gonzalez Gonzalez and Jose Leiva Diaz, of the Cuban Reflection Party, who were just sentenced to one-year and two-years in prison, respectively, for their peaceful dissent.

And more poignantly --

For Leannes Imbert Acosta of the Cuban LGBT Platform, who was detained last year for shedding light on the forced labor camps known as Military Units to Aid Production (UMAPs in Spanish) to which Mariela's father and uncle sent more than 25,000 gay men.

For over 500 Cubans with HIV/AIDS, who remain in prison for Castro's political crime of “pre-criminal social dangerousness.”

Obviously, the State Department didn't think of this.

Or perhaps they think she is going to return to Cuba and somehow laud the good graces of their reconsideration.

Note to State: Mariela is laughing her way back to Havana.