RUSH: Well, this is hilarious. What a way to start the Congressional Black Caucus, goes down to la Habana and they end up meeting with Fidel Castro, and we learn that Fidel Castro wants Obama to succeed. Yes! The island dictator, Fidel Castro, who basically runs a gigantic sugar and tobacco plantation, if you want to know what Cuba is, it is nothing but a population being held hostage on a sugar and tobacco plantation. The Congressional Black Caucus goes down there heaping praise upon Fidel Castro, says that we need to bring that business model to America. We need to bring sugar and tobacco plantations back to the United States as a business model, according to the Congressional Black Caucus.
RUSH: The Congressional Black Caucus sent a delegation down to la Habana to meet with Fidel Castro. They met with Castro. They met with his brother, Raul Castro. They praised Castro! ‘He’s such an humanitarian. He’s such a good guy. He understands US politics. He’s fascinating to listen to.’
He is a dictator! His population is nothing but political prisoners. The population of his country wants out of there. When some do successfully defect, their family members are harassed and tortured, in some cases. If you want to understand sugar, Cuba is a gigantic sugar and tobacco plantation. There’s maybe some coffee and citrus as well, but it’s a plantation. The government owns the plantation. The slaves work on the plantation for veritably nothing. Castro got a dose of compassion not long ago and passed out some rice cookers, but not to everybody. And the Black Caucus wants to bring this business model to the United States of America. People ask me all the time, ‘Rush, what is it about the Black Caucus, what is it about liberal black politicians they admire in Castro?’
They relate to Castro on a couple levels. A, Castro is looked at as this tiny little lion, a tiny little powerful guy. He’s standing up! He has stood up his whole life to the evils of oppression, the evils of the United States of America. He doesn’t take any guff from anybody — and he has total power, which they envy. He has dictatorial power, and they envy that. But to them, he’s just another of many minorities around the world oppressed by the evil white majority of the United States of America — and, as such, they identify with him on that basis. Let’s listen to some sound bites. Last night during a Capitol Hill press conference, the CBC, Congressional Black Caucus, held a press conference about their trip to ‘Cuber.’ Here is Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat, Illinois.
BOBBY RUSH: He was a down-to-earth kind of man who I thought resembled someone who I would say is as close as a neighbor — and he had a very modest home. And we were met in the front door by his lovely wife. So it was almost like visiting an old friend, uh, when we visited with him. He wanted to know more about Dr. King. I told President Castro that in my household, he is known as the ultimate survivor.
RUSH: He’s the ultimate survivor. Against what? Us! That’s right, the evil United States. The evil United States has targeted Fidel Castro. ‘He’s… He’s… Why, he’s an angel! Why, he has successfully stood up to the bigots and the racists that have led the United States all of these years. He just lives in a modest home. His wife answered the door! Why, we felt like we were right at home.’ He lives in a modest home? He probably has some little guest cottage somewhere on the presidential grounds that he moved into for this meeting. You gotta think Castro just laughs himself silly when these guys show up. He’s got ’em wrapped around his little finger. He wanted to know about Dr. King. Fidel Castro wanted to know more about Dr. King. He could play these guys like a Stradivarius. Up next is Representative Laura Richardson, who is a Democrat from California.
RICHARDSON: What really was amazing to me as he leaned in, he looked directly into our eyes — uh, quite aware of what was happening, and said — and said to us, how can we help? ‘How can we help President Obama?’ He talked about the fact that he had watched the campaign. You know, for people who seem to think that in Cuba people don’t have shoes, they don’t have jobs, they don’t have ice cream –I mean, these people are living and working and participating as we — as many — in fact, some were even in a better situation than in some portions of my district.
RUSH: He wants Obama to succeed! Fidel Castro, noted communist dictator of Cuba, went on record with the CBC saying he wants Obama to succeed! Well, who doesn’t? The Islamists want Obama to succeed. Who doesn’t want him to succeed? ‘He talked about the fact that he had watched the campaign. For some people who seem to think that in Cuba people don’t have shoes, they don’t have jobs, they don’t have ice cream; I mean, these people are living and working and participating as we — in fact, some were even in a better situation than in some portions of my district.’ Well, that, folks, tells you all you need to know: that Laura Richardson thinks that people in Cuba have it better off than some people who live in her district. (interruption)
I guarantee you, she does. I guarantee you, she believes every word of it. Snerdley, you know, you’re going to have to back off and stop saying some of these people are just, you know, very, very clever tricksters. She believes it! Barbara Lee believes this is an oppressor nation and Cuba is not. We’ve got a bipolar country. We have people in this country who genuinely think they are still enslaved, that they are oppressed, that Cuban people have it better off than some in her own district. Whose fault is that? Whose fault is it, Miss Richardson? You’ve been representing them. You got all this money in Washington supposedly going back to these districts. How in the hell can this be?
These people in your district have been voting Democrat all of their lives! How can it be that people in Cuba are better off than some people in your district? Do you realize what an insane thing that is to say, even if it were true how insane it is? It’s her district. She’s a Democrat. All of her voters are Democrat. They’ve been voting Democrat for all their lives. They’ve been expecting all these goodies to come to their district from Washington to lift them out of this so-called squalor, and she takes pride in saying that people in Cuba, some of them she saw have it better off than people in her own district? We got more on this, but the real star of this show is Barbara Lee, who is from Oakland? From Oakland? She’s a true…I mean, you’re looking here at a blithering idiot — a profound, supreme leftist, whatever you want to call them. Barbara Lee is up next with two sound bites.
RUSH: Barbara Lee, we’ve chronicled Barbara Lee, the congresswoman from California, from Oakland for quite a long time on this program. She’s just nuts. She’s a fervent nut. She really dislikes this country, believes this country is an oppressor nation, can go to Cuba, meet Castro, and think that she’s in paradise. Now, she was the replacement for the former member of Congress in that district, a man by the name of Ron Dellums. His nickname was Red ’cause he was a communist. Ron ‘Red’ Dellums. Now, I remember Red Dellums during our Grenada invasion, Ron ‘Red’ Dellums was just outraged at Reagan. In fact, it was so bad that the National Review back in the eighties, maybe the early nineties, ran a cover story called ‘Congress’ Red Army.’ And it was an illustration of every Democrat member of Congress at that time that voted every chance it could with interests for the Soviet Union, be it in Nicaragua or against the United States anywhere. Congress’ Red Army. And I said, ‘Whoa, man, is this big!’ So I called up some people at National Review, I said, ‘What kind of fallout are you expecting from this?’ They said, ‘None. Nobody is going to care. We’re just putting it out there so our readers know, but this won’t shake up Washington. Everybody knows it. It isn’t any big deal.’
You know, to the Congressional Black Caucus, you have to laugh here. They go down, they talk to Fidel Castro, and he tells them, or they say he wants to know more about Dr. King. I don’t doubt that he did. One thing Castro is not is stupid. But, you see, one of the reasons they admire Castro, it’s not just that Castro was down for the struggle, he was the struggle, Castro was the struggle. He rebelled against an oppressive regime, he did it with a band of outlaws, and he succeeded, and he’s turned the country into a plantation, a slave plantation of tobacco and sugar. It’s essentially what it is. Everybody knows the place has fallen apart, all the great art deco architecture of Havana, they don’t have any money to repair it. Even the PBS documentarians that go down there and do stories on this, they cry about it (crying), but they don’t blame Castro, they blame us, they blame us. It’s not the embargo. When Castro talks he calls it the blockade, and he uses the word, the blockade, as though we got ships out there in the straits of Florida that are permitting trade from getting to Cuba. Here’s Barbara Lee last night on Wolf Blitzer’s show on CNN. He asked her, ‘How did Castro look? How did he seem to you?’
LEE: He seemed very energetic; he was engaging. We met at his house, which is a house of very modest means. His wife was there, his son was taking photographs of us, and it was a very moving meeting in a sense because he was taking notes. He was very inquisitive. He asked us to send more information about Dr. King, because he reveres Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we said we would try to get more books and tapes to send down.
RUSH: How we going to get ’em there? We got this embargo. I guess travel and money is gonna be lifted. So here he wanted to know more about Dr. King. You know, Dr. King, I have to think Dr. King would just be — Fidel Castro is not what Dr. King had in mind! Fidel Castro and that kind of tyrannical rule is not what Dr. King had in mind. Dr. King, I would think, would be embarrassed as all hell to know that a communist dictator who runs a slave plantation is one of his idols or heroes. ‘Did you have a message for Fidel Castro from the Obama administration?’
LEE: We did not have a message for any Cuban official from the Obama administration. We visited Cuba as members of Congress on an official delegation to look at what possibilities exist to come back to recommend to President Obama and to our speaker, Pelosi, and to our leadership and to the secretary of state why we believe normal relations between the United States and Cuba should move forward. It’s time to talk to Cuba. We want to see these discussions take place with no preconditions.
RUSH: That’s fine and dandy. The embargo, some say it hasn’t worked, some say it does. It’s the notion that United States members of Congress, hero worship a totalitarian dictator, so obviously a totalitarian dictator. But you shouldn’t be surprised because they had the same kind of lionization, not the CBC, but just the Democrats in general, for any Soviet leader that came down the pike.
RUSH: Now, back to the news. Laura Richardson. I knew this name rang a bell. Laura Richardson, member of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said in an interview after getting back from a visit with Castro, that she didn’t find life in Cuba what she’d always heard, that people have no homes and no shoes and no shirts and no ice cream. She found that her constituents live in more squalid conditions than she saw in Cuba. And I remembered this name, and we dug deep into our archives, and this is a story from the Daily Breeze in California from May 21st of 2008.
‘Rep. Laura Richardson lost her Sacramento home in a foreclosure auction two weeks ago and left behind nearly $9,000 in unpaid property taxes.’ It was a year ago that this story was reported. ‘Richardson, D-Long Beach, appears to have made only a few payments on the house, which she bought in January 2007 for $535,000. After buying the home, Richardson hardly had time to live in it. Three months later, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald died and Richardson — then a freshman member of the state Assembly — launched a campaign to replace her in Congress.’ Well, no wonder. I’ll bet Castro does not foreclose on people in Cuba. She got foreclosed on and she lost her house. There’s no private property in Cuba, so you can’t get foreclosed on! No wonder she thinks her constituents have it worse.
RUSH: Starting in Staunton, Virginia, with Alex. Great to have you here, sir. Welcome.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush. Longtime listener, website, newsletter subscriber, and I think this will be the sixth or seventh time I’ve been on the air with you. I’m calling about the Cuba thing, and something you said, you said everybody knows that the Cubans are living in squalor and it’s a hellhole, and I’m not sure that’s correct. One, Michael Moore told everybody —
RUSH: Wait, wait, hang on just —
RUSH: What are you not sure is correct? That everybody knows it or that it’s a hellhole?
CALLER: Oh, it’s a hellhole but I’m not sure everybody knows it, and one reason is Michael Moore told everyone they’ve got the best health care in the world, which isn’t true, but I follow Cuba very closely. I work at a conservative think tank, organic foods is my issue, I’m the world’s most vocal nonbeliever, blah, blah, blah. I follow Cuba very intensely because we’ve been told for 15 years that Cuba is an organic paradise. They lost the fertilizer and pesticides and went organic and we’re told, ‘Oh, it’s wonderful down there,’ and I’ve been trying to find the reality for six, eight years, and we just found out a couple of weeks ago from a leaked report that 84% of Cuba’s food is imported. They’re so poor, there’s a mandatory hitchhiker policy. You have to pick up hitchhikers.
RUSH: There’s a second reason for that. The reason that 84% of Cubans’ food is imported is that, I don’t know what percentage is, but a large percentage of it is exported. They don’t have any other way of producing income. They do not have a private sector. They do not have a free market. So the only way that they can really generate income or investment, if you will, is to sell things. At one time some Central and South American countries were going to invest in a phone system. Look, everybody talks about the embargo, and there are a lot of people that think it hasn’t worked. And what’s the purpose of the embargo? By now, a lot of people have forgotten. The embargo was put on in 1960, ’61, ’62, whenever, by JFK after the Bay of Pigs fiasco failed and then Fidel chose up with the Soviets and so forth. So we put the embargo on, and this was supposed to put such economic pressure on them that they would be forced to go democratic and free. And you’d have to say that if that was the objective, it has not worked. But to say that Cuba is what it is, which is a squalid plantation, a hellhole, to say that Cuba is that because of the United States is so mistaken and so erroneous.
We are the only nation in the world that does not trade with them. The UK trades with them. The European Union trades with them. Canada. The ChiComs. Hugo Chavez. The world trades with Cuba. There’s just not much Cuba has that the world wants. Tobacco, sugar. Sugar’s the biggie. Some citrus. There are a lot of people that freak out over Cuban rum and Cuban coffee and cigars, the tobacco industry, but that stuff’s all exported, the vast majority of it is. But how can you say that Cuba is what it is simply because we don’t trade with them when the rest of the world does? Cuba is what it is because of the Castros. Cuba’s what it is because it is a communist dictatorship with no freedom and no free market. Castro and his regime take all the money for themselves personally and for the military and to run their political prisons and to run the state subsidized, the state-owned businesses: sugar, tobacco, rum, coffee, what have you. Basically, as I say, it’s a plantation run by despots. You want to say Cuba is in the dire straits, that’s what Castro tells his people.
So in the midst of all this, we hear that Castro’s Cuba has the best health care in the world. All of this is a lie and you have American leftists who believe this stuff, and they have this lionized view of Fidel Castro as well. We really are a bipolar country. One of the arguments against lifting the embargo, if we just lift the embargo and start trading with them, the idea that that money is going to end up in the back pockets of Cuban citizens is ridiculous as to think that all the money the UK sends in trade to Cuba ends up in the back pockets of Cuban citizens or Canada, ’cause it doesn’t. It ends up with the leaders. Now, I happen to be a big cigar guy. I love cigars, I’m a cigar aficionado, and there are a lot of guys who smoke cigars who would just pray this embargo ends ’cause they want to be able to legally get Cuban cigars ’cause they think that Cuban cigars are the best tobacco in the world. They think as Americans it’s ridiculous that they don’t have access to the best because of some antiquated 50-year-old embargo policy that hasn’t appeared to work, that doesn’t make any sense. Well, let me tell you what’s going to happen.
If that ever does happen, if you’re a big cigar guy, and you want to be able to legally get Cuban cigars, I happen to know, I’ve talked to the domestic manufacturers both in the Dominican and in Nicaragua, every other place that we import. What’s going to happen is, you got the Cuban cigar brands: Hoyo de Monterrey, Partagas, Punch, Romeo y Julieta. You’ve got the domestic cigar companies, which have built their own brands, those same brands here in the United States. They’ve built ’em up and they’ve invested and they have built their tobacco factories and cigar rolling plants and so forth. If that embargo is ever lifted the first thing that’s going to happen is that domestic cigar manufacturers are going to go to the Commerce department and they’re going to say, ‘We want first dibs on raw Cuban tobacco to blend with our own cigars that we make in the Dominican or in Nicaragua.’ They’re going to do everything they can to prevent the direct import of Cuban cigars under the brand names that they have been marketing. It’s not going to be a panacea. It’s going to be a mess.
If that embargo is ever lifted, you’re going to have the Cuban exile community that’s also going to go to the State department, the Commerce department, and they’re gonna demand their land back. If it ever happened, it would be a mess. I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen. Do not misunderstand. Some people think it’s worked; some people will say it hasn’t worked. But the reasons that some people want it lifted would not provide the immediate gratification they think that it would. Obama is not going to do that anyway. He’s gonna lift restrictions on family going down there and money going down there and this sort of thing. Do I think it should be lifted? I actually don’t because I don’t think it’s going to change the life of anybody in Cuba. The only way the embargo should be lifted is if somehow the Castros are gotten rid of and you keep Hugo Chavez out of there in the aftermath. That’s my point here, the rest of the world trades with Cuba and they’re still a hellhole. The rest of the world trades with them. Just because we don’t does not define whether you’re a rich or poor country. It’s up to you whether you’re a rich or poor country.
Anyway, let’s go back. Syracuse, New York. This is Natalie. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. It’s an honor being on your show. Thanks for having me.
RUSH: You bet. Great to have you here.
CALLER: I’m just calling because I went to Cuba three years ago, and I went from Havana all the way down to Santiago and —
RUSH: What kind of visa did you go on?
CALLER: A religious visa.
CALLER: My husband was born in Cuba, he’s an American, I went with him and my in-laws to visit family from one end of the country to the other, so I had the unique opportunity to see the real Cuba, and I wanted to comment, there are so many things that I’d like to comment on, but specific to what you’ve talked about today, the refineries, the sugar refineries. There were about 40 of them pre-Castro, and in Castro’s infinite wisdom and government ability to run these refineries, they only have about seven or eight of them now. They have closed down throughout the countryside, and they do export 100% of their sugar, as you I think mentioned with the previous caller. And they import second-rate sugar, and even to get sugar in one of their hotels you have to ask for it because the Cubans that work in the hotels aren’t even allowed access to it. It has to come from management to get one packet of sugar.
RUSH: Right, right, because the Cuban employees would steal it ’cause they don’t get it. Yeah, I know a lot of people that travel to Cuba, and the reason they go will give you their reaction to it. People go down there just because they want to smoke cigars. It’s a great place because they can get the cigars. Everybody has their own different reason for wanting to go down there, but I appreciate your confirming the fact that they export pretty much everything. And, of course, Castro doesn’t know a sugar mill from a tobacco farm but he’s running them all and that’s why there are very, very few of them left.
RUSH: I have a little comparison for you that I want to make. I want you to think about this. Last week the North Koreans, the Norks, as they are affectionately known, the Norks, led by Kim Jong Il, launched a missile. It went over Japan and landed, ostensibly, on target in the Pacific Ocean, which is a huge target to miss. Kim Jong Il arranged celebrations and big, massive displays of pride by ostensible Nork citizens over this great achievement because what he’s claiming is, they now have a satellite in orbit. They don’t have a satellite, there’s no satellite up there, but the Norks have put out this, and they’ve got the people out there cheering, ‘Oh, wow,’ national pride here, ‘We Norks, we put up our first satellite, we’re really coming along.’ So this is pure propaganda. Now, at the same time, Kim Jong Il knows that there’s no satellite up there. He’s lying to his people; he’s lying to his population, he’s lying to the world about successfully launching a satellite.
Now we come to the United States of America where the government of Barack Obama has stimulated the economy with not just an $800 billion stimulus package, a $700 billion TARP payment, I don’t know how many trillions have now been used to stimulate the economy, and the government is telling everybody that this is great stuff and it’s going to have great effect. It’s all propaganda and Obama knows full well that his stimulus package is not going to stimulate anything but government. It isn’t going to stimulate private sector jobs. It’s not going to stimulate economic growth. After all of this stimulus we’re still being told 10% unemployment, the banking crisis is far from over despite all this stimulus. So you’ve got propaganda in North Korea, you’ve got propaganda coming out of Washington, DC, the propaganda spread by media in both places.
It’s breathtaking. You’ve got the Congressional Black Caucus down in Cuba basically endorsing and recommending communism under the rubric of this is what Dr. King would want because Fidel is interested in more about Dr. King. And the media is going, ‘Yeah, yeah, baby, communism.’ And the government just keeps spending more and more money and plans on raising taxes more and more. No results to show for it, but what is the cry of the great unwashed? ‘At least he’s doing something! At least he’s doing something! And the world doesn’t hate us anymore.’ Fine. That’s your tangible result. It’s sort of breathtaking to watch all this. This is the one place you thought this would not happen: communism, the endorsement of it; the celebration of it. Our opposition to that way of life is one of the modern era foundations of this country, and look how easily it apparently can crumble.
RUSH: Brian in Manchester, Vermont. Nice to have you with us, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Greetings, Rush, from the people’s republic.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: You know, Rush, something no one ever talks about relative to normalizing trade with Cuba is the foreign claims of American citizens. Let’s not forget, when Castro took over, he nationalized all the real estate and all the private property in Cuba, thousands of which were owned by American citizens. Now, when Carter —
RUSH: Yeah, that’s right, phone companies, ITT, casinos. He even nationalized a bunch of stuff that was run by the mob.
CALLER: Yeah. I mean our family owned land that was for rice farming east of Havana. That was nationalized. There are thousands of Americans that have foreign claims to the State department. Reagan and Carter came close to normalizing relations, but the big hang-up was how American citizens were going to be remunerated for the confiscated property.
RUSH: Yeah. I know this is something that a lot of people are not informed about, but all of these people, either Cuban exiles or Americans that own property there, correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s been a plan at the State department or Commerce for a long time where you could make a claim. I mean, you want to be reimbursed for your property if the embargo is lifted and the Castro brothers are sent packing, and it’s going to be a huge legal backlog if and when this day ever happened.
CALLER: We’ve had a claim in for almost 50 years.
RUSH: You’ve had a claim for almost 50 years, and of course you’re going to want that claim adjudicated one way or the other, once the day comes where it can be.
CALLER: Absolutely. I mean we’re using this property, and we have eminent domain, but we also have, you know, fair payment for confiscated property by the government. We don’t have that in Cuba and we’re just sitting there waiting for our claims to be processed.
RUSH: All right. So you’re intimately involved in this. So what is your forecast, what do you think is going to happen and when?
CALLER: What I’m afraid is going to happen is that the Obama administration is going to normalize relations — I mean, given their view on capitalism, what do they care, it’s not their claim, so what do they care if American citizens get their money back for the property that was confiscated. I’m afraid that Obama is going to go in and just normalize relations with no consideration of that whatsoever.
RUSH: Well, that’s a pretty good guess, pretty good bet. But he’s not going to lift the embargo any time soon. He’s going to lift travel restrictions and the amount of money that people here can send relatives who live in Cuba. But I don’t see him lifting the embargo to the point that Cuba’s considered someplace that capitalists can go and start redeveloping.
CALLER: That may be, but I think any normalization of relations is going to involve some type of —
RUSH: Exactly. If you normalize relations with the existing communist government, you are SOL.