Fidel Castro's Crackdown

Fidel Castro (search) celebrated the 52nd year of his revolutionary movement by throwing more dissidents in jail and harassing the few Cubans left willing to defy his authority in the streets of Havana.

Thirty Cubans were arrested last month while peacefully protesting near the French Embassy in Havana. About a dozen of the protestors remain in jail, along with at least 300 other political prisoners. Meanwhile, Fidel spends two hours on Cuban TV explaining how to cook a chicken in a pressure cooker, when most Cubans can't get a chicken, let alone a pressure cooker to put it in.

But new arrests and the scarcity of bare necessities haven't dampened the admiration felt for Fidel by a few New York politicians, who balk at any attempt to criticize Fidel. "It's the racist arrogance of this country," says New York City Councilman Charles Barron (search), "to tell a country of color what kind of government they should have."

In fact, Mr. Barron says Fidel's government is much more humane than ours. "Every time you hear of Castro exporting something, it's humanitarian aid. When America exports something, it's killing and war machines and bombs and troops."

That's a point on which a few million tsunami survivors, not to mention a few million Cubans, would probably disagree.

And that’s the Observer.

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