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Burnishing Castro's myths.

ITEM: "The sun is bright, the sky blue, the mountains purple and the children frolic happily under the bullet holes," at Moncada Barracks in Cuba, begins a piece by Stephen Hunter in the Washington Post for July 26th, celebrating the attack against Cuban authorities a half-century earlier. The events of July 26, 1953, are "commemorated in today's Cuba as a moment of heroic glow reflecting the bold strategic mind and endless courage of el jefe." The attack "may have been the smallest battle ever fought that changed the world."

BETWEEN THE LINES: Hunter, writing a feature for the Post's "style" section, did point out that the attack 50 years ago utterly failed. Fidel Castro quickly skedaddled when his absurd scheme blew up in 1953. Yet, despite observing that the painted-on bullet holes on the barracks are phony, the tone of the article unquestionably trumpets the purported heroism of Castro and his comrades.

However, incredibly enough, in a feature of almost 2,000 words focusing on the hemisphere's longest-lasting dictator, the words "communist" or "communism" or "dictator" do not appear. Not once. Tales alleging the wickedness of Batista's government a hall-century before are stressed, but completely ignored are the much more recent decades of torment and misery resulting from Castro's Communist policies.

Also overlooked are the large numbers of political prisoners being abused by Castro to this day. Here are a few other basic facts, as noted in The Black Book of Communism, that the Post avoided: "From 1959 through the late 1990s more than 100,000 Cubans experienced life in one of the camps, prisons, or open-regime sites. Between 15,000 and 17,000 people were shot."
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Title Annotation:Between The Lines
Author:Hoar, William P.
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Sep 8, 2003
Words:277
Previous Article:Property owner cleared.
Next Article:Bug-loving bureaucrats.
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