I found this article from way back a couple of years ago, before my host crashed and wiped all my posts.
Pretty much every Saturday there are socialist campaigners and activists at the Monument in Newcastle. It’s interesting to watch the flags. Always Cuba, frequently Palestine, but now I’m seeing the flag of those lovely suicide-bombing socialists, the Tamil Tigers. (By the way, I have no doubt that the Tamil populous has had plenty of legitimate reason to complain about their treatment).
Apparently the guys today have just been on a trip to Cuba and I was pressed with leaflets advertising the idyllic persecuted nature of the socialist republic of Cuba, plus petitions to sign in their support. I stated that I would not sign up to support a nation that persecuted its Christian citizens and denied their human rights. Apparently I was badly misinformed. They had talked to ‘regular’ Cuban people, with a top young Cuban socialists group in attendance, while the citizens had said bad things about the government, and there was no ‘people on the phone to the secret police’. I found his naivety unbelievable. It didn’t happen in his sight. It may well have not happened at all. After all, stage-managed visits to proclaim to gullible Westerners (particularly Socialists who are already pre-disposed to believe) that there is freedom of religion and human rights etc, is a practice (an apposite word here) with a long-history in socialist states. Witness North Korea and China’s show churches while they imprison, execute, torture and harass their Christians out of sight. I had mentioned reports from Cuban priests, so he immediately appeared to assume I was Catholic (and stupid, I think) and claimed that the fact that the pope had visited Cuba was absolute proof that all such stories were bunkum.
By that logic, the fact that Pope John Paul II visited Communist Poland meant that it was a paragon of virtue and religious freedom. And try telling Palestinian Christians that the Pope visiting the Holy Land means that their daughters aren’t raped and forced to convert to Islam, or beaten for not wearing the burqa, or that their lands and houses and businesses and TV stations aren’t stolen or attacked by thugs and laywers with ties to the PA’s security forces, or that Hamas and Fatah don’t deliberately use their houses to fire on Israel so the Christians get hit by the return fire while the terrorists leg it.
Back to Cuba. Maybe there were no calls to the secret police. I can believe it. What better way to ‘prove’ freedom of speech by allowing people to criticize the government when the gullible western socialist believers around. Free propoganda, because they then go back and say ‘what oppression?’ in meetings and leaflets and street campaigns. Duh! The long haired young socialist could have told me that things were getting better, and I might have believed him. Arguably they have got marginally better, after the switch from being an atheist state to a secular one in the early 90’s. He could have told me that Cuba had been and is being shamefully treated by the US and I could have absolutely agreed with him. But he didn’t, he tried to tell me that it was an idyllic socialist paradise. Am I really to throw away the testimony of those who live there day in, day out, those who are thrown in prison for practicing their faith for decades on trumped up charges of people trafficking and other heinous crimes, and then are beaten up by regular criminals to gain brownie points with the authorities, just for the testimony of a few young, naive true-believer socialists who had just been for 7 or 14 days on a stage-managed show-trip? I told him that he was being deceived, and he looked at me with utter scorn and contempt and said no, that I was the one being deceived and brainwashed. Buddy, I don’t think so! Wake up and smell the reality!