As you may recall, a couple of months ago Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic was invited by the Cuban Communist regime to interview Fidel Castro. Surprisingly – as Goldberg himself noted – Castro said that Iran should stop slandering the Jews.
The timing of the article coincided with the Jewish holidays, and also came at a time when the Cuban regime is more broke than it’s ever been.
However, Castro’s statements quoted by Goldberg regarding Israel’s right to exist, and Castro’s admiration for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, renowned historian of the Spanish inquisition, did not fall on deaf ears in Israel, where Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres welcomed Castro’s remarks.
Castro’s remarks also came at the same time that dozens of Cuban political prisoners are forcibly exiled to Spain, without any easing of the dictatorship.
Considering Cuba’s staunch support of the PLO, Lybia, Syria, Iran, and Venezuela (where increasingly, anti-Semitism is official policy), Castro’s recent remarks are opportunistic at best.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called Netanyahu, who apologized. The NY Sun explains
Israel is a small, beleaguered democracy in need of all the help it can get. The exiled Cubans who have been holding out for democracy on their native island are logical allies. And vice versa. How tragic it would have been were Israel to have made a separate peace with the communist regime, all on the notion that a dictator who has for two generations oppressed his own people and joined in the war against the Jews had suddenly come down with a change of heart.
Cross-posted at Fausta’s blog. Hat tip: Joe Lima