Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Hooking for Castro?

A week or so back, George Bush made a campaign trip to South Florida. (Damn, there's that state again.) At a stop along the way, he made a speech in which he commented that:

“The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Here’s how he bragged about the industry,” said Bush. “This is his quote — ‘Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world’ and ‘sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency.’ ”
The harsh statement, on the heels of the Bush administration's recent travel restrictions to Cuba, raised more than a few eyebrows in the press. Bush is already under fire by the Cuban community for his implementation of travel restrictions to the island.

The statement regarding sex tourism clearly had a target audience in mind: the legacy Cuban voters in S. Florida, rather than the younger Cuban American population under 40 that, for the most part, was born stateside. Well, it played with Castro, too.

Now, understand that I'm not trumpeting Fidel Castro as an icon for positive change in the Western hemisphere. But, damn, the guy gets a bum rap sometimes. So, Castro responded:

Speaking in the central province of Villa Clara on a national holiday marking 51 years since he launched his revolution, Castro depicted President Bush as “sinister” and his charges as “irresponsible statements by the president of the most powerful nation on the planet.”
What Castro failed to say was, "I know I'm one, but what are you, Boosh? Neener neener."

Anyway, with a week's hindsight, here's reality. Bush's accusations were based on...

Three days after Bush’s remarks, the Los Angeles Times reported that the White House found the comments in a Dartmouth undergraduate paper posted on the Internet and lifted them out of context. “It shows they didn’t read much of the article,” commented Charlie Trumbull, the author.

Speaking in 1992 to the Cuban parliament, Castro actually said, “There are prostitutes, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist.” also has a nice little debunking story and references on their website. So, as usual, fantasy collides with reality where it comes to George W. Bush. And the R's are still obsessed with S-E-X. But the sad part is, as usual, the media followup to Monkey Boy™'s remarks was essentially nonexistent.

I'm shocked.