Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Here's a little story that demonstrates George W. Bush's intelligence, integrity, honesty, and respect for "brown people" all in one.

HAVANA - An indignant Fidel Castro used a live television appearance Monday night to respond to White House charges that his government encourages child prostitution.

Speaking to Florida law enforcement officials on July 16, Bush claimed the Cuban leader shamelessly promotes sex tourism.

“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.’”
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.”

He didn't read any of the article Dude. He said "This is what I want to say. Find those words and arrange them the order I need."

On Monday Castro demanded evidence for the attacks on his country. Castro questioned, “How it is possible that such unspeakable, foul slander is hurled against Cuba?”
The answer, said Castro, comes from inside the mind of the president —the subtitle to a book by psychoanalyst Dr. Justin Frank, called “Bush on the Couch.”

How did I miss this book in my summer reading?
Castro quoted Frank, (correctly) who delves into Bush’s professed bout with alcoholism and argues that his history of untreated alcohol abuse could impair his judgment.

Bush, charged Castro, could be having a difficult time “distinguishing between relevant and inconsequential information.”
Wayne Smith, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and veteran Foreign Service officer who served 6 years in Havana, argued that a government crackdown in 1998 stemmed the “rampant” prostitution that erupted across the island following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

According to Smith, prostitution “is no longer any more of a problem in Cuba than it is in…the United States.”
Smith, an advocate of normalizing relations with Havana, also takes umbrage over Bush’s assertion that Cuba has “replaced Southeast Asia as a destination for pedophiles” and that new controversial travel restrictions to the island aim at curtailing the sexual exploitation of children.

Prostitution attack- another attempt to woo voters?
Bush’s new rules, that took effect June 30, limit Cuban Americans to one visit home every three years, eliminate humanitarian permission to attend funerals or visit dying relatives, and remove extended family like aunts, uncles and cousins from the list of government-approved relatives. Violators are subject to a $65,000 fine.

“What does restricting Cuban-Americans to one visit every three years have to do with reducing prostitution?” asked Smith. “Is Mr. Bush suggesting that their real purpose was not to visit their families on the island but to engage in sex tourism?”

Smith is among the Cuba-watchers who believe that Bush’s strident policy is designed to capture the Cuban American vote this November in the critical state of Florida.

Surely the Cuban-Americans will want to vote for the man who is refusing to let them attend their mother's funeral because he believes they can't restrain themselves from having sex with a child when they touch their native soil.

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