The scourge of socialism that holds tens of millions of people in Hispanic-America captive has one common source: Cuba’s communist Castro dictatorship.
‘The Source of Evil Is the Same’ in These 3 Captive Nations
As Captive Nations Week came to a close earlier this month, three nations in Latin America were still far from escaping the death grip of communist regimes.
“What we’re talking about here is not just politics and policy,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “It’s about human beings.”
Speakers gathered on Capitol Hill for a summit July 15 hosted by the foundation in conjunction with the Department of State Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom to share the current plight of “captive nations,” nations across the globe that are oppressed by tyrannical, communist governments.
“The source of evil is the same place,” one speaker said.
One panel highlighted Latin America, in particular, and how Venezuela, Cuba, and now Nicaragua—all under the control of dictatorial communist governments—continue to subject their citizens to unspeakable human rights abuses. All three are considered captive nations in 2019.
Cuba: ‘The Godfather’ of Captive Nations
“Cuba is kind of the godfather in all of this,” Ana Quintana, senior policy analyst in Latin America and the Western Hemisphere at The Heritage Foundation, said in an interview with The Daily Signal following the summit.
The weakening of the Latin American region, Quintana said, can be traced to the Cuban revolution of 1959 and the fall of Cuba to a communist military dictatorship.
But to most Americans, Cuba evokes images of old cars, rum, and beaches, not oppressive regimes, said panelist Maria Werlau, executive director of Cuba Archive.
“I could picture all those photographs in Cuba right now,” Werlau said. “But what do we see in the news? We see the old cars and the beaches. We hear news about the embargo, but we don’t see that. That’s what the [Cuban] regime is counting on, that people get tired, that people accept it, that they can manage propaganda and influence us.”
Quintana said this romanticized notion keeps most Americans from recognizing the Castro dictatorship still holds the island of 11 million captive today.
“The communist military dictatorship controls 80% of the economy,” she said. “They control the tourism industry, they control the agriculture sector, they control the most profitable sectors on the island. Every single time anyone goes there and they spend $1 at any hotel, … they are directly putting money into the pockets of these repressive government institutions.”
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