In one small corner of Cuba, at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanmo Bay, George W. Bush and Raúl Castro are partners in tyranny.
Andreivi Castillo Pérez could tell you all about it, except that he was just sentenced to 3 years in a Cuban prison, in large part because of the complicity of American officials who turned him over to Cuban police after he crossed on to the grounds of the base. Whatever happens to him in prison — independent journalist Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez reports that a prison official has threatened Castillo because he refuses to wear a prison uniform — will be the responsibility of Raúl Castro,
And of George W. Bush.
Bush has drawn attention to the plight of Cuban political prisoners on numerous occasions, and even awarded the nation's highest civilian honor to Oscar Elias Biscet. Welcomed attention for sure, but at the end of the day, only words.
As for actions, well, almost two years after Fidel Castro fell ill, the coronation of a new dictator is complete and the prospects for real change, for real liberty, are dim, at best. The better-termed "inaction" of the Bush administration has helped ensure that.
However, there is one pro-active policy that Bush has not flinched from enforcing: the deplorable wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which for more than a decade has made the United States partners in crime — or better termed, "partners in tyranny" — with the Castro dictatorship. Under that policy, which Bush has enforced longer than its creator, Bill Clinton, we ship fleeing Cubans back to the island only because they hadn't made it to dry American land.
Castillo, who was convicted by a Cuban court of being a "social danger," a charge reserved for Cubans who reject tyranny, didn't even have to get his feet wet to feel the sting of the American rebuke.
This is not one of my regular Political Prisoner of the Week profiles, but the circumstances of Castillo's case and the urgency of making sure readers learn of it as soon as possible, require that I A) add him to the roster of names on the right sidebar; and B) publish this immediately. A regular Political Prisoner of the Week profile will be published Sunday.