An excellent column in the Boston Globe. Jeff Jacoby is another one who gets it.
For decades, various American journalists and celebrities have rhapsodized about Castro's supposed island paradise, resolutely ignoring the mountains of evidence that it is in reality a tropical dungeon. Intent on seeing Castro as a revolutionary hero and Cuba as Shangri-la, they avert their gaze from the island's genuine heroes – the prisoners of conscience like Biscet, who pay a fearful price for their insistence on telling the truth.
He uses the occasion of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award ceremony to write a withering expose on the treatment of dissidents in Cuba. The descriptions are harrowing.
From Peter Kirsanow, a member of the US Commission on Civil Rights:
"windowless and suffocating, with wretched sanitary conditions. The stench seeping from the pit in the ground that serves as a toilet is intensified by being compressed into an unventilated cell only as wide as a broom closet. . . . Biscet reportedly suffers from osteoarthritis, ulcers, and hypertension. His teeth, those that haven't fallen out, are rotted and infected."
From a new novel, based on a true story, Fighting Castro: A Love Story:
"A screaming mass of soldiers swarming over the circular, stabbing with bayonets, crushing limbs with truncheons and rubber-wrapped chains. The panic of no place to hide, knowing you'll be beaten harder for trying to protect yourself, stomped on for clinging to a pillar or rail, thrown down the stairs for daring to hesitate. . . . The indignity of men whining, begging, whimpering before a skull is cracked, a shoulder yanked from its socket, genitals smashed with the gun butt."
Cross posted at Babalublog