Interview with Author Humberto Fontova by Ryan Mauro
Humberto Fontova was born in Havana, Cuba in 1954, arrived with his family in New Orleans in 1961 while his father was held as a political prisoner. He is the author of “The Helldiver’s Rodeo” (chosen by the Publisher’s Weekly as their Book of the Week in August 2001), “The Hellpig Hunt”, and “Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.” Mr. Fontova has a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies. Before becoming a writer, Fontova was a business analyst for ten years for Dun & Bradstreet. He is currently a columnist for Newsmax.com.
RM: Humberto, how has the situation with Fidel Castro changed over the past decade or so?
HF: The better for Castro and his toadies—the worse for Cuba. He just signed on with two new sugar-daddies, Venezuela and China. Chavez’ subsidies to Cuba totaled $1.3 billion last year in free oil. It amounts to 80,000 barrels daily now. Not all is refined in Cuba, which doesn’t have the capacity for refining that amount of crude oil. Castro’s gov. actually RESELLS some of this crude, mostly in South & Central America for hard cash. Castro’s honorarium to his chum Chavez comes in the form of military and security “advisors.” Mainstream media calls these “doctors and teachers.” China just “re-scheduled” (probably forgave) the billions in debt Castro owned them from the 90’s and signed several deals to extract Nickel from Cuba. (Cuba’s Nickel rich) I need not tell you what type of production Nickel is essential for. Apparently China wants it badly. Just last month Castro gave a speech where he crowed gleefully about his regime’s new lease on life. “Cuba is rising from the ashes like a Phoenix!” he gushed. “We don’t need the U.S. ! We don’t need Europe!”
Sadly, nowadays he’s right.
RM: Cuba appears isolated and weak. Why should the United States pay any attention to the rogue state?
HF: “Isolated and weak?” Please see above. Also, Iran just extended him millions in credit. He’s still the toast and acclaim of the Third World, as evidenced by his tumultuous reception at the anti-Globalization Conference in Havana recently. Now he’s in Uruguay, again showered with accolades. Anti-Americanism does that some people—idiots and scoundrels mainly.
RM: Is there any evidence that Cuba is any sort of WMD or terrorist threat?
HF: John Bolton, Ken Alibek, Manuel Cereijo, Carlos Wotzkow all suspect he has WMD. And we all know that when he definitely had them in oct 1962, he brought the world to the very precipice of nuclear armageddon. Fortunately the Butcher of Budapest snatched his toys in the nick of time. Weapons by themselves don’t worry me. It’s the people who have them in their reach that should worry us. As the NRA (I’m a member) says. “WMDs don’t kill people—people kill people.” And the people still in control in Cuba have shown time and again that, given the right circumstances, they’ll use them. “If the missiles had stayed” Che Guevara told the London Daily Worker in Nov. 1962. “We would have used them against the very heart of the U.S. including New York.” In Angola Castro’s forces repeatedly used Sarin gas against UNITA.
RM: How likely is it that democracy will emerge in Cuba once Fidel Castro dies?
HF: Very unlikely. Raul will simply become de-jure ruler of Cuba, instead of just de-facto as he is today. Raul runs Cuba’s military who own and run Cuba’s tourist and export industries. Some say he’s been really running Cuba for the past ten years, with Fidel as figurehead loudmouth. Raul will probably open the economy a bit, like China in the early 80’s. and keep the clamps on politically So genuine democracy? Forget it.
RM: What can the United States do to promote freedom in Cuba that is not being done?
HF: Not much. except tighten the embargo, so-called. The U.S was Cuba’s sixth biggest trading partner last year. Out of 228 nations, Cuba is the U.S.’ 25th biggest trading partner. In 1957 when it was billed a “playground” for American tourists, Cuba hosted 278,000 American tourists (incidently, a higher number of Cubans actually vacationed in the U.S. that year. We had a playground too) Last year, 220,000 Americans Cubans traveld to Cuba, not to mention 2 million Europeans and Canadians. All these proceeds land strainght in the pockets of Cuba’s military—the guys with the guns. “Lifting the travel ban would be a great gift to Fidel and Raul” said recent Cuban defector Alcibiades Hidalgo, who was Raul Castro’s Chief of Staff. He should know.
RM: In your last Newsmax.com article, you wrote about an alliance between Iran and Cuba. What does it matter if Cuba teams up with Iran, considering Cuba apparently has little or no nuclear technology to offer?
HF: The Nuclear technology going in the opposite direction. Cuba built Iran a bio-tec plant. Iran might reciprocate with favors. Last year Cuba blocked radio-free- Iran broadcasts from the U.S. using devices in it’s Bejucal facility—technology Cuba acquired from China.
RM: How come the scene in Cuba appears to have been so quiet over the past 50 years?
HF: “Appears” is the key word here. And it’s because Castro is a master worldwide media manipulator. One of the most ferocious civil wars fought in this hemisphere was actually fought by Cuban freedom-fighters against Fidel’s army and it’s Soviet advisors. The war lasted from 1959-1966. Raul Castro himself said his army was up against 179 “counterrevolutionary bands.” La Guerra Olvidada’“my friend Enrique Encinosa calls it in his book by the same name. Alas, as always, these anti-Communist freedom-fighters fought alone. The Kennedy-Krushcev swindle pulled the rug out from under them. They were slaughtered, much like the Hungarians earlier. No “dauntless crusaders for the truth” (as Columbia journalism schools labels its graduates,) were around to report on THIS war, none to “embed” themselves, etc.—as they had in droves when Castro’s “guerrillas”(petty crooks, bored adolescents and winos playing army on week-ends) were in the hills and “fighting” (mostly bribing) Batista’s forces. See: http://newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/2/14/174602.shtml
RM: Why does such a large portion of Hollywood defend Castro?
HF: He personifies Anti-Americanism. He’s been it’s symbol for half a century. Naturally none of those Hollywood idiots realize that Castro was actually put in power by the U.S. (according to Earl Smith U.S. Ambassador to Cuba at the time, the CIA was the most Fidelista of all the U.S. agencies at the time!, closely followed by the State Dept.!) and the U.S. has been protecting Castro against exile attacks since the Kennedy-Krushcev swindle. The “gallant underdog” Castro has actually survived lo these many decades by hiding behind the skirts of the two most powerful nations in human history. Call him a shrewd diplomat for sure, but cut the “David vs Goliath” bit, please. More importantly, Fidel, Raul Che, Camilo and co. were the first hippies—beatniks actually. They burst upon the cultural scene at just the right moment. The “beat generation” was just getting on it’s legs. Allen Ginsberg actually spoke at Harvard right before Castro in April 1959. Castro and co. were the first long-hairs, etc. The image stuck despite the most appalling evidence to the contrary. See: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/5/18/145038.shtml
RM: Why should we care about Hollywood’s ideologies? Is there any evidence its emboldening our enemies or affecting American policy negatively?
HF: Consider how many Americans get their news from Entertainment tonight. It’s hilarious in a sour sort of way—but scary too.
RM: In terms of anti-Americanism and radical liberalism in Hollywood, are things getting worse or more balanced?
HF: I say worse. It’s a cultural thing—a matter of being “cool.” And let’s face it, according to the last elections, 49 per cent of Americans buy—at least a version—of the Hollywood party-line. I for one, was NOT gratified by these last election results. To me it seemed a pretty hollow victory, a pretty close run thing.
Ryan Mauro is a geopolitical analyst. He began working for Tactical Defense Concepts (http://www.tdconcepts.com), a maritime-associated security company in 2002. In 2003, Mr. Mauro joined the Northeast Intelligence Network (http://www.homelandsecurityus.com), which specializes in tracking and assessing terrorist threats. He has appeared on over 20 radio shows and had articles published in over a dozen publications.