Swiss Banks, Cuba and Double Standards

By Carter, Tom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 19, 1996 | Go to article overview
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Swiss Banks, Cuba and Double Standards

Carter, Tom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Last spring, there was a fundraiser for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum at George Mason University. The Northern Virginia Youth Philharmonic, guest conducted by Leonard Slatkin, featured the National Symphony Orchestra's first violin, Luis Haza, playing selections from the film, "Schindler's List."

Mr. Haza, an exceptionally gifted soloist, moved many in the audience to tears. Few understood Mr. Haza's special ability to interpret the searing emotion of the music.

But like the Holocaust victims he was raising money for, Mr. Haza, who was born in Cuba, has been through hell.

After Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and his revolution bared its communist teeth, Mr. Haza's family home was confiscated. A short time later, his father was one of thousands brutally murdered by Mr. Castro's revolution.

When thinking of the Cuban violinist and his concern for victims of Hitler's fascism, I wonder who, other than Rep. Dan Burton and Sen. Jesse Helms, is willing to stand up for Mr. Haza and the countless other victims of Cuban communism.

The world is of one mind that property stolen by Hitler's thugs and hidden in Swiss banks should be returned to Holocaust victims. But what nation or international body speaks for the the victims of Mr. Castro's brutality?

World opinion is pressuring Switzerland to cough up its ill gotten gains, and several Swiss banks are being sued in New York state courts to make sure they come clean, if it is not done voluntarily.

If Swiss banks are tainted by Hitler's Reich, how do Mr. Castro's international trading accomplices escape without bloody hands? Where is the international outrage to ensure Cuba cannot profit from its stolen property?

Mr. Castro's revolution killed thousands. It has destroyed countless other lives. Billions of dollars in property were stolen. At every opportunity, Cubans by the thousands risk their lives to vote with their feet - or rafts - to escape Mr. Castro's Caribbean hell.

Today, as many as 60,000 to 100,000 Cubans languish in prison making Cuba, with the possible exception of China, the largest per capita gulag on earth. Yet, Mr. Castro is welcomed like a rock star at international conferences, most recently at the U.N. World Food Summit, as if communist dictators are somehow less evil than Fascist ones.

The member states of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the World Trade Organization and the European Union are virtually unanimous and near apoplectic with rage at the United States over legislation designed to give Cuban-Americans a fighting chance in U.S. courts at getting compensation for property stolen from them by the Cuban revolution. Sponsored by Sen.

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