Tags: Cuban | War | Criminal | Touring | U.S.

Cuban War Criminal Touring U.S.

Monday, 18 November 2002 12:00 AM

On Nov. 13, 2002, Victor Dreke, a Cuban Communist Party official – a man accused of committing war crimes during the Escambray wars of the early 1960s – spoke at a North Miami forum hosted by Florida International University.

According to the Miami Herald, although there were protests outside the ballroom where the forum was held and a handful of Cuban exiles within shouted

But the affair does not end there.

Incredibly, Dreke's special visa allows him to stay in the U.S. through the end of this month, touring the country sharing his "historic experiences" and promoting his book, "From the Escambray to Congo: In the Whirlwind of the Cuban Revolution," published last year in both English and Spanish by Pathfinder Press. Could you imagine exiled writers such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante ("Mea Cuba"), Enrique Encinosa ("Cuba en Guerra") or Juan Clark ("Cuba: Mito y Realidad") touring Cuba and promoting their books in the very belly of the totalitarian beast?

Who is Comandante Victor Emilio Dreke Cruz? He was Ernesto "Ché" Guevara's second-in-command in the ill-fated military expedition to the African Congo in 1965, as well as one of the commanders of the so-called

A Cuban government Web site declares that on July 8, 1999, Dreke testified in Havana at a "popular provincial tribunal" that indeed he fought in the Escambray wars against the "CIA-backed" anti-communist "bandits" (the

On the Cuban government's Web site he goes on to repeatedly call the

But the

Rather than being "bandits" and "instruments of a policy of sabotage and terror" financed by the U.S. government and backed by the CIA, as Dreke described them, the anti-communist

For most of the revolutionaries of the anti-communist RD movement, Fidel Castro's Marxist revolution was a profound betrayal of the insurrection against the former dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Like the kulaks of the former Soviet Union exterminated by Red Czar Joseph Stalin during the 1920s and 1930s, the

As I wrote in "Cuba in Revolution" (page 106): "...Towards the end of 1961, Law 988 decreed that by virtue of being 'outlaws,'

It's well known that between 3,500 and 5,000

Dreke himself participated in the ghastly execution of

Dreke mentions a number of "crimes" committed by the

Following the Bay of Pigs debacle and the missile crisis incident, as I wrote in "Cuba in Revolution" (page 418): "Minimal assistance came from the U.S. via the CIA because of policies emanating out of 'plausable deniability' and the Kennedy-Khrushchev pact, which prevented U.S. assistance to the freedom fighters. Again and again, the intrepid rebel leader, Commander Osvaldo Ramírez, had to turn away new

The limiting factors in the Escambray wars were insufficient and inadequate U.S. assistance and the lack of arms and ammunition supplied to the Cuban populace, which had been disarmed.

Dreke mentions

Dreke mentions William Morgan in passing and takes another opportunity to blame "[American]imperialism" for the "counterrevolution." Comandante Morgan was, in fact, a brave American who took up the Cuban cause for freedom, another 13th of March RD (later "Second Front") revolutionary, who "fought for the Revolution but not for communism." I described his end in "Cuba in Revolution" (page 107):

"Comandante William Morgan, an American adventurer who had found his calling with the RD in 1957, was implicated in an assassination attempt against Fidel Castro and executed in 1961 in Fortaleza de la Cabaña. ... Morgan did not make it to the

Morgan is the type of man that Dreke vilified in the service of the communist regime. Why was Morgan "implicated"? Because among other things, he declared he was not a communist.

Suffice to say that the communist Dreke was one of those who accompanied Ernesto (Ché) Guevara on his ill-fated expedition to the African Congo. One of the many ironies of the Congolese debacle was that while the expedition was led by a white Argentinian, the group was composed mostly of black Cubans like Dreke and Henry Villegas Tamayo ("Pombo"). (Villegas was to follow Ché Guevara to Bolivia in 1966, the Argentinian's greatest and final debacle.)

The black Cubans were horrified to see their Marxist African brothers practicing cannibalism in the midst of warfare – ferociously devouring the liver, heart and other body parts of the fallen enemy.

Not only were the Cubans beaten and scattered in the African jungle, but the 58th Company commando unit of "Mad Mike" Hoare, the legendary British mercenary, and Rip Robertson of the CIA was made up of exiled anti-communist Cubans.

And as I discussed in "Cuba in Revolution" (page 250-251): "In the 1960s, when Ché Guevara abandoned his defeated troops in the Congo near Lake Tanganika, [Major General Arnaldo] Ochoa was there to pick up the pieces and bring the deserted troops back to Cuba. ..." The highly decorated Cuban general and war hero would be executed in 1989 as a scapegoat to shield the Castro brothers against allegations of drug trafficking.

Because Dreke is a black communist, he is now being paraded around the U.S. as an opponent of racism and a promoter of human rights, touting "Cuba's contribution to the welfare of native Africans and Afro-Cubans." He is not being asked to explain the anti–civil rights and unjust imprisonment of Vladimiro Roca, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ("Antunez") and hundreds of other black Cubans who have spent years in prison because of their yearning for freedom.

Such is the state of U.S. academia today that Dreke, a communist and accused war criminal, has been converted to an intellectual and his revisionist book, "From the Escambray to Congo: In the Whirlwind of the Cuban Revolution," hailed as a great work of history.

Defending his invitation to Dreke to speak at a forum in Miami, Florida International University President Dr. Modesto A. Maidique wrote:

"My role as the president of FIU obliges me to protect and defend the right of faculty who have invited these emissaries from Cuba to speak on our campus. Our faculty at FIU have autonomy through academic freedom, to invite whomever they see fit, even when the President and the administration of the university are not in agreement with the ideas the guests may espouse. I call upon all in the community to understand and respect the liberties that this country offers to us."

Knowledgeable citizens are not convinced of Dr. Maidique's sincerity. Jorge Maspons of New Orleans, Louisiana, wrote him: "Mr. Dreke is a criminal who should be put on trial after the liberation of Cuba. ... I am a proud American Vietnam veteran. You can be assured that this action is an insult, not only to me, but to all American war veterans who went to combat to exterminate subjects such as Mr. Dreke."

And Rosa C. Novellas-Bengochea of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, replied to Dr. Maidique: "[My opposition to the invitation] was never a matter of different or opposing ideas; we respect and defend the rights of others to disagree. We are law-abiding citizens that fled oppression and came to the United States, our home, in search of liberty, justice and the rights that were denied to us by a totalitarian regime. Many were not so lucky and were taken to the firing squads by your guest for simple dissent. How can you place the fear of losing your job and role as president [of FIU] in front of ethics and principles?"

Yes, such is the state of ethics and politics of the Ivory Tower of academia – even after the collapse of the USSR – that modern-day academician-alchemists continue in their quest to transmute the white creamy color of the elephant tusk into the bloodied red color of Marxism.

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D., author of Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002; www.haciendapub.com) and Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), is Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.), Mercer University School of Medicine.

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On Nov. 13, 2002, Victor Dreke, a Cuban Communist Party official - a man accused of committing war crimes during the Escambray wars of the early 1960s - spoke at a North Miami forum hosted by Florida International University. According to the Miami Herald, although there...
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Monday, 18 November 2002 12:00 AM
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