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jeudi 9 septembre 2010

1 Tishrei 5771 A nice New Year Gift from Jefe

Fidel to Ahmadinejad: 'Stop Slandering the Jews'

He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. "This went on for maybe two thousand years," he said. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything." The Iranian government should understand that the Jews "were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here's what happened to them: Reverse selection. What's reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation." He continued: "The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust." I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. "I am saying this so you can communicate it," he answered.

I have repeatedly heard in Havana, how the government is not anti Jewish but just anti Israeli. In fact if I remember correctly Cuba was one of the first nations to recognize Israel and the first and perhaps the only ambassador Cuba ever had in Jerusalem was Mr. Lobo (Spanish for Wolf), a tycoon who was pro Castro. Mr. Lobo spent his own money to build the Cuban Embassy in Israel, I was told. In my years of living in Cuba, I must say I have never encountered any form of anti Semitism and in fact there is a great admiration for the Jews and their contributions to the Cuban culture including Literature (Kozer etc). Like in many other countries, there is a near total lack of understanding about the Jewish people. Even the professor of religion at the University of Havana asked me: How can you call yourself Jewish, when you are not religious at all. I had to point out the fact that the Jewish People are the least religious of any group, in that nearly 85 % of the Jews do not attend synagogues on a regular basis, if that is a measure. Where as the figure for Catholics in the USA it is about 40 or 50 %.
On this 1st day of Tishrei 5771, I am in Paris, getting ready for my next trip, I feel very content at the interview Fidel gave Mr. Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine.
One other thing, I want to say: even though the Cuban Government is very anti American, the Cuban people couldn't be any further from that. There is a healthy love for USA in Cuba.

Those who are interested in the life stoy of Julio Lobo, the following book is highly recommended. The reviewers have applauded the author for his impartial treatment of life before the revolution, mr Lobo’s fascination with Napoleon which has resulted in the Napoleonic Museum near the University of Havana. There is a lot written about Mr Lobo at one time the richest man in Cuba and who controlled most of the sugar export from the island and controlled many sugar mills and also acres and acres of land in all parts of cuba. He left Cuba when Fidel nationalized his mills. He lived to be 84 and died in Madrid.