Folks who were so quick to renew the Patriot Act unexamined take note of this - civilians who fought against fidel castro and the Soviet invaders of Cuba are now classified as terrorists - and can't get visas to the US. From the Miami Herald:
Four decades ago, thousands of Cubans took to the Escambray mountains in a CIA-backed guerrilla war against Fidel Castro. Today, U.S. law brands them as terrorists.
In a twist of fate, 320 Cubans on the island with links to that armed revolt are now having problems winning U.S. political asylum because the Patriot Act bars asylum for terrorists and people who help them.
The Department of Homeland Security says the holdups affect 160 asylum applications involving 320 individuals who joined or helped the anti-Castro guerrillas, as well as some of the close relatives of the asylum seekers.
A government spokesman says lawyers from Homeland Security, the State Department and Justice Department are trying to resolve the question of who is a terrorist and whether civilians providing willing or unwilling support of guerillas qualify.
"This really hurts because these are the people that have been forgotten by history and the world,'' said Cuban exile activist Ramón Saúl Sánchez of the Miami-based Democracy Movement. Most of the guerrillas got no CIA help, he said.
''They fought with dignity . . . and practically naked, starved and with their bare hands, they resisted the dictatorship that is today the despair of the Cuban people,'' he added.
The catch all clause used to classify the Cubans as terrorists defines terrorism as ''any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed.'' It also includes any use of explosives, firearms or other weapons ``with the intent to endanger individuals or cause substantial damage to property.''
Apparently Congress never considered who passed the laws of "the place where it is committed." Read the whole outrageous thing.
Who were these people US law now considers terrorists? Our friend Humberto Fontova writes about how che guevara backed by Soviet troops, tanks and machine guns destroyed the villages and people of the Escambray Mountains in 1962. One woman, however, continued to fight - with almost nothing.
They had about as much as the Hungarian freedom fighters, as much as the Polish Home Army – no one, nothing. So their fate was the same. This makes their fight all the more glorious. It’s hard to believe what these men (and a few women) did with so little.
Xena, Warrior Princess was a sorry chump compared to one such female guerrilla called La Nina Del Escambray. After her husband, sons and a few nephews were murdered by Florida International University’s recent guest of honor, La Nina grabbed a tommy gun herself, rammed in a clip and took to the hills.
For a year she ran rings around the reds. But the gallant Kennedy-Khrushchev pact finally starved her of supplies and sealed her doom. The reds finally ran her down.
For years La Nina suffered horribly in Castro’s dungeons, but she lives in Miami today. Seems to me her tragic story makes ideal fodder for Oprah, for all those women’s magazines, for all those butch professorettes of "Women’s Studies," for a Susan Sarandon role, for a little whooping up by Gloria Steinem, Dianne Feinstein and Hillary herself.
La Nina made it to the United States. If she were still in Cuba, she'd now be considered a terrorist. More from the Herald.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a New York-based organization that helps victims of political violence, has described the Patriot Act's impact on some migrants as ``Kafkaesque.''
About 2,000 Colombians who were forced to make payoffs to leftist guerrillas have been denied asylum so far because of the act, according to the IRC, as has a Liberian woman who was forced to house rebels after they killed her father and raped her.
But the Cuban case is especially difficult, the IRC pointed out, because the asylum applicants will find it hard to convince asylum officers they were coerced into backing the anti-Castro guerrillas.
The many twists and turns of the idiots in Washington.