Letter: Castro may be popular, but his regime is brutal

Click to follow
The Independent Online
I VISITED Havana recently, and was intrigued to read George Galloway's article 'Cubans ready to get on their bikes for Castro' (7 March).

However, he failed to mention the craven fear many Cubans have for the secret police, regarded by their Soviet mentors as uniquely vicious; the prostitution that is giving Havana the reputation of being the Bangkok of the Caribbean; the beatings of two dissident journalists at their homes by 'demonstrators'; and the hauling of a veteran of the Bay of Pigs, Colonel Prendez, before a 'Court of Honour' for suggesting that the government relax its attitude to political prisoners.

He also omits to mention the real hero of the moment, Captain Lorenzo, an airforce pilot who defected in a MiG three years ago. Two weeks later, when an internal Cuban flight diverted itself to Florida, 48 out of 53 passengers decided to stay in Miami.

Perhaps if Mr Galloway were to leave his government ministers and take to the streets, bars and homes of Havana, he would find that although Fidel is very popular personally, most would prefer to join Captain Lorenzo and the 48 passengers and observe his achievements from afar rather than get on their bikes for him.

Name and address withheld