Miami Herald protests campus meeting for Cuban revolutionary

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sat Nov 23 05:43:31 MST 2002

The introductory comments in parentheses are by Walter Lippmann. The Herald
is clearly bitterly disappointed at the successful meetings for Dreke in
Miami.  Dreke also had a very successful tour stop in Alabama.  He is
speaking on the subject matter of his book, "From the Escambray to the
Congo: In the Whirlwind of the Cuban Revolution," published by Pathfinder
Press in New York.  The book can be ordered for $12 plus $3 postage and
handling from Pathinfinder Press, 410 West Street, New York, NY 10014
Fred Feldman

(A thoroughly disgusting editorial in the
Miami Herald, complaining about Dreke's
visit to speak about his recently published
book. Look at the final sentence here that
strongly suggests what the Herald really
wanted: a protest big enough to prevent
Dreke's appearance, in the same way
threatened protests forced the organizers
of the Latin Grammys to move their
ceremony last year from Miami to L.A.)

The Miami Herald
Posted on Wed, Nov. 20, 2002


The visit to FIU last week of a former member of Fidel
Castro's revolutionary government was disappointing and
troubling. Most worrisome is the fact that the State
Department issued a visa to Víctor Dreke Cruz, a former
security official from a country on the U.S. terrorism list,
who is accused of numerous human-rights violations.

The lapse highlights the State Department's continuing
inability to screen properly those entering this country.
Had the State Department known about Dreke Cruz's
background, it wouldn't have issued him a visa, a government
source said this week. Unfortunately, that's too little, too

Dreke Cruz, vice president of the Cuba-Africa Friendship
Association, was invited by professors from the FIU
anthropology department to discuss a book about his military
experiences with Che Guevara in Castro's ill-fated 1960s
subversion campaign in the Congo. Those military expeditions
contributed to thousands of deaths during years of civil
conflict. By some accounts, Dreke Cruz participated in
executions and torture in Cuba. That awareness only adds to
the pain and suffering of families and friends of his
victims, now living in Miami.

University administrators apparently had little advance
notice of Dreke Cruz's visit. President Modesto Maidique
defended the visit as an exercise in academic freedom and
freedom of speech. While noting that Dreke Cruz wouldn't
have been his choice for a speaker, Mr. Maidique emphasized
that university administrators shouldn't be arbiters of
speaker appropriateness. He is right.

Of course, while this is clearly an issue of academic free
speech, if the invitation had been announced earlier,
details about Dreke Cruz's background may have come to light
sooner and both the State Department and professors involved
would have been able to make their decisions fully informed
of the facts.

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