Helms, undeterred by fact or sanity...
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 96 22:54:05 -0700
Subject: Helms, undeterred by fact or sanity...
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MAPLE THIEF RAG
As bloody revolution spread through their country, 100,000 loyal citizens,
fearing for life, limb, and liberty, refused to betray their government and
fled to safety in the giant nation to the north. Despite the defeat of their
cause, these plucky refugees never abandoned hope of regaining confiscated
land and property.
Cubans hunkered down in Miami? Nope, it's those fiendish Canadians who have
lulled us all these years with their deceitful image of bland friendliness.
Now the mask is off.
"We had to leave," said Liberal Canadian parliamentarian John Godfrey.
"Like all the Cuban-Americans, we had to get out. We are the Contras of our
time." In legislation that parallels Helms-Burton, Godfrey is seeking
restitution of property stolen during the American Revolution. His law
would also impose penalties on US holdings of businesses that once belonged
to Loyalists and would revoke Canadian visas for Americans connected with
those businesses. In addition to the return of his ancestral land in
Virginia, Godfrey expects a big chunk of the eastern seaboard to revert to
"[W]e're talking billions of dollars in places like Manhattan and
Those US critics charging that the Canadian bill is ludicrous were hard
pressed to distinguish it from Helms-Burton, which Clinton, groveling
shamelessly for South Florida votes and campaign contributions, recently
signed. After its passage, the State Department banned nine Canadian
executives from entering the US. Their Canadian companies had invested in
Cuban property supposedly confiscated from Americans after Castro came to
Clearly, it's time the US started worrying more about its other border the
longest unprotected boundary in the world. One vigilant Republican
legislator from Miami has proposed striking back by kidnapping Canadian
executives who "collaborated with Castro" and putting them on trial.
"Castro's days ... are numbered," said Lincoln Diaz-Balart in July. Agents
of"a free Cuba" (presumably himself and his gusano buddies),"will enforce
the laws of Cuba even extra-territorially grabbing a few investors to bring
to trial la Eichmann." Diaz-Balart was referring to the Nazi war criminal
Adolf Eichmann who was kidnapped by Israeli agents, tried and hanged in
1962. According to an aide, though, Diaz-Balart did not mean to equate
Canadian CEOs with Nazi killers.
Jesse Helms, co-author of the US model for the Canadian bill also favored
Nazi analogies. He likened Ottawa's stance toward Cuba to Neville
Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien responded that Canada had entered the
war against Hitler in 1939, two years before the United States.
Helms, undeterred by fact or sanity, continued: "It's painful to note," he
said, "the hypocrisy of these countries. After all, the United States has
rescued every one of them from tyranny at one time or another. And this is
the thanks we get."
The senator was perhaps referring to the role the US is playing through the
Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA in freeing Canadians from the oppressive yoke
of universal health care, affordable higher education, and a functioning
social safety net.
© 1996 Peter Langston