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Gen. McCaffrey Goes to Cuba

The former drug czar and PR hound is just wild about what Castro has done for the war on drugs.

11:01 PM, Mar 4, 2002 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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GENERAL Barry McCaffrey met Fidel Castro on Saturday night, Reuters reports. It was love at first sight.

In Havana on the Center for Defense Information's dime, the former drug czar spent twelve hours in meetings with the Cuban dictator--and his brother, the minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Raul. After the marathon session, McCaffrey announced, "Cuba is an island of resistance to the drug threat."

And not just resistant, but safe: "I feel safer walking Cuban streets than anywhere else in Latin America and the Caribbean," McCaffrey declared.

Curious about how committed El Jefe and his hermano are to the war on drugs? "They are very keen on cooperating in the fight against drugs," McCaffrey tells us. "They are sincere."

In one sense, McCaffrey is just another of the idiot-pilgrims who have made their way to Cuba to kiss Castro's ring in recent weeks (National Review's Jay Nordlinger is doing God's work by keeping a running tally in his Impromptus column). The list includes famous people such as Oliver Stone, Carole King, and Arlen Specter, and less famous people, such as Michael Diven, a state representative from Pennsylvania, who un-ironically cooed to Castro, "You said the goal of society should be to keep people well and keep people out of jail. That's our goal in Pennsylvania too!" These folks may be dumb, but they are misguided.

On a deeper level, McCaffrey's antics are probably even less noble. Don't forget, he's the fellow who, when his replacement was nominated by the administration last April, told the New York Times that he had severe misgivings about the ability of the nominee, John Walters, to do the job. "Some of his positions in my own view need to be carefully considered by the confirmation committee," he harrumphed.

Class act, that McCaffrey. But it's one thing to be snide to an American to get your name in the papers. It's another thing entirely to do it on the backs of the Cuban people.

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard.