Conrad Black's rambling sermon on the papal visit to Cuba is embarrassing in its ignorance. The selective indignation, arrogant short-sightedness, and vituperative rhetoric are perhaps to be expected. Worse, however, are the factual errors.
Some of Lord Black of Crossharbour's "facts" need to be corrected: Raul Castro does not consider himself a Catholic (although he did attend Catholic school in his youth); a new seminary is not "opening in Havana" (this happened in 2010); nor is the Church "about to launch Cuba's first MBA programme" (It did so last year).
These minor quibbles reveal that Black, perhaps blinded by ideology, failed to do his homework. Far more serious, however, are some of the ignorant assertions made. Many of the "heroic crusaders for human rights in Cuba, who have borne on their necks the hobnailed jackboots of the Stalinist Castro regime" are in fact mercenaries, paid by Washington to provoke unrest. Nor is there one shred of evidence to support his claim that the leaders of the Ladies in White group (who have admitted to being paid by US diplomats in Havana) have suffered "likely state-sponsored assassinations".
"National Post" readers deserve better than this sensationalist drivel and ignorant pontificating.
John M. Kirk, Professor of Latin American Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P9