February 14, 2005
Czechs and Balances
The yellow-bellied commie symps in charge of Spain these days think Cuba's Darth Castro is muy swello.
That's why the Spanish rojos recently led an effort to repeal a 2003 European Union resolution urging member-nations to invite anti-Castro Cubans to embassy parties in Havana.
Granted: when it comes to fighting communism, inviting a freedom fighter to an embassy soiree for foie gras, cavier, cocktails and delightfully cheeky conversation is hardly on a par with the Berlin Airlift. But, hey, it's a bit refreshing to see that the listing-to-the-left gargoyles running Old Europe had the gumption to make even a slightly symbolic anti-communist gesture.
But now that al-Qeada has managed to engineer the election of socialist snake Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as Spain's president, the 16th Century superpower did a 'bout-face and moved last month to repeal the EU's anti-Castro resolution.
New Europe to the rescue!
As the Prague Post reports (via James Taranto), a new EU member-nation with vivid memories of communist brutality flexed its muscles:
In their first foreign-policy victory since joining the EU, Czech officials in Brussels have blocked a proposed ban on inviting Cuban dissidents to receptions at European embassies in Havana.
... the Czechs threatened to use their veto in the 25-member Council of Foreign Ministers, where unanimity is required on policy decisions.
The "Cocktail Wars," as one paper dubbed them, ended Jan. 31 when Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda convinced other ministers to remove the ban during a closed-door lunch.
"I consider this an unequivocal success," Svoboda later told reporters.
Debate over the ban touched a nerve here, where many former dissidents entered politics after communism fell in 1989.
Former dissident-turned-president Vaclav Havel wrote in the Jan. 28 edition of the French newspaper Le Figaro, "I can hardly imagine a better way for the EU to spit on [its] principles. ... We will start discriminating against free-thinking people."
"Considering our totalitarian past, it was unacceptable for us to accept limitations on contact with people who are fighting for democracy," Svoboda told reporters.
As Donald Rumsfeld often says, this is an amazing thing. Here we have an Eastern European nation -- fresh from breaking the brutal bonds of communist rule -- boldly thwarting attempts by Western European commie sympathizers from smooching Darth Castro's fanny.
Western European socialists are, no doubt, stewing. It was two years ago this month that France's Jacque Chirac chastised and threatened Eastern European nations -- many of which were, at the time, waiting on EU membership approval -- for endorsing America's Iraq policy. Sniffed Chirac:
These countries have been not very well behaved and rather reckless of the danger of aligning themselves too rapidly with the American position ... It is not really responsible behavior. It is not well brought-up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet ... Romania and Bulgaria were particularly irresponsible. If they wanted to diminish their chances of joining Europe they could not have found a better way.
In hindsight, Chirac's comments betray a desperation. Perhaps he and other EU socialists feared that admitting Eastern European countries would undermine Western Europe's leftist goals.
Judging from the Czech Republic's EU resolution victory last month, Chirac's fears are, happily, well founded.
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