Appearing in Little Havana, McCain carefully avoided criticism of President Bush but said the Iraq war "has diverted attention from our hemisphere and we have paid a penalty for that" in the form of a growing leftism embodied by leaders Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.
The Arizona senator said that "everyone should understand the connections" between Chavez, Morales and communist Cuban President Fidel Castro.
"They inspire each other. They assist each other. They get ideas from each other," McCain said. "It's very disturbing."It is disturbing. Castro has had his blood-stained hands in a lot of the world's worst conflicts over the past 48 years -- Angola, Vietnam, "Palestine". Indeed, McCain has a special connection to the Cuban-American audience he spoke to yesterday:
McCain was presented with a copy of the book "Against All Hope" by former Cuban political prisoner Armando Valladares, who was frequently tortured during his 22 years in a Cuban prison. McCain said that while he was in Hanoi, a Cuban agent came to show his Vietnamese captors "some new interrogation techniques" and he later discovered that the same agent had also tortured Valladares.