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realclearworld

The Cowardice of Havana’s News Bureaus

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

The Cowardice of Havana's News Bureaus

It's fascinating to watch the courage with which the AP and other news agencies have (rightfully) challenged the intimidation and attack on speech by the Obama Administration's Justice Department.

Yet, simultaneously, the cowardice with which the AP and some of the same news bureaus act in Havana towards the Castro dictatorship.

This week, Havana's foreign correspondents have spent most their time and resources focused on an Australian swimmer that unsuccessfully tried to cross the Florida Straits.

Then, the AP switched to a story about Cuban scientists expressing concern about climate change damage to Cuba's coastal towns.

(Of course, no mention of the ecological disaster being reaped on Cuba's coastline by Castro's military, in conjunction with Brazil's Odebrecht. Kudos to The Miami Herald.)

Yet not one word about the multiple human tragedies currently taking place in Cuba.

First and foremost among these, the imminent death of a Cuban democracy activist, Luis Enrique Santos, who is on a hunger strike protesting being evicted from his home for his political activities.

Sadly, this isn't new.

These same foreign correspondents wouldn't report one word on deceased political prisoners Orlando Zapata Tamayo or Wilman Villar Mendoza, who also died from hunger strikes, until it was too late.

Sure, maybe the Castro regime will get upset at the AP and the other news bureaus for reporting on these courageous democracy activists.

But at least they'd be standing for free speech and against intimidation, as they so courageously do here.

3 comments to The Cowardice of Havana’s News Bureaus

  • asombra

    The mainstream media has been complicit with Castro, Inc. since before 1959. It's a very old and entrenched thing, so much so that, for all practical purposes, it's taken as simply normal. There is absolutely no shame about it; it's just business as usual.

  • antonio2009

    The American news bureaus in Cuba are a rum-and-coke operation. Their reporters lack prestige and ethics, which is why when they return to the U.S. many, like former Dallas Morning News reporter Tracey Eaton, are never hired as reporters again and become bloggers. When Tad Szulc's daughter, working for NBC, filmed Robert Vesco hiding in Havana, she and her crew were given 24 hours to leave the country. Her father, who was working on a biography of Fidel Castro, was also quickly deported and handed a $67,000 bill for his stay at a government house in Varadero while working on the book.

  • asombra

    It's not so much cowardice as corruption, like the corruption displayed by much of the media in their US coverage. The bottom line is that the news business is absolutely NOT about getting at the unvarnished truth above all other considerations, but about pursuing a certain political or ideological agenda. The Cuban "revolution" remains a protected species among the overwhelmingly "liberal" types that populate the media, and it's "natural" for them to play along with Castro, Inc.

    Yes, the foreign media with Havana bureaus know perfectly well they MUST play ball with the regime to be allowed to operate in Cuba, so of course they're protecting their Havana outfits, but it's not all tit-for-tat. Most media people, certainly those willing to prostitute themselves to operate in Cuba, have significantly greater affinity for Castro, Inc. than for "those people," meaning people like us, and that DOES make a difference. As the Spanish socialists have long justified screwing Cuba with sticking it to the hated Americans, the liberal media can justify playing footsie with Castro, Inc. with being fashionably PC and sticking it to those ghastly Cuban-Americans who won't behave like a proper minority and who put Bush in the White House. Never forget that vile Oliphant cartoon portraying us as cantankerous old farts pining for Batista--it was NOT an aberrant outlier but quite representative, only somewhat more blatant than the usual.