More fallout from CNBC’s “documentary”

CNBC’s mangled and downright offensive portrayal of the Pedro Pan exodus in their so-called documentary “Escape from Havana: An American Story,” continues to be called out for its gross inaccuracies, omission of facts, and its shameless pro-Castro tilt. The topic had given CNBC an opportunity to create a moving and compelling film about the suffering of innocent children and the courage of their parents who did the unthinkable to ensure their children would grow up in freedom. CNBC chose instead, however, to produce a grotesque and reprehensible piece of Castroite propaganda.

Yesterday on the website, Blas Padrino, a Pedro Pan child himself, picked apart some of the multitude of deceptions that CNBC managed to pack into their hour-long documentary.

The documentary makes a glaring falsification by stating that the Pedro Pan parents sent their children out of Cuba because they were tricked by the CIA. According to Vieira’s narrative, the CIA circulated a false document purporting to be a proposed decree about to be enacted by Castro, which would take away parental rights and make children wards of the state. Even if the CIA circulated such a document, that was not the reason for the exodus. The reality was that Castro had already taken steps that threatened parental rights, including the closing of all private schools. The main motivator of Pedro Pan was the enactment of a decree that made all persons between the ages of 16 and 50 subject to military service and that prohibited all persons subject to military service from leaving the country. Parents were scrambling to send their children out of Cuba before they became subject to that law. Of course, since the parents already were subject to the law, they were prohibited from leaving the country with their children. Under the law, the attempt by anyone of military age to leave the country without authorization constituted desertion, punishable by death. The purpose of Castro’s decree was to force a difficult choice on parents who wanted their children to escape the brainwashing and harassment already taking place in the government-run schools. The documentary’s failure to mention this detail and, instead blame CIA misinformation, taints the program’s credibility.

The most chilling statement in Padrino’s editorial were the words spoken to him by a Castro customs officer when they stamped his passport to leave.

Obviously, the reason the children were placed in the ‘fishbowl’ for hours before departure, within sight of their parents, but forbidden from even waving at each other through the glass – as depicted in the documentary – was aimed at harassing the families. As was the parting shot from the Cuban customs officer as he slammed the exit stamp on the author’s passport: “You’re leaving without your parents,” he growled. “How little they love you.”

That CNBC, and the media for that matter, is sympathetic to the Castro dictatorship is not a surprise. And I guess none of us should be surprised either that CNBC used the heartbreaking story of 14,000 children and their parents who suffered greatly to live in freedom to promote and defend the vile dictatorship responsible for not only their suffering, but the suffering of millions of more Cubans.

26 thoughts on “More fallout from CNBC’s “documentary””

  1. Not to mention the distortion about the Bay of Pigs and how the fighters were betrayed by our country when they were promised backup.
    Forgive me but the women in this program are either paid operatives of the thugs in Cuba or they are without brains. They don’t look stupid, so I guess you know where I think that puts them.
    I read in Professor Eire’s memoir that description of how the operation was taking place across the street from a building which housed Cuban intelligence and it was being done in secret right in front of them. It always seemed to me that Castro knew all about it from the first. What an easy way to get rid of future trouble makers and destroy the will of many parents making it next to impossible for them to rebel since they wanted to be able to rejoin their children. It was a win win for Castro and company.
    Well, at least the beginning was good and the professor was moving. So some truth was allowed in. Someone at CNBC must have been asleep that day.

  2. I got carried away. This is what I wrote them:


    I use the term loosely.

    I am not Cuban and have no Cuban relatives. Ordinarily I would avoid a program like this because I have so little faith in the main stream media that I know in advance they will mangle the truth. But it was advertised that this program would feature Professor Carlos Eire. I read the professor’s stunning memoir. So I thought okay, how bad can this program be?

    It started out so promising. I couldn’t believe it. What is this? Am I going to have to eat my words? Are they going to tell the truth at last on a channel of the MSM?

    I got too happy too fast. Every segment after the opening that had Carlos Eire was moving, and enlightening. And the other gentlemen had some good features in their parts, too. But the rest of the program had so much mangled truth and those women upset me so much I didn’t know whether to scream or cry.

    First of all, this is what is called fairness in the msm. You put one person who has a point of view and then you feel the need for balance, so you put five others on who think otherwise. And of course the balance is never from my viewpoint. Do you think it is an accident that the msm is losing viewers and readers? More and more Americans are seeing the fraud that you all represent.

    So here are just a few of my irritations:

    The Bay of Pigs represented a betrayal by our government, which promised to support those fighting to take back their country from the new tyrants that usurped it, and then we didn’t give them the promised back up. The world watched helplessly as brave men were defeated because of our betrayal. JFK has a lot to answer for there.

    The parents who did the unthinkable and sent their children away didn’t need any so called C.I.A. misleading to know the handwriting on the wall. Castro closed the schools. The churches were closed. The threats and promises of forced labor and conscription were already coming into being. The schools were to be all propaganda all the time. The promised elections were never going to materialize. The Professor explained it perfectly – which window of the burning building do you choose to throw your child out of when you are trying to save him? The C.I.A. had no part of the choice those desperate and brave parents made. That is all on [c]astro’s head.

    Any objective viewer of the first section of this program about the fear instilled into the Cubans and the betrayal by Castro and company of the Cuban people has to mistrust the motives of the three women on this program. And how could any human being not be moved by Carlos Eire’s anger and sadness?

    If Cuba is such a fabulous country as Michael Moore and other useful idiots insist, why would so many thousands have risked, and often lost their lives, to escape? Do you know that fishing is illegal in Cuba? Mustn’t allow a man to feed himself without government permission. And so is owning a boat. Mustn’t let anyone escape this island prison.

    That business about the embargo, can we all give that a rest, please? There is no embargo. The U.S. provides tons of health care materials and food to Cuba. None of it gets to the Cuban people, though, who virtually starve and can’t even get a band-aid. Lots of the do-gooders who bring things to Cubans go home and the stuff is then appropriated by the thugs. If there were a real embargo like the one done on South Africa, then we can talk. No, the people are willfully starved, intimidated, imprisoned and given rotten health care by their government. They took a modern country with one of the best economies in the world and turned it into a third world hellhole. WILLFULLY.

    That’s why I wept when I saw the distortions of the revisionist history of this program. It’s bad enough for the fourteen thousand plus to have had to suffer so much, when you make a program like this, you throw rock salt in an already big wound.

    And I’m not Cuban, so I can only imagine how the Cubans feel.

    Mrs. Janet Cantor
    Philadelphia, Pa.

  3. Honey, you really are a HONEY. That was as well said or better than many of us could muster. Thank you for writing them, and for sharing the tears with us. God bless you.

  4. Guys, you should check out the Wikipedia for this entry and for all other Cuban-related and Communist-related entries. The pro-Communist element is hard at work in producing propaganda in this area and I urge all of you to contribute entries. When you do so, read carefully at the directions so that your entries have some degree of permanence—and keep checking back for sabotage!

  5. Kudos, Honey. When I saw it was CNBC broadcasting it, all the usual sirens went off in my mind; it’s too bad we need to become cynics in order to be discerning, for these MSM people are incapable of telling a real story without bias and spin. Revisionist history is ok when it suits their views.

    I wonder what backlash CNBC would face had they done a hit piece on the Jewish families who sent off their children too, to save them from the Third Reich. You bet the ADL, et al., wouldn’t let them get away with it. So why should we be different. Thanks again, Honey.

  6. >>We don’t use nor do we rely on Wikipedia for that very reason. You are late to the party. Again.<<

    I don't think that was the point of Spygirl's remark. While "we" don't use Wikipedia or rely on Wikipedia, Wikipedia has become [right or wrong] an enormously important source of information for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

    To ignore propaganda simply because "we" don't rely on it for information is counterproductive.

  7. George Moneo,

    As always, you completely missed the point in your rush to be obnoxious. The point was that other people DO rely on Wikipedia and the Communists fill it with misinformation or obliterate any factual statements. These propaganda tactics need to be combatted by us all the time.

    Now, what is so hard to understand about that?

    No wonder we are constantly being outmaneuvered by the leftists.

  8. I agree with you Spygirl. While “we” don’t use Wikipedia or rely on Wikipedia, Wikipedia has become [right or wrong] an enormously important source of information for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

    To ignore propaganda simply because “we” don’t rely on it for information is counterproductive.

  9. Spygirl, does Wikipedia really matter? With the rest of the MSM fucking us over, again and again and again? Please. You’re a fool if you think you can change it. Look in the archives here for what we did FOUR years ago. It is a total waste of time and effort. But go for it, if you want to. It’s your wasted time, not mine.

    BTW, thanks for the compliment.

  10. To George’s point, Wikipedia relies on MSM sources which are the only ones they deem “reliable”. Since the MSM parrots Fidel – that will mean that Wikipedia always will. The only way for Wiki to ever change will be to FIRST change what the MSM reports and then insert that into Wiki. However, the MSM has not seen it fit to actually start reporting the conservative truth for decades, so don’t hold your breath.

  11. Spygirl, you’re hopeless in delusion.

    Many times you make remarks on this blog that makes me fall off my chair in laughter for lack of a better word.

    My God, you have such an intelligence complex that does not let you see the reality that George and Mr. Mojito are trying to explain to you. Please open-up your mind and you’ll understand.

    George and Mr. Mojito are telling you what’s going on and you’re still unwilling to accept it.

    So try to influence Wikipedia yourself, good luck on that endeavor, you’re surely going to need it.

  12. I am very late to the party…but I needed to see what was going on “out there” because my husband’s brother told us he bought the CIA crap, totally! He, a Pedro Pan, left a year before my husband, who, by the way, could not get past the first 5 minutes of the show as he burst into tears!
    We have watched so many things by real Cubans before, we knew we weren’t missing anything and promptly erased it and forgot about it…until comes the brother for a visit.
    I asked him what could be the CIA’s motivation and he could not answer, then I said why do you buy all this Pro Castro propaganda, and he told me they showed the papers on the show!!!
    Of course, I didn’t watch the show, and of course the CIA is no angel…but, why he is so caught up in that part???He has always been rather conservative but the wife is a flaming liberal and I fear she has a hand in this….It bugs me but he has already closed up on the subject and I do not wish to cause a family row.

    Anyway…I was glad to read all the accounts on this blog that support my belief on the subject!
    And ditto, @honey, @gigi, and all the rest of you who know the truth!!!

  13. Spygirl, Rayarena, I agree with you both. Propaganda needs to be addressed and corrected.

    As the for C.I.A. false document, it is absurd to say it was not an issue. Obviously it was a factor for at least some of the people who sent their kids away. Claiming otherwise is fantasy. Likewise, claiming that the embargo has no impact on life in Cuba is also fantasy. Y’all are just shooting yourselves in the feet when you make these silly claims, because they taint and diminish the effectiveness of more serious and credible anti-Castro arguments.

  14. Spygirl:

    Your zeal to spread the truth is admirable, but trying to interject truth into Wikipedia is a monumental waste of time. Any truth or reality posted onto Wikipedia is quickly expunged, forcing you to go back in and do it again, only to have it removed again. It is about as productive as trolling communist blogs and websites and trying to correct their fantastical view of the world.

    Wikipedia is nothing more than a forum for like-minded individuals to share their drivel. And any outsiders that might visit the site are just lazy people who don’t bother looking past the first or second result in their internet searches. Neither of these types of individuals are interested in the truth.

  15. Fuzzy_bunny,
    I’m with Alberto. It is Rush who is our lovable fuzzball. You tell us propaganda needs to be corrected and then you report propaganda as if it were fact. Fuzzy thinking indeed.

  16. Fuzzy Bunny,

    Prof. De la Torre who is making the claim vis-a-vis the CIA document has made a career of discrediting the Peter Pan movement. This seems to be her raison d’etre in life. While the CIA document may be true [that is to say there was a CIA document that circulated], De La Torre then goes on to say that what was written in the document was false and that the document is the reason why parents decided to send then children to the USA.

    In other words, she jumps to a false conclusion. The fact is that the regime took away the Patria Potestad of the parents [their parental rights] and started closing catholic schools, started indoctrinating children, started sending them to summer work camps against the will of the parents, etc.. What’s more, people were being executed left and right and this was being televised on TV, etc…

    It’s incredibly misleading for De la Torre to claim that this CIA document was the reason why parents did what they did and it is irresponsible and complicitous for CNBC to do so as well.

  17. I had family that arrived to America via Pedro Pan and all I can say is that whoever believes that Pedro Pan was the work of the CIA has a fuzzy mentality at best.

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