Yoani Sánchez on the Cuban Communist Party’s new game plan

An excellent post from Yoani Sánchez on the PCC’s latest release:


En español:

Cuando se crece descifrando cada línea aparecida en los periódicos, se logra encontrar en medio de la retórica el grano de información que la motiva y la pizca de novedad que ésta oculta. De ahí que los cubanos seamos sabuesos de lo no expresado, peritos en descartar la palabrería y hallar –muy en el fondo– las reales razones que la mueven. El Proyecto de lineamientos para el VI Congreso del Partido Comunista es un buen ejercicio con el que afinar nuestros sentidos, un ejemplo paradigmático para evaluar la práctica de decir sin decir, que se ha constituido aquí en discurso de estado.

Haz click aquí para leer el post entero en Generación Y

In English:

When you grow up decoding each line that appears in the newspapers, you manage to find, among the rhetoric, the nugget of information that motivates, the hidden shreds of the news. We Cubans have become detectives of the unexpressed, experts in discarding the chatter and discovering — deep down — what is really driving things. The Draft Guidelines for the Communist Party’s VI Congress is a good exercise to sharpen our senses, a model example to evaluate the practice of speaking without speaking, which is what state discourse is here.

Click here to read the whole thing on Generación Y’s English site.

14 thoughts on “Yoani Sánchez on the Cuban Communist Party’s new game plan”

  1. Yoani Sanchez tells us that Cubans had to become detectives of the unexpressed. Ms. Sanchez speaks as well for many Americans who during the 90s, also had to become detectives of the unexpressed. Prior to the advent of The Net, the marxstream media had a death-grip on information and unless one read selected periodicals and what few conservative newspapers existed, all one received by way of ‘news’ were media transcriptions of the dissemblings recited by PR flacks on behalf of their politican bosses.

    One quickly learned, during the 90s, the truth of a news report lay not in that which was said, but that which was omitted, the so-called ‘holes in the story’, for which which police investigators listen intently while interviewing a suspect.

    Then came The Net and an ascending Talk Radio, and now the press is out of tricks. CNN is now trying to promote it’s ‘new’ bag of tricks by claiming it’s ‘not BS-LSD’.

    Yeah. That’ll fool ’em. Works real good. Every time.

    Truth, as does murder, outs – always.

    Trying to bury the truth by omission is a lost cause.

    Ms. Sanchez’ statement makes for a fine watchword by which to close one’s letters and e-mails, given the times in which we live.

  2. To compare liberal media bias in the U.S. to the totalitarian death grip on information that exists in Cuba is, frankly, an insult to Cubans who live under that system.

    I don’t disagree that news outlets in the U.S. have plenty to work on — and that’s true on both sides of whatever philosophical divide. But to take this post from Yoani and somehow make the tremendous leap you’ve made… to draw a parallel between her media environment and ours without so much as accounting for the fact that one is deceptive to a far more exaggerated and deliberate degree… is ridiculous.

    I was hoping someone else would point this out, but about a day had gone by and nobody had, so I did it myself.

    • Nicolas, the MSM in this country, with very few exceptions, is no better than the media Joseph Goebbels or Stalin controlled. The evidence of collusion and complicity is there for anyone to see. If they want to see it.

  3. As we speak, I’m watching a CNN report (in a podcast) on a possible White House cover up of manipulation of reports that falsely suggested the oil drilling moratorium decision made by the Obama administration in the wake of the BP platform explosion was peer-reviewed and approved by a panel of experts.

    This from the network the previous commenter suggested has “we are not BSLSD” as its only defense.

    Certainly liberal biases exist in plenty of media outlets. Believe me, I know. I was trained by journalism educators at a school where some of the premier professors openly said journalists SHOULD have liberal biases. I don’t like it, I’m not for it, and my experience there turned me off to the idea of seeking work in newsrooms in general.

    But bias and cooperation/collusion are two different things. To suggest that outlets like CNN — which is willing to air stories about Obama adminstration cover ups — are on the same level of evil and deception as the media under Castro, Goebbels and Stalin is just plain hyperbole.

    • CNN sold its soul to have a news bureau in Havana (and, infamously, in Baghdad during the Saddam era). They report what they think they can get away with without endangering their operations, truth be damned. Find me a consistent mention of the political prisoners in Cuba, their health, their condition, their unjust imprisonment, etc., in more than one report and I’ll eat my hat. They are like EVERY other news outfit. You know why I know this? They still have their news bureaus there. That, my friend, is evil, because cooperating and coddling villainy is as bad as the villainy itself.

      BTW, you’re taking one little podcast as your example. The readers and writers here come up with a myriad examples of bias and collusion on the part of the press on a daily basis.

      No hay peor ciego que el no quiere ver.

  4. Sorry Nic,

    For quite sometime the aims, goals and actions of the MSM are not “plain hyperbole” as they have become crystal clear in their intentions to steer the USA towards a Marxist/Socialist society just as much as Obama, Pelosi and Reid have.

    The best sample of my statement is how the MSM handled the last Presidential election were Barack Obama was handed a “free pass” by them by not seriously questioning his background, lack of experience and choice of associations while concentrating on ways to discredit Sarah Palin by looking for any flaw on her.

    That the MSM outlets occasional publish some stories like the one you mentioned doesn’t mean anything because the fact is that they don’t follow-up on them, they just mention it to give an appearance of fairness and balance that in reality doesn’t exist within any of its ranks.

    On the other hand, when there is something that negatively involves the GOP or the conservatives or the Tea parties they make sure that they stay on top of that story to get the most traction out of it.

    That’s how the MSM displays its bias and this behavior has been going on for quite sometime (actually going back to the 1960s with the opposition to the Vietnam War) and gradually intensified over the 70s, 80s and 90s and finally going full hyper-speed ahead during the George W. Bush term in office.

    The reason for Fox News to become so popular in the last few years is a direct consequence of the MSM out of control agenda and bias that continue to turn-off more Americans.

  5. “Find me a consistent mention of the political prisoners in Cuba, their health, their condition, their unjust imprisonment, etc.?”


    For example, how many times has CNN published the Oscar Elias Biscet story and his struggle inside Fidel Castro’s dungeons?

    The answer is because CNN is way too busy publishing positive stories about Fidel Castro’s Cuba while failing to mention the horrors of his tyranny and the lack of human right the people suffer in the island on a daily basis.

  6. I’m not saying the bias doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is hyperbolic is the insistence that they are similar to the outlets in totalitarian states that take their marching orders from the government directly.

    One thing is being like-minded and having converging agendas with the government. It’s quite another to compare, say, The New York Times to Granma.

    In the case of this post from Yoani, the first commenter went to an even more outlandish extreme, comparing CNN to the very Communist Party of Cuba, which directly — rather than through one of its puppet media outlets — published the report Yoani was criticizing.

    But let is suppose that there is no hyperbole here. Let us assume that, yes, CNN, The New York Times, and all the rest are not only biased, but literally and to the same extent and Cuban, Nazi and Societ outlets, part and parcel of the government propaganda machine (even saying this for the sake of argument feels silly)…

    Who cares? Doesn’t it seem odd to you that this piece began about the plight of people in Cuba and it has become about the oppressive and totalitarian-like media environment you all are saying we live in?

    My main goal here is not to defend the American liberal media. Far from it. My point here is that we should not cheapen the cries of an oppressed Cuban people by PRETENDING that our media are JUST AS manipulated by the state as theirs. The only reason I’m giving any of these comments any attention is so that it can be shifted off of the “Socialist U.S. lamestream media” stuff and back to the issue of Cuba.

    Seriously, would any one of you actually say that you WOULD NOT prefer for Cuba’s media to function more like ours does? I’m not claiming ours is perfect, but are you seriously suggesting that reporting in the U.S. is NOT at least a step or two up from reporting in Cuba?

    Unless you are insane enough to actually believe that the two are on the same plane of state manipulation, cut the crap. You’re not doing Cubans any favors by using what might be the most heavily-trafficked Cuban-American blog on the Internet to suggest that our mainstream media is as bad as Cuba’s.

    Give me a break.

  7. “Unless you are insane enough to actually believe that the two are on the same plane of state manipulation, cut the crap. You’re not doing Cubans any favors by using what might be the most heavily-trafficked Cuban-American blog on the Internet to suggest that our mainstream media is as bad as Cuba’s.”

    Nic, when you were just starting puberty, Val was here, fighting and writing to bring the plight of the people on the island to the attention of the world. That’s more than I can say of ANY of your colleagues on ANY major media outlet in the United States. Please do me a favor and cut the shit, okay.

  8. Nobody is saying our media is the same as Cuba’s. In some respects, from a moral or ethical standpoint, our media may be worse. The media in a totalitarian state has no choice about how it operates, and it’s not true journalism anyway, simply a propaganda machine for the regime, a tool of the state. Media in a free society has a choice, and if it chooses to be blatantly biased while swearing on a stack of Bibles (or whatever) that it is fair and objective, well, you do the math. First of all, that kind of posturing is simply LYING, which means it is utterly disreputable and undeserving of trust. I have no respect whatever for people who act holier-than-thou when they’re really full of it, and that describes far too many media outfits.

  9. What does Val have to do with this? I count three people in here turning this particular post about Cuba into a discussion about the U.S. media. When Val makes himself one of those people, consider my comments to be directed at him as well.

    In any case, I’m not talking about moral issues here. there’s a lot of media in this country, and we could spend all day/month/year unproductively going through reports and pointing out the virtue or the evil in them.

    My point is broader. When a perceieved void existed in national media coverage, Fox News filled it. And when a void in Cuba coverage existed, Val came and filled it. God bless him for it.

    Nobody stopped Fox, and nobody stopped Val. Hecklers, sure. But they and countless others were free to do their thing and find success.

    I don’t need to tell you that this isn’t quite as possible in Cuba.

    So from a structural standpoint… in terms of the context and the framework in which the marketplace of information exists and how much it is controlled by the state… we are far better off. To suggest otherwise is what I’m saying is insane. We have the right and the capacity to change those things you are complaining about relatively easily. This blog is proof. That’s why your comparisons to Cuba, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union were utter nonsense.

  10. Asombra/Freedom… I’m not failing to comprehend that. I readily acknowledge it. We are talking past each other.

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