Visagate: New York Public Library gave Mariela Castro a propaganda assist

That Mariela Castro claimed that Cuba, under the tyrannical boot of her father and brother for more than five decades, is a free and democratic country during her remarks in New York this past Tuesday is not a story. The Cuban dictatorship has been spewing that lie for as long as it has been a dictatorship. The real story here is how the New York Public Library lent itself to assist Mariela Castro and her family’s dictatorship to promote their lies and propaganda.

Even with ample evidence to the contrary, the New York Public Library continues to claim it did not cherry pick a friendly audience for the Cuban dictator’s daughter’s event. This in spite of the fact that not even one person who opposes the Castro regime was allowed to enter. 177 seats, and each and every one of them either empty or filled by a Castro regime sympathizer. But no, they didn’t cherry pick.

Juan Tamayo has the report in the Miami Herald:

Mariela Castro: Cuba’s electoral system is open and fair

Mariela Castro’s New York presentation draws complaints that the audience was hand-picked.

The daughter of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro has told a New York Public Library audience that her country’s electoral system is democratic and that a government apology for its past persecution of gays “would be an act of hypocrisy.”

Sexologist Mariela Castro’s appearance Tuesday at a panel on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights also drew some complaints that organizers had cherry-picked the audience to avert hostile questions or other confrontations.

When one audience member asked whether the communist government needs to apologize for its persecution of gays in the past 50 years, she reportedly replied that “to ask for forgiveness now would be an act of hypocrisy that will not change the past.”

What is needed is to “transform” society to avoid future problems, Castro argued, according to the EFE and AFP news agencies.

She also declared that Cuba’s electoral system “is so democratic that no one wants to talk about it,” although she believes that “it could be even more democratic.” The Communist Party is Cuba’s lone legal political organization.


“We understand that people are disappointed that they could not attend, but registration was done on a strictly first-come, first-serviced basis, and no one was accepted or turned away based on any factor, including political, personal or social ideologies,” she added.

But Geandy Pavón, a Cuban-born New York artist who has been highly critical of the Cuban government, said he was suspicious that almost overnight the event was changed from open-door to RSVP and then declared booked up.

“Without warning, they changed the rules of the game,” he told El Nuevo Herald. “They can control the number of people who enter” for safety and space reasons, Pavón added, “but what they should not be able to control is who can enter.”

Maria Elena Restoy, a Cuban exile who tried but could not get into Castro’s presentation, said that a man who did attend told her he had been invited by Casa de las Americas, a New York center that has long supported the Cuban government.

Other persons in the audience identified themselves as members of the Solidarity with Cuba Movement, according to journalists there. A crew from the U.S. government’s Radio-TV Marti was not allowed in.

Read the entire article HERE.

11 thoughts on “Visagate: New York Public Library gave Mariela Castro a propaganda assist”

  1. The NYPL gave Mariela Castro a platform it would not have given the daughter of a right-wing tyrant to promote daddy’s system, and it shielded and protected her the same way she would have been in Cuba. The NYPL has, therefore, soiled itself. Badly. But again, same shit, different day.

  2. The first time that I wrote to the NYPL complaining about their Mariela program, they wrote back and told me to come and to engage in civil discourse, because this was the democratic thing to do, then as the article says, almost overnight the event was changed from open-door to RSVP and then declared booked up.

    Below is a copy of the bullshit letter that the library sent me when I complained about how this was handled. As you see, they are sticking to their guns and denying any manipulation or wrongdoing:

    Thank you again for sharing your concerns. Our usual practice with the LGBT public programs is to handle seating on a first-come, first-served basis. However, due to the tremendous public interest in the event with Mariela Castro Espin, it quickly became clear that we needed to have advanced registration. There are limits to the number of people we can safely and legally fit into our auditorium, therefore to prevent turning away hundreds of people at the event – which would overwhelm the event space and upset both patrons and staff – the Library opened a registration. Advanced registration was announced and opened on our website on May 18th. Advanced registration was closed on May 22nd when we had run out of seats. The registration was conducted on a first-come, first-served basis; no one was screened out.

  3. Uh, so why were there empty seats with such huge, overwhelming interest? Why were people turned away at the door who could have filled those empty seats?

  4. Can someone use some sort of “way back machine” feature on the NYPL website to verify the dates and announcements claimed by the NYPL letter to Ray? Even if they did appear on the stated dates, that still doesn’t rule out “screening in” the desired attendees, but it’s worth checking anyway.

  5. Asombra,

    They’re bullshitting. NYPL’s first letter to me was dated May 18th, post marked May 21st and I received it on May 23rd. Yet, NYPL is saying in the 2nd letter that I posted above that advanced registration was announced on May 18th. Why didn’t he tell me that in the first letter? After all, the first letter was drafted on the same day that they decided to change entrance by requiring RSVP. Why did he tell me to come to the NYPL and engage in civil discourse and not mention that it had suddenly been changed to RSVP? That’s a pretty big point to miss, don’t you think?

    They are bullshitting. They caved in to the demands of the Cuban Mission, plain and simple and now they are not even good at covering their tracks.

  6. According to the Enrisco blog, run by a Cuban in the NY area who was following this thing pretty closely because he was planning to attend, it wasn’t until Thursday, May 24, that he found out the rules had been changed and that registration was closed. Something sure smells fishy here.

Comments are closed.