A new day has arrived at the Washington Post

Jeff Bezos

Now that billionaire Jeff Bezos has purchased The Washington Post, Eugene Robinson likes to remind us of one of the seven principles for the conduct of a newspaper under the previous regime – “the newspaper’s duty is to its readers and to the public at large, and not to the private interests of its owner.” (August 8).

Well, I agree with the principle that Mr. Robinson looks up to, but neither Mr. Robinson nor the Post’s previous owners lived by it. The views of Cuban-Americans were never considered, and, at times, ridiculed by the Post. Cuban-Americans were called all kinds of pejoratives — from members of the Cuban Miami Mafia to Batista sympathizers. During the Elian Gonzalez saga, American editorial cartoonist Herblock published a cartoon in the Post where he called for offering Cuban-Americans a one-way ticket to Cuba for those disagreeing with the official Washington, DC view. Obviously, Mr. Herblock forgot about the right to freedom of speech embedded in the First Amendment of our Constitution. And, Mr. Robinson authored an op-ed in 2010 where he complained about the extra screening rules for airline passengers and argued that passengers coming to the United States from Cuba should be exempted from these rules because Cuba “presents a threat of terrorism that can be measured at precisely zero.” Really?!! To my knowledge, Mr. Robinson has not written an op-ed reacting to the seizure of a North Korean ship in the Panama Canal in July 2013 that was carrying Cuban weapons hidden underneath a cargo of sugar. He must still believe that Cuba presents no threat to the free world!
There were plenty of Cuban-Americans, including me, who sent letters to the editors to rebut the views on Cuba in the Post. Only a few were published.

I think that Eugene Robinson et al. should realize that a new day has come to the Washington Post. You see, Jeff Bezos, since he was four, was raised by a Cuban-American father. Jeff attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School, where he had an opportunity to see the many accomplishments of Cuban-American political refugees who came to this country with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Cuban-Americans will finally get the air-time that they were denied by the previous owners and op-ed authors like Mr. Robinson. Welcome aboard, Jeff Bezos!

18 thoughts on “A new day has arrived at the Washington Post”

  1. Let’s remember that Jeff Bezos describes himself politically as a “Libertarian,” has donated ten times as much money to the Democrats than to the Republicans, and has financially supported gay marriage. I don’t foresee any major political policy change at the Washington Post; the capital already has the conservative Washington Times. Bezos will most likely introduce innovative ways to promote online advertising and subscriptions to stop the $75 million yearly loss the Post has been recently having. Good luck to Michael Sallah, former investigative editor at the Miami Herald, who bailed out of there after five years and moved to the Post last year. He was one of a long line of talented reporters who flee the Herald after winning awards and leave behind aged and jaded journalists. This “Bezos is sympathetic to Cuban Americans” rhetoric, also published in the Diario las Americas, reminds me of those who said that President Nixon was going to liberate Cuba because he had a Cuban cook and later believed that presidents Reagan and Bush would overthrow the Castro dictatorship.

  2. Ditto Henry and Antonio. I hate to say this, but there are plenty of younger Cuban Americans who are clueless. They go to the same schools, and are a product of the same culture as the rest of American youth. They want a free Cuba as an abstract idea, but at the same time buy into plenty of the lies and propaganda.

  3. I have little faith in Cubans. Time and time again, Cuban Americans in positon of influence and power have betrayed the community in order to either not rock the boat, make money or kiss up to the “liberal” power establishment. Classic case in point: Gloria Estefan with MIDEM and Santana, etc., Jorge Mas Santos [for destroying CANF], and wasn’t the former President of FIU, a Cuban American? If remember correctly, one of the most vicious and racist anti-cuban editorials [cringe worthy actually] I ever read during the Elian debacle was written by a Cuban American editor at the Chicago Tribune. And then there is the long list of Cuban American acdemians that we know about [Lisandro Perez, Grenier, Alejandro Portes, Perez-Stable, etc.]

    Let’s hope that Mr. Bezos is different, but I won’t hold my breath.

  4. The former president of FIU was the wimpish Modesto Maidique, who turned that institution into a refuge of pro-Castro academics and spies with a Center for Castroite propaganda. Maidique inherited his bad judgement from his father, Senator Modesto Maidique, who in 1931 challenged Senator Rogerio Zayas Bazan to a duel, murdered him from ambush and fled the country, returning years later under an amnesty. The articles appear here
    Months before the FIU president was born in 1941, his father was assassinated in reprisal for the murder of Zayas Bazan.

  5. I doubt Robinson would go on like this if the new owner were somebody like Ted Turner, and if he doesn’t think owner bias was a problem under Graham, he’s either very dense or full of it. In any case, don’t count any chickens before they’re hatched. I’ll believe in a significant change in WaPo conduct if and when I see it, and I mean consistently, not herky-jerky or “una de cal y otra de arena” like the Miami Herald (which is apparently still trying to fine-tune how often and how much it can afford to display its contempt and disrespect for “those people”).

    And don’t worry, Henry, nobody’s forgetting Oldfart, I mean Oliphant, and his vile little piece of defecation, I mean defamation, which reeked of malicious bad faith (though I seriously doubt it would have bothered Robinson). Oliphant, of course, is nothing without enablers like WaPo–and no, I won’t forgive them, certainly not without an apology, which of course is not forthcoming. Hell, we still haven’t had a proper apology for Herbert Matthews, who did infinitely more harm than that Australian asshole (as Fidel Castro himself publicly acknowledged).

    Bottom line: wait and see, but definitely don’t hold your breath. I suspect it’ll be pretty much the same dog with a new collar.

  6. The problem with someone like Herblock is not that he wants “those people” to “go back where they came from,” but that he’d never dare to express that about, say, Mexican immigrants, not even illegal ones, not even if he disliked them as much as he evidently dislikes Cubans. He wouldn’t dare because it’d cost him, but bashing Cubans is as safe as houses and he knows it. It’s called a cheap shot. Very–and it discredits him completely.

  7. So it sounds like Maidique’s father was seriously dishonorable, and what Maidique presided over at FIU was certainly dishonorable. Perhaps he was no worse than an indolent, easily duped and manipulated fool, but his FIU tenure remains a disgrace. I always found him painful just to look at, and I’m not just talking aesthetics. He looked like a comemierda or a very dopey-looking zorro, possibly a “gatica de Maria Ramos, que tira la piedra y esconde la mano.” If nothing else, we’re talking embarrassment.

  8. Even Bezos will not be able to make the WAPost pay if the content of this rag continues to be so weak and propagandistic. And since Bezos leans liberal far more than libertarian, I doubt the content will change much. They’ll try to make it appear as if big changes are happening, they’ll give it a whole new look (ain’t that pretty?) but it will still be the same disgraceful Enemedia rag that has outraged us Cubans time and time again. Don’t expect it to change.

  9. Setting the Record Straight: As Henry pointed out, it was Australian cartoonist Pat Oliphant who drew the offensive anti Cuban exile cartoon in 2007. It was not leftist cartoonist Herbert Lawrence Block (Herblock), who died in 2001.

  10. In brief; There’s no financial or societal reason whatsoever for the WaPo to change its anti-Cuban-exile slant. So it wont change. I seriously doubt somebody like Bezos wants to be associated with hideous “CHUSMAS!”

  11. Antonio, there’s been more than one offensive anti-exile cartoon. The one referred to in this post came out during the Elián crisis, and it was by Herblock. The basic nastiness behind it was very similar to Oliphant’s, except that the latter went even further and implied “those people” were just a bunch of disgruntled geriatric batistianos. In both cases, what would never fly for any “proper” minority was deemed perfectly acceptable, because bashing “those people” is totally PC–and the bashers will not only get away with it but even gain from it. It’s a pretty good racket.

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