Cuba: The Clueless Official Press / Ivan Garcia
Posted on April 22, 2014
There is an abysmal gap between daily reality and the information
offered by a clueless official press. Never in Granma, Juventud Rebelde
(Rebel Youth) Trabajadores (Workers) or any of the 15 provincial press
organs was there news of the Castro regime's flagrant arms smuggling to
North Korea in violation of the United Nations' embargo of the Pyongyang
The boring and disoriented national press, print, radio or television,
to date, has not reported about the spaces open for dialogue by the
Catholic Church. Or local news that has had resonance, like the protest
by self-employed workers in Holguin or the unlikely walk by a nude woman
in the city of Camaguey.
They also ignore less tense or contentious matters, like the visit to
Cuba by Big League ball players Ken Griffey, Jr., and Barry Larkin or by
famous people like Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay Z.
Neither does it interest them for readers or viewers to find out that
Cuban artists and musicians resident abroad visit the island and give
performances, as in the cases of Isaac Delgado, Descemer Bueno and
Tanya, among others.
They don't even publish an article to analyze the insane prices for car
sales or internet services.
On international topics, the old trick is to show only a part of the
event. For those who only read official media and do not have access to
other sources of information, those who protest in Ukraine, Venezuela or
Turkey are terrorists or fascists.
In Cuba it was never published that the dictator Kim Jong Un summarily
executed his uncle. Likewise, they kept silent about the atrocities that
happen in the concentration camps of North Korea. And about the
degrading treatment of women in Iran.
Newsprint is usually occupied by cultural commentary and sports in an
undertone, the television schedule, optimistic news about agricultural
production or the good progress of economic reforms dictated by
President Raul Castro and his advisors.
Apparently, they considered it inopportune to inform Cubans about the
talks between the Cuban-American sugar millionaire Alfonso Fanjul and
Chancellor Bruno Rodriguez. Nor did they think it convenient for the
common people to know that Antonio Castro, the son of Fidel, plays in
Or that recently entrepreneurs with bulging wallets paid 234 thousand
dollars for a handmade Montecristo tobacco humidor at the 16th Havana
Festival where the most well known guest was the British singer Tom Jones.
Local reporting is directed by inflexible ideologies that presume that
behind the vaunted freedom of the press is hidden a "military operation
by the United States' secret services."
And they take it seriously. As if dealing with a matter of national
security. That's why the newspapers are soldiers of reporting.
For the Taliban of the Communist Party, the internet and social networks
are a modern way of selling capitalism from a distance. The new times
have caught them without many arguments. They assert they have the
truth, but the fear the citizens testing it for themselves.
Reading of certain reports should be suggested by the magnanimous State.
They think, and they believe, that naive countrymen are not prepared or
sufficiently inoculated for the propagandic venom of the world's media.
Not even Raul Castro has managed to break the stubborn censorship and
habitual torpor of the official press. For years, Castro has spoken of
turning the press into something believable, entertaining and
attractive. But nothing has changed.
Destined for foreign consumption, official web pages and blogs have been
opened. With their own voice they try to promote the illusion of an
opening. The warriors of the word are for domestic consumption.
Photo: Taken from the Cuadernos de Cuba blog.
Translated by mlk.
26 March 2014
Source: Cuba: The Clueless Official Press / Ivan Garcia | Translating