When is the media going to learn? In a resent interview, Fidel Castro told a western reporter that Cuba's brand of communism is not working in Cuba and that the government will have to move to a more market free model. He then told a Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, that there were moments of great injustice against the gay community in his Cuba. He went on to say that he is ultimately responsible for the persecution suffered by gay people in Cuba after the revolution of 1959. "If someone is responsible, it's me," he said.
In the 1960s and 70s, many gay people in Cuba were fired, imprisoned or sent to "re-education camps". Mr. Castro said they had traditionally been discriminated against in Cuba, just as black people and women had been. Castro claims he just didn't pay enough attention to what was going on against the gay community. "At the time we were being sabotaged systematically, there were armed attacks against us, we had too many problems," said the 84-year-old Communist leader. "Keeping one step ahead of the CIA, which was paying so many traitors, was not easy."
He is quick to point out that being gay was decriminalized in 1979 and, more recently, there have been efforts to legalize same-sex unions. That claim by itself should be enough to make the media suspicious since the only “effort” required would be a word from him.
The reason all this is being discussed in an interview is because Fidel Castro and his Cuba have been accused, in the International Court of justice in The Hague, of “crimes against humanity.”
His enlightened apology has been accepted graciously by the mainstream media. The AP, Reuters and CNN picked up the story and it went media-viral. The “news” agencies to which Fidel Castro bestowed Havana “press” bureaus, indeed ran with his “apology” regarding his historic jailing, torture and murder of gays. But true to their Cuba-“reporting” the media has completely “overlooked” the World Court complaint which is what prompted the apology in the first place.
Again, true to form, the media pack followed Castro’s lead off the trail of this damaging accusation in the World Court. Again, dutiful to their mission as outlined by Castro, they rushed to bark up every wrong tree and report bald misinformation.
“Castro, 84, said he was busy in those days (repressing the Cuban people) fending off threats from the United States, including attempts on his life, and trying to maintain the revolution that put him in power in 1959,” dutifully reports (i.e. transcribes from Castro’s hand-out) Reuters.
The problem with his explanation is that the forced-labor camps and torture-chambers, for Cuban gays went up in 1965. Yet in October 1962 the U.S. vowed to “not only refrain from molesting Cuba, but to protect it.” The U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro. After Kennedy’s death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba.
As a result, intrepid Cuban exile freedom fighters, evading the massive U.S. dragnet ordered by Kennedy, moved their operations to the Bahamas. Kennedy was quickly on the phone to Harold Macmillan, alerting the British Prime Minister to the presence of the Cubans Freedom Fighters and requesting the solidarity of Her Majesty’s Navy in nabbing them. Macmillan was quick to comply.
The complaint in the World Court reads “Castro is responsible for the persecution, imprisonment in forced labor concentration camps, torture, banishment, and death of thousands of gays and lesbians. The mainstream media simply printed Reuter’s transcription of their Cuban propaganda ministry hand-out that the Castro regime decriminalized homosexual activity in 1979. Ignoring a written account by the Spanish Gay organization Fundación LGBT Reinaldo Arenas that reports tens of thousands of Cuba gays recently fined, imprisoned or forcibly deported from Havana to the countryside along with 600 HIV positive men in Cuban prisons for the crime of being HIV positive. These actions by the Cuban government has occurred long after the “1979 decriminalization.” It is an irony that Castro’s regime is so widely lauded in Hollywood, by the way, the Red-Ribbon capitol of the world.
Might the last half century have given news agencies cause to doubt a Castro pronouncement? After watching the short YouTube (below), of Fidel Castro addressing the National press club in Washington D.C. (in English, a rare honor) you be the judge.
For months by the time of the above speech, Fidel, Raul, and Che had been repairing to their respective (stolen) Havana mansions nightly and conferring with Soviet GRU Agents to button the Stalinization of Cuba. Raul Castro had been supervised by a KGB handler since 1953 and when arrested in Mexico in 1956, Ernesto ‘Che” Guevara was found to have, in his very wallet, the calling card of the KGB’s top Latin American agent, Nikolai Leonov.
That is not all. You may be about to hear a lot of praise for this same Cuban government from some of our own politicians. Yes, it's the next insane and deceptive talking point on the horizon around the country. In the same interviews, Fidel now says the Cuban government has decided to downsize, in what is being portrayed as the beginning of a move to a more market-oriented economy. Since an estimated 85 percent of Cuba's 5.5 million workers are employed by the state, this would seem to be a good idea. The island's official labor issue even made a statement saying that "our state can't keep maintaining...bloated payrolls."
While comparisons between Cuba and, say, California are ridiculous, this won't stop some people spreading the news. The talking points will write themselves:"Even the Cuban government has realized, it needs to downsize to compete, by shedding government workers. Cuban communists understand this, so why don't Californians?" and "The public employees union in Cuba is going along with reform of the public sector, but here they're fighting us."
In spite all of the massive evidence, the mainstream media has traditionally and consistently gotten it wrong about Castro. Here are just a few of the actual headlines over the years:
"This is not a Communist Revolution in any sense of the term. Fidel Castro is not only not a Communist, he is decidedly anti-Communist." (Herbert Matthews, New York Times, July 1959)
"It would be a great mistake even to intimate that Castro's Cuba has any real prospect of becoming a Soviet satellite." (Walter Lippmann, Washington Post July, 1959)
“That's a cute Puppy, Fidelito! When will you visit us again? And will that be with the beard or without the beard?" (Edward Murrow, CBS Feb. 1959).
“Castro is honest, and an honest government is something unique in Cuba. Castro is not himself even remotely a Communist.” (Newsweek, April 1959)
“We can thank our lucky stars Castro is no Communist,” (Look Magazine, March 1959)
Well, at least they are consistent. I do not know about you, but I for one, get really, really tired of how gullible the mainstream media seems so determined to remain when it comes to Señor Castro.