Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Willful blindness

Perhaps you've noticed a recurring theme in my posts lately. I'm angry at the media that most people in the civilized world get their information (and therefore form their opinions) from. I'm angry at their lazy attempts to cover Cuba, I'm angry at their complicity with the regime in printing puff pieces about fidel and his Robolución. They have intentionally closed their eyes to the REALITY of Cuban life, to the repression, the fear, the complete control the government has over the Cuban people.

In the past, let's say in the Stalinist Soviet Union, we could make excuses for this blind spot the media had. After all the Soviet Union was a huge country, where they spoke a strange language and in the 30's and 40's technology wasn't what it is today. Murders, arrests, torture, acts of repression could occur without anyone outside of the country knowing.

But in Cuba today, the situation is different. CNN has a bureau there along with the AP, Reuters and others. They know what is happening. Hell, there are hundreds of thousands of recent arrivals from Cuba that can tell you the story of what is happening there. Yet these media outlets don't wants to communicate the fact that the same exact type of Stalinist repression exists in Cuba despite the overwhelming evidence.

Oh we get an occasional story here or there, but it's molehill in comparison the mountain of propaganda that these "mainstream" media outlets facilitate.

As someone who blogs about Cuba, I have time to sift through all the garbage and bullshit to piece together a better picture, but admittedly I don't have the audience that these outlets have.

So I'm pleading with the MSM to please discard your preconceived notions of fidel as a leader all Cubans stand behind and dig deeper.

Here's a Reuters story that dramatizes the fact the castro regime fears the free flow of information. No other society in the western world would permit the amount of censorship and government control that exists in Cuba. And some would have you believe that this is what Cubans want.

Some choice excerpts:

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba's Communist government has signaled a crackdown on the use of black-market satellite dishes, just over a week after ailing leader Fidel Castro temporarily relinquished power to his brother.

The Communist Party newspaper Granma on Wednesday warned that the dishes, which many Cubans use to watch Spanish-language television programs from Miami, could be used by the U.S. government to broadcast subversive information.

Since Castro provisionally relinquished power to his brother Raul on July 31 after undergoing gastric surgery, Cubans have been anxious for more information on his condition and the political direction of their country.

Those who get black-market television by cable have watched with amazement images of Miami's exile community celebrating in the streets what they see as the end of Castro's 47-year rule.

Anecdotal accounts indicate there are more than 10,000 illegal dishes in use in Cuba. The owner of a dish usually sells the service to others -- sometimes hundreds of clients -- for $10 a month via hidden cables that crisscross roofs.
It would be obvious to the most casual reader that if the Revolution were so popular and so strong a concept among the Cuban people that fidel castro and has band of merry sycophants wouldn't have to worry about people getting information from outside the official, government-controlled channels.

Think of 10,000 dishes, each connected to 100 households. That's 1 million househoulds. If each household has 3 people in it (a very low estimate) that's 3 million people that are trying to gain access to uncensored information. More than 1/4 of the entire Cuban population. And this is an attempt by the ruling junta to keep those people even more in the dark than they are already.

We need more reporting of these very unique (to be kind) Cuban government policies and we need more commentators in the MSM analyzing what they mean. A group of bloggers alone ain't gonna cut it.

1 comment:

ziva said...

Very well said Conductor, I share your anger. It's just inexcusable. Their dereliction of responsibility to only report the truth makes them an accomplice to the regimes crimes.