Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Unbelievers on Cuba

Cubans celebrate their President's 80th birthday (against his wishes) with a massive concert.

Even though the much awaited proof about Fidel Castro's fate has been presented, Washington DC and Miami seem to still be reading off the wrong script. In the power circles of both cities Cuba always lies and here was an obvious example. To most Cuban-Americans interviewed on the radio or in press, Castro was either dead, gravely ill or setting a trap.

Miami radio and blogs called the photos fakes as soon as they came out. Media outlets picked up on the (non) story. Now Tony Snow, foxy White House press secretary, has called the first photograph of Castro "the cheesy Photoshop picture." After Rueters recent embarressing photoshopping scandel - as well as the much lesser known scandel involving Miami's La Nueva Herald (Miami Herald's sister rag) such accusations are serious business. But when slandering Cuba, facts are never needed.

With the recent release of the Castro-Chavez video, it seems this BS can finally be put to rest. Fidel seems weakened, speaking softly, eating milkshakes - but alert, funny, and in good spirits. He appears able to begin working via the phone very soon and will be back in no time (I knew I should have placed a wager on it.)

I have to say that the international mainstream press working in Cuba did a pretty decent job since the news getting the voice of the Cuban people themselves, heard. Even though I'm sure they were exactly what their editors back home wanted. No more than a couple interviewed (out of dozens) expressed any skepticism of the official line - even fewer showed any signs of happiness or spoke positively of change. After the video, there is no doubt they were right to believe in their leaders.


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