Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What the New York Times omitted from its latest article on Cuba

Addressing distortions, inaccuracies and omissions in The New York Times reporting on Cuba
Day after meeting Secretary Kerry, Dr. Biscet questioned legality of new relations

The New York Times has a terrible track record in reporting on left wing totalitarian regimes in general and Cuba in particular. The latest example was to be found in the opinion piece on August 24, 2015 by pro-Castro New York Times journalist Ernesto Londoño.

Londoño quotes some of the dissidents who met with Secretary Kerry at an informal cocktail following the official event to which they were not invited.  He fails to mention the presence of Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, who is a former prisoner of conscience who has been the subject of an hour long documentary "Oscar's Cuba" and 2007 Medal of Freedom Recipient. U2's Bono also gave a shout out to Dr. Biscet during their 2011 tour. This is a high profile and internationally recognized pro-democracy activist but he supports U.S. sanctions on the Castro regime and over twitter the day after meeting Secretary Kerry called the normalization of relations a violation of law:
Diplomatic links between USA and Cuba violates Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (Helms-Burton): Title II, Section 201(13-14); 202; 203; 204; ; 205 and 206.
Is this not newsworthy? Or the fact that on August 24, 2015 state security (G2) detained Oscar Elías Biscet and released him 20 km from his home in order to prevent him giving the presentation: Why is it that U.S. - Cuba relations violate the Libertad Act?

Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet
Even among those The New York Times reporter chooses to quote he fails to provide context. For example, he quotes Yoani Sanchez and 14 y Medio but fails to mention how she took him to task on December 6, 2014 for his editorials in The New York Times describing them as "really pitiful."  Miriam Celaya, raised a question in the same article that many Cubans who read his editorials asked themselves:
What is going on with these editorials? They are still giving prominence to a distorted, biased view, composed of half-truths and lies about what the Cuban reality is. They are still giving prominence to what a government says, and Cuba is not a government. Cuba's government today is a small group of old men, and when I say "old" it's because of their way of thinking, of individuals who have remained anchored in discourse rooted in a cold war and belligerence. The Cuban people are not represented in that government.
Both Yoani Sanchez and Miriam Celaya are Cuban dissidents who are advocates of lifting sanctions but even they have publicly questioned the work of Mr. Londoño because it does not reflect the reality in Cuba.

Finally, in the Cuban diaspora there are five Cuban American congressman and three Cuban American U.S. Senators currently in office and all of them support maintaining the embargo on Cuba and have been sharply critical of the Obama administration's Cuba policy.  

Why such sharp criticism? Because the policy has marginalized the democratic opposition while raising up narrow economic interests at the expense of the freedom of the Cuban people; it has led to a worsening human rights situation in Cuba; and the extrajudicial killings of prominent opposition leaders who were viewed as a threat by the regime because they could oversee a democratic transition. On the international front the Obama administration's policies will further endanger democracy in Latin America and U.S. national security

Inside of Cuba, a large number of opposition leaders support maintaining sanctions on the dictatorship. Unlike the anti-embargo lobby fair minded democrats recognize that there is a legitimate difference of opinion on this topic, but not on the underlying nature of the dictatorship and the need for real change. This is something that Mr. Londoño has not reflected in his reporting.


  1. So what else is new? Obama and company do favors for tyrants and do harm to our allies all the time.
    We got nothing out of this Cuban deal except enriching and enabling tyrants.

    1. Unfortunately you are right, not much is new, but calling out the propaganda campaign to make a disastrous policy look good, is a necessity.