Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cuba: Truth & Lies

In the U. S. media, mostly lies
With exceptions, of course:
      As I have stressed in this forum many times before, great and courageous investigative journalists, such as Tracey Eaton, are vital to the U. S. democracy. That's because the money-crazed, intimidated, and increasingly incompetent mainstream media has become a glaring weakness of the world's greatest government -- the increasingly fragile U. S. democracy. Take, for example, Cuba. The nearby Caribbean island, since the 1950s, has probably been at the forefront, more than any other topic on a day-to-day basis, in shaping the image of American around the world. Yet, the mainstream U. S. media does not have the guts or the integrity to tell the truth about U.S.-Cuban relations, thus leaving the Cuban narrative in the U. S., through two generations now, largely in the hands of a few of the most visceral and belligerent proponents of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship that was ousted way back on January 1, 1959. In this digital and 24-hour Cable News era, the cowardice and incompetence of the U. S. media regarding the impact of Cuba on America's image is particularly glaring. For those reasons, the significance of a Tracey Eaton helps elevate the Cuban narrative in the U. S. beyond its Banana Republic-like sphere. He is not only the best investigative journalist regarding Cuba but he is also one of America's greatest Cuban experts, one who regularly presents both sides of the two-sided U.S.-Cuban conundrum. His Along the Malecon website routinely features pertinent Cuban data that only he procures via the Freedom of Information guidelines. His fair-minded articles are published in USA Today, the NY Times, etc. If you rely on the mainstream U. S. media, you will get a distorted view of U.S.-Cuban relations. If you rely on someone like Tracey Eaton, you will be able to make a sound judgment about a U. S. relationship that the rest of the world often uses to make its judgments about America and democracy. This week Tracey Eaton has published a widely distributed and highly informative update on Cuba entitled "Cuba's Fate Up To Cubans, Not Americans." If you missed it, you can Google that title and derive pertinent information regarding Cuba that the mainstream U. S. media does not have the courage or integrity to provide.
      Cristina Escobar is a 28-year-old Cuban who will likely have far more to do with Cuba's future than all of the antagonistic and wealthy Cuban-Americans on U. S. soil combined. Tracey Eaton's update this week -- "Cuba's Fate Up To Cubans, Not Americans" -- followed his interview with Cristina in Cuba. Two insightful videos of that interview are already posted on YouTube, an international forum that has recently spotlighted her brilliance as a Cuban and regional broadcaster as well as her significance as a prime influence on the pivotal young generation of Cubans that will shape the fast-approaching post-Castro era.
            This is an image of Cristina Escobar taken from the interview Tracey Eaton posted on YouTube this week. There is a 15 minute, 22 second version in Spanish and also a 3 minute, 29 second version in which she speaks in Spanish but with an English translation on the screen. You will see and hear her state firmly but matter-of-factly, "I don't want the U. S. to bring me democracy." She says it not impishly, defiantly or in an anti-democratic manner but to convey her stark opinion that Cubans on the island should make such choices. She forthrightly mentions the many Cubans who have died fighting for that right. She mentions "Obama," "Congress" and the punitive "Helms-Burton Act" in the context that many in her young-adult generation of Cubans, just like her, are willing to fight to the death for the right to make their decisions as opposed to having them made for them from afar, such as by a Batistiano-dominated U. S. Congress that sicced Helms-Burton on them. The mainstream U. S. media only favors those who agree that Cuban-Americans in the U. S. Congress should dictate what Cuba is and what it will remain. Tracey Eaton presents that point of view too but, almost uniquely in the U. S., he also airs contrasting views. So, go to YouTube or some other source and hear Cristina say, "I don't want the U. S. to bring me democracy." She doesn't mean she doesn't want democracy for her beloved island; she just means she wants Cubans on the island, not self-serving exiles, to decide that phase of Cuba's existence. Cristina and her generation of Cubans are deprived by Helms-Burton and other factors, but they are also well-educated. They have heard about 1952 when supposedly the U. S., the Congress, and the Mafia brought Batistiano-style 'democracy' to the island.
          Because of an inept and cowardly U. S. media, Americans generally believe that President Obama's brave and decent efforts to normalize relations with Cuba will all be wiped away by a handful of Cuban-American anti-Castro zealots, especially the two first-term Senators -- Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio -- who are prime Republican presidential contenders. But that is over-estimating the self-serving vitriol and power of the likes of Cruz and Rubio while under-estimating the resolve of President Obama and...Cristina Escobar.
      This graphic has received much publicity throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. The "Casa Blanca" reference highlights her dramatic impact at the White House when she was in Washington to cover the last Vidal-Jacobson diplomatic session prior to the 2015 reopening of embassies in Havana and Washington for the first time since 1961. Tracey Eaton's aforementioned article this week references Cristina's Casa Blanca dominance of a White House news conference hosted by Josh Earnest, President Obama's chief spokesman. In a 14-minute span, Earnest answered six consecutive and very pertinent questions from the first Cuban journalist ever afforded such an honor. Afterward, in speeches and interviews around Washington, Cristina stressed one major theme: "Lies in the U. S. media about Cuba hurt everyday Cubans the most." At age 28 it is known that Cristina has turned down millions of dollars, as well as reportedly a free mansion in Miami, if she will defect to the U. S., where she could immediately become a top network news anchor in either English or Spanish.
         Cristina is shown above asking Josh Earnest one of those six questions at the White House news conference: "Will the U. S. continue its regime-change programs?" "Will the new U. S. embassy in Havana respect Cuba?" "Will President Obama visit Cuba in 2016?" Etc. After that very stunning news conference, Cristina, in speeches and interviews while she was still in Washington, repeatedly claimed, "The lies the U. S. media tells about Cuba hurts everyday Cubans the most." If that is not so, perhaps some brave mainstream U. S. journalist will address the issue, if even to disagree with Cristina. But don't bet on it.
       While the mainstream U. S. media doesn't want you to know who Cristina Escobar is, she is in such high demand for regional and international television interviews that she sometimes has trouble finding time for her main job -- which is being the top prime-time news anchor on Cuban television. Not only is she brilliant, she is feisty. She believes she has more freedom to tell the truth about the U. S. in Cuba than U. S. broadcasters have to tell the truth about Cuba in the U. S. And Americans should ponder her belief.
        People who watch television news in the U. S. most likely believe Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and the other four Cuban-American anti-Castro zealots in the U. S. Congress will shape post-Castro Cuba. But people who watch regional and international television news featuring Cristina Escobar most likely believe her generation of Cubans on the island will have the most to say about present and post-Castro Cuba.
        In addition to being a top-notch anchor, Cristina is one of the best television interviewers on the planet. Whether her subjects are pro-Cuba or anti-Cuba, she is unperturbed and gives vent to both sides.
        Hugo Cancio is a Cuban-American who has lived the last 35 years in Miami where he is a leading businessman. But he also has a nice office overlooking the Malecon seawall in Havana, so he divides his time between Miami and his beloved native country. Cristina Escobar {above} conducted an informative interview with Cancio. It is in English and available on YouTube where you can, and should, view it.
       In the English-language interview with Cristina, as you can see on YouTube, Cansio lamented that he and most other Cuban-Americans in Miami are not represented in the U. S. Congress because only anti-Castro zealots are elected in Miami. Cristina responded to that lament with some lamenting of her own.
Study this face. It's 100% Cuban, not 50%.
        Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, backed up by about 25 of America's richest billionaires and propped up by an incompetent and fawning mainstream U. S. media, might well squeeze out and erase much of the sanity President Obama has brought to the U.S.-Cuban quagmire. Then again, come to think of it, they might not.
      In Cuba, you see, there is a dynamic 28-year-old, Cristina Escobar, who is as protective of her island and its much-maligned people as Cruz and Rubio are of their bank accounts and their exalted political careers. She is the firewall of protection against more decades of a U. S. Cuban policy dictated by and for a mere handful of two generations of Cuban-American extremists. For five-plus decades since 1959, Cuba has doggedly remained Cuba...not a colony of imperialist powers such as Spain, the Mafia, or the United States. "Cuba's Fate Up To Cubans, Not Americans." That's the title of Tracey Eaton's article this week after his extensive interview with Cristina Escobar. Her words throughout the article and in the accompanying video oppose the vision of Cuba as espoused, unchallenged, by Cruz and Rubio in the U. S. But on the island, Cristina does challenge them. And she is a force to be reckoned with regarding what Cuba is now and what it will become in its post-Castro future.
The two profiles of Cuba's future -- Maybe!!
The Face of Cuba's future -- Probably!!
Cristina currently curiously contemplating Cuba.
Not to know her is to not know the island.


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