Monday, July 24, 2017

Cuban, American Realities

Intersect With Media Comparisons!!
      A prime example of the current status of the very influential broadcast media in the United States is Megyn Kelly. She was recently lured from Fox News to NBC thanks to a long-time contract that guarantees her about $20-million-a-year from salary alone. Kelly at Fox News was in the right place at the right time when successful presidential candidate Donald Trump demeaned her femininity and her broadcasting credentials with one of his crude narcissistic comments. The resulting outrage elevated Kelly's fame beyond the loyal conservative base at Fox all the way to the even more lucrative deal at the anti-Trump liberal-minded NBC behemoth.
      A prime example of the current status of the very influential broadcasting media in Cuba is Cristina Escobar. Although she might be...and probably is...the best broadcast journalist on either side of the Florida Straits, Escobar does not make $20 million a year. But she is far more popular and far more influential in Cuba than Megyn Kelly or any other broadcaster is in the United States. And that renown has helped Escobar to make history as the only Cuban to participate in and also dominate a White House news conference. She is also the only Cuban broadcaster to make speeches at U. S. universities related to both journalism and to torrid United States-Cuban relations.
      When Cristina Escobar is not on the air broadcasting in Cuba, she herself is in high demand for interviews. In a high-profile video-taped interview conducted in Havana by Tracey Eaton...still readily available on YouTube, the Pulitzer Center website, etc...Escobar, with a strong conviction, said, "Cuba's fate is up to Cubans on the island, not Cubans in Miami and Washington." She has also raised eyebrows in the United States with comments such as: "Journalists in Cuba have more freedom to tell the truth about the U. S. than U. S. journalists have to tell the truth about Cuba."
     The salary and net worth of America's broadcast journalists, such as Megyn Kelly, are usually predicated on such assets as their celebrity, notoriety, beauty, punditry or other ratings-grabbing nuances. And recently broadcast journalism in the U. S. seems obsessed with being either extreme liberal or extreme conservative propaganda outfits...such as currently being strictly anti-Trump or pro-Trump...with not even a pretense of actually covering news events when broadcast monopolies in the hands of a few can fill its sets with in-house and hugely obnoxious propaganda pundits. 
     But to be fair, NBC has at least installed its high-priced anchor Megyn Kelly in the prime 7:00 P.M. Sunday night slot and the multi-billion-dollar network backs her informative hour with superbly researched journalistic reports by outstanding journalists such as Harry Smith. Thus, Kelly had only to read a Teleprompter on July 23rd-2017 to introduce Harry Smith taking renowned baseball manager Joe Madden back to his hometown of Hazeltown, Pennsylvania. Madden explains and shows how the city has changed from his childhood when it was a safe and prosperous American city. Then jobs were lost, many sent to lower-wage nations like Mexico. Not only poverty but crime inundated Hazeltown, fueling vicious Spanish gangs that created racial tensions and, all too often, violence. Madden decided to team with other rich liberals and revive lavishing expensive programs and other incentives on the 50% Spanish population. In the report one white lady asked why whites, many of them poorer than the Hispanics, were never included in such incentive-fueled projects. Injecting that question into the Smith-Madden report from Hazeltown made for good journalism, not propaganda. The same July 23rd Megyn Kelly hour also featured a report on a beautiful young actress who amazingly explained that her recent near-fatal bout with breast cancer was "the best thing" that had ever happened to her. Her reasoning was not so amazing: She believed the physical and emotional trauma had awakened her to the even-more-deadly-and-destructive path she had been on. Healthy people tend not to believe such comments but many people with severe physical disabilities believed and understood that young actress, I believe. That includes me. And it includes a dear, severely disabled friend who sincerely says that the reaction of healthy people to her disability is by far her worst problem because she has learned to cope with her disability but not with the reactions of healthy people, including those closest to her. So, when a broadcast entity in the U. S. sheds its role as a propaganda/pundit-laced machine to air programs like Megyn Kelly's new NBC hour, there is hope for America's broadcast industry.
     Meanwhile, Cuba's superstar broadcast journalist Cristina Escobar is not far...if at in her succinct comparison of the industry on her island with that in the United States. As in the U. S., on state television in Cuba she is not at all adverse to criticizing the state if she thinks everyday Cubans are not being fairly treated. Also, if the bilingual Escobar's convictions were not genuine she would probably be a high-priced television anchor in Miami or New York. Indeed, NBC's highly respected top Foreign Correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, is one of Escobar's many American admirers. Also, it is known by both American and Cuban insiders that, following her coverage in Washington of the important Vidal-Jacobson diplomatic session, Escobar received...but never considered...lucrative offers from rich broadcasters in Miami. One of her most salient comments on the YouTube-Eaton tape chastised Americans for believing the propaganda they have been told about Cubans on the island, depicting them only as "rum-drinkers hopping into 1950s convertibles." Instead, Escobar described her fellow typical Cubans as extremely intelligent and well-educated free-thinkers who love their island. More than once, in Cuba and in the U. S.  -- including at two universities in Alabama -- Escobar has said: "As a journalist in Cuba I wouldn't dare lie to or mislead the Cuban people about Cuba or the U. S. because I respect journalism and because I respect the intelligence of the Cuban people. That is why I am surprised that U. S. journalists can get away with lying about Cuba both routinely and purposefully."
     When prominent Cuban-Americans, like Hugo Cancio, arrive in Cuba they are often interviewed by Cristina Escobar whether they are for or against her Revolutionary-ruled island. Hugo was born in Cuba in 1964 but since the 1980s has been a high-profile businessman in Miami. In the above interview, Hugo told Cristina, "Most Cuban-Americans even in Miami favor normal relations with Cuba as I do, but we -- even in the majority -- are not represented by the electoral process. And therefore only counter-revolutionary extremists can get elected to the U. S. Congress from Miami."
      If a well-known Cuban-American like Hugo Cancio can make such comments to Cristina Escobar on one of his many travels to Cuba, Cristina has every right to question Miami's democracy and to question why the mainstream United States media is neither democratic enough or, perhaps, brave enough to interview someone like Hugo Cancio. For sure, counter-revolutionary zealots and anti-Cuban propaganda pundits are readily afforded 24-hour airtime to vent vicious attacks about Cuba.
      Most Cuban-Americans even in Miami, as Hugo Cancio told Cristina Escobar in Cuba, favor normal relations with Cuba but they complain that their voices are not heard by the elected politicians nor by the mainstream media in the United States.
       Decade after decade since 1959 the U. S. has allowed only counter-revolutionary zealots like Marco Rubio -- the Senator from Miami -- to dictate America's Cuban policy just as strenuously as the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship dictated Cuban policy from 1952 till it was chased to Miami's Little Havana in January of 1959. Today Cubans like Cristina Escobar blame Rubio more than anyone else for continuing to punish everyday Cubans from his Miami mansion and from his exalted seat in the U. S. Senate. Rubio, of course, got to the Senate still claiming that his parents escaped the Castro tyranny for the freedom of Miami, at least till it was revealed that his parents escaped the Batista tyranny in Cuba before Americans heard about Castro. Also, one of America's most respected investigative journalists, Ken Silverstein, has penned a deeply researched article, replete with names of key Rubio associates, that paints Rubio as the most corrupt presidential candidate in America's history, a position he will aspire to again in the 2020 election. Meanwhile, while denying Hugo Cancio airtime, the U. S. mainstream media affords Rubio and his ilk all the airtime they desire to assail Cuba. Rubio has never been to Cuba but his political and economic fortunes in Miami are tied to hurting Cubans.
       A simple "Ken Silverstein Rubio Article" Google search will take you to the entire article, which is one you should read.
    The mainstream U. S. broadcast media is simply a propaganda machine, like the above defense for Rubio concerning one of the many, many things he is accused of by Silverstein and others.
     And Rubio can create "Breaking News" headlines anytime he wants to rant against Cuba by using the mainstream U. S. propaganda machines where he never worries about rebuttals.
       Like her friend and colleague Cristina Escobar, Rosy Amaro Perez blames Cuban-American benefactors like Rubio the most for assaulting her beloved island while hiding behind the skirts of the world superpower. And whether it's Republicans like Senator Jesse Helms of Helms-Burton fame or Republican Presidents like the Bushes or Trump, Rosy is quite aware that it is "easy as pie" in the U. S. to "solicit unsavory and powerful allies who also benefit politically and economically from assaulting Cuba." Like most Cubans on the island, Rosy watched Trump's June 16th speech delivered in the Bay of Pigs Artime building in Little Havana in which Trump railed against Cuba as the prelude to signing a bill overturning positive Cuban advances made by former President Barack Obama. Then on her Facebook page Rosy wrote: "I've lived in Cuba all my life and I do not know the Cuba Trump talked about."
      I believe that Rosy Amaro Perez epitomizes the typical young-adult Cuban that Cristina Escobar went to great lengths to describe on that YouTube-Tracey Eaton tape. In other words, Rosy is smart, well-educated, healthy, focused, and very much a supporter of the Cuban Revolution and Cuba's sovereignty. Rosy like all Cubans has had totally free health care all her life...with no worries about outrageous health insurance or hospital bills. Rosy like all Cubans who want it received a totally free and excellent education through college. She's never had to worry about student loans but she's read in USA Today that U. S. students are having a hard-time repaying $1.3 trillion in student loans. Meanwhile, Rosy is also aware that someone like Rubio can starkly demean Revolutionary Cuba while lavishly implying that Batista's Cuba treated everyday Cubans as kindly as Mother Teresa would have treated them.
 Rosy Amaro Perez: a skilled broadcaster.
Rosy Amaro Perez: A devoted mother.
In identical dresses: Rosy & her daughter.
Rosy' daughter.
       On U. S. television and in the U. S. Congress, without any fear of being contradicted, Rubio claims he is more concerned about everyday Cubans than true Cubans like Rosy Amaro Perez are. Rosy, shown above on the pinto, not only contradicts Rubio, she says he benefits from such lies and in America he has no reason to stop them. Rubio's rants vs. Rosy's smiles define U.S.-Cuban relations.
Whether Americans believe Rubio...
who has never been to Cuba...
or believe Rosy Amaro Perez...
who has lived in Cuba all her life...
Americans finally need to realize
there are two sides
to the U.S.-Cuban conundrum. 
And Rosy's smile represents one side.

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