THE MOTHER OF ALL BLOCKADES: THE REPORTER INCIDENT
The following encounter with an American reporter seems to illustrate a pattern followed by the US media with regards to their reports on Cuba.
The Mother of All Viruses was the title of a report I saw on television on December 22, 1998. It brought to mind a presentation I attended on October 28, 1997, at the Rayburn Congressional Office Building on Capitol Hill where I met Dr. Manuel Cereijo, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida International University.
On that occasion, Dr. Cereijo presented his paper Castro: A Threat to the Security of the United States, which I wrote about for my weekly column in a local newspaper. Among the concerns Dr. Cereijo raises in his paper is that, Cuba – with Russia’s complicity – has completed the construction of a base in Bejucal near Havana which has been in operation since March 1997. The equipment for this base was brought secretly from the port of Riga, in Latvia, formerly part of the Soviet Union.
The most important function for this base is the interruption of commercial and military computer communications in the US. Cuba, following the former Soviet Union’s KGB, is developing and distributing computer viruses.
According to Dr. Cereijo, "In 1991, a highly restricted project was undertaken by a group within the Military Intelligence Directorate of Cuba’s Ministry of the Armed Forces. Major Guillermo Bello and his wife Sara María Jordan, a Colonel, are in charge of these activities on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior," – which in Castro’s Cuba, is in charge of repression.
Major Bello and Colonel Jordan were instructed to obtain information to develop computer viruses to infect US civilian computers. The most important computer engineers and scientists in Cuba, such as Sergio Suarez, Amado García and José Luis Presmanes, have been working on this project since 1991.
Two persons I know in the US told me that because of their activities favoring democracy in Cuba, they received damaging computer viruses.
Based on the information I had, I decided to contact the reporter who filed that television report. I gave him the information I had and directed him to Dr. Cereijo. The next day I received an email from him saying, "Thank you for this detailed information. I will follow up."
In March I received information about some specific viruses being sent from Cuba, and since I was under the impression he was interested in following up his December 1998 report, I looked for his email address and forwarded the information to him. A few days later, I received Dr. Cereijo’s, February update which I also forwarded.
To my surprise, the next day, March 26, I received from the reporter a cryptic note saying, "PLEASE REMOVE FROM MAILING LIST." Since he never was on my mailing list, the only additional thing he will ever receive from me is this article.
This incident seems to prove again that the US media is not interested in uncovering anything that could damage the false image that it so diligently helped Castro create.
Have you ever seen on 60 Minutes, 20/20, Primetime Live, Dateline or any other American television show an expose about Castro’s spying in the US, narcotrafficking or his involvement with bacteriological warfare and computer viruses?
Have you ever seen on television an investigative report about Castro’s institutional violation of human rights or an interview with one of his thousands of former political prisoners who live in the US? Have you ever seen a report about the political prisoners in Cuba being forced to endure electroshock, psychotropic drugs and other tortures? Have you ever seen an expose on Cuba’s high rate of suicide, abortion and the sale of fetal tissue for experimentation abroad?
Have you ever seen a report about the (at least) 31 Americans killed in Cuba after Castro and why their bodies have not been returned to the US?
Have you ever seen on television a report about the forced exile of dissidents inside Cuba? Have you ever seen an expose about the water and air pollution and degradation of the environment brought about by Castro’s crazy projects and neglect? Have you seen a report on a real Cuban hospital, where the average citizen has to go?
Normally, what we see in those superficial shows are the showcase hospitals for Castro’s elite and the foreigners. Or the showcase "Cultural Exchanges" attended only by Castro’s elite. Or the showcase schools and other fallacious "accomplishments" portraying a false image of the reality that Cubans have been facing for 40 years.
Can anyone imagine how insulting it is to a Cuban, who has grown up there and is very much acquainted with the history and the environment seeing those distorted views of their very own lives?
But it appears that the media is only interested in the misleading image. They make more money being sweet to Castro. It is more fashionable and they get better access to Cuba for nice vacations in places forbidden by Castro’s apartheid to the average Cuban. They can eat and drink what the little Cubans cannot. They become part of the elite and feel superior. And with good behavior, they can even get an interview with Castro to advance their career. Money talks.
So American reporters are not interested in exposing the thousands of skeletons in Castro’s closet. That is why it has been so difficult to get the truth published. The people who want democracy for Cuba are fighting against a wall bigger than the wall of China. The US media has a blockade more damaging to the Cuban people than the US embargo could ever be.
Agustín Blázquez, Producer/Director of the documentary COVERING CUBA
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