By Hugo J. Byrne


Dear Sirs:

The sentencing to life in prison for two Castro spies by a Florida Federal Court last week was to any objective reporter the most relevant news item vis-à-vis Castro and Cuba for the month of December and perhaps for the year. The spies, confronted with overwhelming evidence of their guilt, were convicted of conspiracy in the murder of four Cuban Americans pilots over international waters in 1996. Three of the slain pilots were U.S. citizens. Some members of the jury convicting the pair -a jury stripped of Cuban Americans at the request of the defense lawyers- applauded the sentence.

Not surprisingly, Time choose not to cover the story. Instead, Time Dec. 24 issue published a piece by Tim Padgett about how the trade embargo on Castro was sliced by our first shipping of grain to Cuba since 1963. The story was highlighted by the image of the bearded communist caudillo in his Sunday best, and the opportunity was not lost to characterize one more time the Cuban American leaders opposing trade with the Anti American dictator as "hard line."

How those working against 43 years of one party and one individual "diktat" over millions of people should de called "hard line", while the misdeeds of a thug who vowed last May to "bring America to its knees" be silenced, is mind boggling.

Is that Time's version of "objective, ethical and fair journalism"?

Hugo J. Byrne
December 2001

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