Cuba Boots Foreign Reporters

by Humberto Fontova

The Castro Corporation (also known as Cuba) handed out some walking papers last month. Gary Marx of The Chicago Tribune, Stephen Gibbs, of the BBC, and César González-Calero,of the Mexican newspaper El Universal, were all served with their pink slips, announcing that their services were no longer needed.

Their contributions in the past were certainly noted but lately their performances had fallen short of the code expected of all Castro Corporation employees, or "associates"as current corporate lingo prefers. Their lack of objectivity” was the official cause for termination.

Apparently no severance package was offered. These employees were guilty of dereliction and backsliding. Rather than "team-players,"they'd become malcontents and whiners. If they sought employment with the Kim Jong-il Corporation, for instance, no reference would be provided by their ungrateful Cuban employers.

These things happen in the rough and tumble world of business. The Castro Corporation,after all, has investors like any other and they expect a return on their investment. Any corporate associates without their shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone,and the properly gung-ho attitude has no place on the Castro "team" and should seek employment elsewhere.

The Castro regime is a corporation in every bit in the sense as the Al Quaeda and the Cosa Nostra corporations. "Michael!" gushed Hyman Roth to Mikey Corleone. "We're bigger than U.S. Steel"

More relevant to this issue was Mikey's inquiry of family consiglieri Tom Hagen when he was planning to off police Chief Mc Cluskey and wanted the proper media spin. " We've got reporters on the payroll right Tom?" And Tom nodded in quick agreement.

Regarding reporters on the payroll, the Castro corporation--for going on half a century now-- could teach much to the Corleone family.

Perhaps the stellar records of other Castro Corporation team players might have been showcased to these miscreant employees as role-models.

Take Ed Murrow: "That's a cute puppy, Fidelito!"

Take the New York Times Herbert Matthews: Anything and everything he wrote.

Take Barbara Walters : (Castro's) personal magnetism is still powerful, his presence is still commanding. Cuba has very high literacy, and you (Castro)have brought great health to your country."

Here's NBC's Andrea Mitchell: "Castro is old-fashioned, courtly – even paternal…a thoroughly fascinating figure."

Here's CNN's Lucia Newman on a Cuban "election": "No dubious campaign spending here. No mud slinging, and even less doubt about the outcome in elections where there is no competition — a system President Castro boasts is the most democratic and cleanest in the world.”

No hint of tongue protruding into cheek during Newman's report. Instead her eyes looked like a child's on Christmas morning. "In Cuba we will be given total freedom to do what we want and to work without any censorship." She stressed while accepting the CNN assignment in 1997. (For the record, last year Lucia Newman left CNN and went to work for Al Jazeera.)

Here's Peter Jennings: "Castro has delivered the most to those who had the least. Medical care was once for the privileged few. Today it is available to every Cuban and it is free. Some of Cuba’s health care is world class."

Geraldo Rivera is not to be outdone, even by Steven Speilberg: (Castro) is a towering historic figure. Meeting and interviewing him was one of the most memorable experiences of a young reporter's life."

More memorable even than excavating Al Capone's tomb, Mr Rivera? Than disclosing the contents (dirt) to a gaping and panting national audience, Mr Rivera?

All the above, you may be sure, have been acclaimed with many kudus during the Castro Corporation's annual meeting and awards ceremony.

The Castro corporations recent "downsizing" did not affect The Associated Press nor Reuters. No pointy in closing down multinational subsidiaries of the Castro Corporation who still produce and who still perform with a the winning attitude of CC associate, as enshrined in the Castro Corporation’s mission statement.

Take the AP's Vanessa Arrington: " safe streets, a rich and accessible cultural life, a leisurely lifestyle to enjoy with family and friends....For all its flaws, life in Castro’s Cuba has its comforts, and unknown alternatives are not automatically more attractive."

Take the AP's Anita Snow just last week reporting on the Castro Corporation's campaign to get five of its convicted spies released form U.S. prisons: "While the so-called "Wasp Network" spy ring obtained no U.S. secrets, federal prosecutors argued for stiff sentences."

In fact, the FBI's affidavit lists these Castro agents' activities. Among them:

Gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, the McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Florida.

Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command's top officers, along with those of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica.

Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.

Sending letter bombs to Cuban-Americans.

Spying on McDill Air Force Base, the U.S. armed forces' worldwide headquarters for fighting "low-intensity" conflicts.

Locating entry points into Florida for smuggling explosive material.

At the bail hearings for the Cuba Five, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Carolyn Heck Miller said the urgency to act on the case was because "the defendant has made allusions to the prospect of sabotage against buildings and airplanes in the Southern District of Florida."

You will search the AP report in vain for any mention of this. But Mrs Snow does tug at our heartstrings with the pleadings of one of these spies' daughters from Cuba:

"She thinks it's great to see her dad on the billboards, but she'd rather see her dad at home. That's the logical place for her dad to be."

The Castro Corporation--with firing-squads, prison beatings and starvings, with drownings and shark attacks, has killed 102,000 Cubans. Virtually every Cuban-American family has relatives kidnapped and held-ransom by the Castro Corporation. Mrs Anita Snow could pick from thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of daughters whose fathers were murdered by firing squads and whose fathers and grandfathers served the longest terms of political incarceration and torture in modern history.

But no, the Associated Press instead showcased the bogus bleatings from a spokesperson for a murderous Stalinist regime for her article.

Such a gung-ho attitude for the Castro Corporation certainly demands a promotion. The AP's position in Cuba now is secure--indeed, it has tenure.

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