After 32 years living in the US, I have learned that when there are signs of problems or unrest in Cuba, the US media has a tendency to ignore them or focus attention onto something else. Thereby, denying the oppressed Cuban people the opportunity to acquire the international solidarity they need to liberate themselves from the 40-year tyranny.

At times it appears that the US media – since Castro came to power – is the enemy of democracy in Cuba, therefore the enemy of Cubans.

This conclusion is not exclusively mine. Just ask any Cuban who is living in the US and has been insulted and frustrated with the garbage and pro-Castro propaganda ever present on TV and in newspapers.

Cubans on the island are also outraged to read those "reports" published in the land of freedom that relatives from abroad manage to send them. Articles riddled with deceiving information directly from the Castro regime’s "official sources". Any Cuban knows what their word is worth.

But the US media spinmeisters continue their labor of love for their idol: Fidel (and his cigars).

If only a few of these US reporters could trade places with the real reporters - the valiant independent Cuban journalists who risk their lives constantly by telling the truth.

These independent Cuban journalists are denied access to the powerful US media. Their real news is distributed only by Cuba Free Press, Carta de Cuba, Cubanet, Contanews, Infonews,, CubDest and other internet organizations for the world to know. Despite the risks taken by the reporters and efforts of their basically, grass-root distributors, they are ignored by the US media.

CNN, AP Reuters and other foreign correspondents allowed in Castro’s Cuba, have to compromise the telling of the truth in order not to be expelled and to keep their prestigious bureaus and privileges. They have to hire Cubans from the government that are "secret agents" as their staffers, chauffeurs and translators and learn to live in "bugged" offices and apartments. But they will never report any of that.

Meanwhile, a purge has been under way in Cuba since May. According to various sources, there was an attempt among the Cuban military ranks to kill Castro. Under arrest at the Finlay Military Hospital under heavy guard is counter intelligence General Pascual Martinez Campos.

Under arrest at the infamous Villa Marista is Raúl Castro’s loyalist and possibly number three man in the military, General Leopoldo Cintas Frias, in charge of the Central Army. Under house arrest are the four Baranda Columbié brothers, two generals and two colonels, whose names remain unknown at this time.

Sources say that the attempt took place at the San Antonio de los Baños air base in Havana. Other military personnel involved were killed execution-style on the spot and the runway was dynamited.

Also, a big explosion was heard at the Nuevitas Electric Power Plant where some workers were killed. Meantime, the Felton Plant is out of service and the Renté Plant in Santiago de Cuba is operating with only three of its five generators. Consequently, there was an electric blackout from the central province of Santa Clara to the eastern most province of Santiago de Cuba.

Sources said that workers - due to their exploitation, horrible living conditions and lack of food - are sabotaging these industries and others. These incidents are called "accidents" by the Castro regime. Also reported is an increase of anti-Castro graffiti and pamphlets.

But the US media is more interested in the repetitive and superficial stories about Hemingway’s Marina and daiquiris, and the Cuban cigars, luring American tourists to visit Cuba to help their buddy: Castro

Also under arrest is Manuel Limonta, head of the biotechnology program in Cuba, a pet project of Castro’s. Limonta’s arrest is considered to be due to the sale of bacteriological warfare technology to Iran by his close friend and partner, engineer Luis Herrera. But Castro, who is ultimately in control of this delicate operation, ordained those deals. It has been reported that other Cuban scientists involved in the operation are unhappy about the emphasis on the bacteriological warfare. But apparently the US media does not want to touch the fact that Castro is directly involved with this deadly type of warfare.

In addition to the substitution of foreign minister Roberto Robaina, with another of Castro’s unconditional loyalist’s, Pérez Roque - until he becomes no longer useful – Robaina’s wife, Martha García, was fired from a tourist group called Rumbos. According to a recent article of Marcelo Fernández-Zayas, "the Robainas have comfortable residences in Yucatan and Canada, and foreign bank accounts."

Robaina’s wife might be facing jail because of her association with the former governor of the province of Quintana Roos, Yucatan, Mario Villanueva. After escaping from Mexican justice accused of drug trafficking and money laundering, Villanueva set up residence in the town of Güines in Cuba, from where he still conducts his business deals. While the US media reports on fugitives living in other countries, they rarely report on the hundreds of them living in Castro’s Cuba.

Sources in Cuba say that from the beginning of the year to date, 10 Cubans have been officially executed and another 10 are awaiting the firing squad, while jails are being filled with pro-democracy and human rights activists on bogus criminal charges. The US media barely touches this sensitive-to-Castro issue.

Another "not newsworthy" incident is the 40-day hunger strike – one day per year of tyranny – that started in Havana on June 7 for the liberation of all political prisoners and demanding the respect for human rights in Cuba. The remarkable thing about this incident is that other groups throughout Cuba are joining this effort.

But of course, the US media is silent as usual, resting importance and denying international solidarity with this effort. But The CBS This Morning Show of June 15 had time to feature a Julie Chen report about a pageant of transvestites in Cuba.

Already there are some groups of Cuban exiles in the US joining their brothers in Cuba in solidarity. I hope that this solidarity will not be exclusive to Cubans, and will extend to other people of goodwill in the US and abroad.

I wish that the US media, instead of putting their efforts into discrediting the Cuban American exile community and the promotion of business, tourism and cultural exchanges under false pretenses of "people-to-people contact", realize that Cubans are from the same family whether we are trapped by Castro or free in the US. And that our aspirations are the same: freedom and democracy for all. And that the real enemy is Castro, not the people who oppose him. And that as Cubans from both sides of the Florida Strait say, "No Castro, no problem."


Agustín Blázquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton
Producer/Director of the documentary COVERING CUBA
ABIP 1999

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