Pro-Castro Group Takes Aim at Menendez

Friday, February 22, 2013
This morning, journalist Tracey Eaton wrote a post in his blog, Along the Malecon, about Dr. Salomon Melgen and the Federal Aviation Administration.

It was clearly an indirect hit-piece on U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

There was no mention of Cuba or Cuba policy, which is the focus of Eaton's blog.

Eaton is a generally thoughtful person.  He's done some great interviews with Cuban pro-democracy activists on and off the island. However, his main focus (or target) are democracy programs, which he feels are secretive and he's strongly opposed to.

We disagree, but fair enough. Yet, today's post seemed out of his usual context.

Then, a few hours later, the weekly "news blast" from The Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) came out.

Curiously, in a week full of interesting Cuba news -- Senator Leahy's delegation in Havana (and an Iranian one), blogger Yoani Sanchez's trip to Brazil, human rights activist Rosa Maria Paya's speech in Geneva, the state-sponsors of terrorism debate -- it was focused on Dr. Melgen and the FAA (FAA).

And then, the kicker:  "In 'Doctor now flying under the radar,' Tracey Eaton, an investigative reporter with whom our organization is working, has posted a detailed piece about Dr. Melgen..."

The Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) is a Washington, D.C.-based group, with "unique" access to Castro regime officials, which hosts trips to Cuba for Members of Congress and their staff. They also serve as a public relations tool for the Cuban dictatorship, whether in leading effort to release the so-called "Cuban Five," to unconditionally normalization relations, to sweeping human rights abuses under the rug.

By the way, we don't use the "pro-Castro" label loosely -- here's CDA's Assistant Director lauding Fidel Castro "as an inspiration for developing countries," praising Che Guevara as "Latin America's greatest 20th century hero," validating Castro's "elections," explaining how to "revitalize" socialism in Cuba and inviting everyone to join the "Bolivarian Revolution."

They are now obviously targeting Senator Menendez, who is a strong opponent of Castro's dictatorship.

Now back to Tracey.

Why not disclose to your readers that you are working with this pro-Castro group on Menendez hit pieces?

You don't have to.  After all, it's a free country and -- as a private citizen -- you can write, disclose or not disclose, whatever you'd like.

But then spare us the sanctimony.

UPDATE: Tracey Easton has posted a clarification here.