Cuban Dissidents Have Long Distrusted AP's Correspondents

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
As questions continue to arise about the AP's most recent attack on Cuba democracy programs, it's important to remember that there has long been concern about the AP's reporting team in Havana.

As Cuban independent journalist, Yoani Sanchez, wrote in Foreign Policy (October 2011):

"The dilemma of foreign correspondents -- popularly called 'foreign collaborators' -- is whether to make concessions in reporting in order to stay in the country, or to narrate the reality and face expulsion. The major international media want to be here when the long-awaited "zero day" arrives -- the day the Castro regime finally makes its exit from history. For years, journalists have worked to keep their positions so they will be here to file their reports with two pages of photos, testimonies from emotional people, and reports of colored flags flapping all over the place."

That same year, Cuban blogger Miriam Celaya also wrote:

"An article by a foreign news agency recently reported on the Internet, 'Cuban Dissidents at a Crossroads' by Paul Haven and Andrea Rodríguez of the Associated Press, suffers from, at least, two of the most common and serious limitations of accredited journalism in Cuba: contempt for the nationals of this Island and an almost total disregard for the history and idiosyncrasies of the country about which they aim to 'inform.'"

And, as we're reminded by Notes from the Cuba Exile Quarter:

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas,on September 20, 2011 videotaped his interview with Andrea Rodriguez of the Associated Press and released it because he believed that what he had told her was not fairly reflected in the article she had written.  In the interview he described how victims in Cuba are criticized because no one dare criticize the executioner and offered a critique that Ms. Rodriguez did not publish:

"There is a real 'moral inversion,' in what the foreign media, intellectual circles, ecclesiastical circles, diplomats and politicians are doing against the people of Cuba and against the dissident right now. They judge the persecuted, the poor, those who are silenced, but they do not dare to judge the government."