More Criticism of AP's Havana Bureau

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Excerpt by Cuban democracy leader, Manuel Cuesta Morua, in 14ymedio:

(It's worth reading the entire article, entitled "The AP Calls Us 'Mercenaries'," here.)

The AP establishes an equivalence between a dictatorship and a democracy, as if the criminal codes between both were interchangeable and the punishments they hand out were within the same category. Due to the perversity of pandering to the rhetoric of dictatorships, many times the press of democratic countries tries to appear aseptic and condemn people like Alan Gross -- whom everyone knows was not in any condition to subvert a regime -- to ostracism by omission and journalistic trivialities.

Hence the trivialization of evil that the AP always incurs when referring to the pro-democracy activists. It’s interesting that in all their stories appear the term “mercenary,” a label the Government assigns to its opponents. But doesn't the AP know that “mercenary” -- as defined in the Cuban penal code -- does not apply to any of the actions by those of us whom it calls "mercenaries"? Dictatorships are not rigorous with words, an imponderable for its specious domination over its citizens; but the free press should use the language of the dictionary and not the neo-language of the autocrats.

We are still waiting for a story by the AP that concludes saying, “the dissents consider the Government to be despotic,” for the sake of balance. That's closer to the facts. In any event, remember that -- according to the penal code -- we can be where many of us are: working for democracy in Cuba, yet according to the rhetoric of power, we are mercenaries fighting to subvert the regime. Doesn't the AP have any objective opinion?