Hiding the Real Cuba

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Last month, a conference was held at Columbia University entitled, "Covering Cuba in an Era of Change," which gathered over a dozen U.S.-based Cuba "experts" (propagandists), in order to praise Raul "the reformer" and criticize the United States.

The panelists included U.S. Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), attorney Greg Craig, William LeoGrande, Peter Kornbluh, etc. -- you get the point.

An exception among the participants was renowned Cuban dissident and blogger, Miriam Celaya, who left horrified by the deceptive image of Cuba that these U.S.-based "experts" were propagating.

These are the same lies and deceptions that the media then regurgitates.

Here's what Celaya wrote in 14ymedio (Translating Cuba) about her experience at the conference:

These past few days I have been attending -- perplexed -- the debates of many speakers who think they know, perhaps with the best intentions in the world, what the Cuban reality is and what is best for us. I have heard the old version of Cuban history where Fidel Castro is heir to the Martí philosophy, and successor to the struggle for independence. I have heard many compliments about the fabulous achievements of the Cuban system in matters of ecology, social services and even in economics. I have discovered the Cuba that those who wish to sway public opinion in this country want to show.

Notably absent were Cubans. Not just the ones from Miami -- who they generically lump in a big bag in these parts, as if they were mere numbers to swell statistics and public opinion polls, and who they consider to be like Haitians, fleeing their country for purely economic reasons -- but also the thousands who continue to emigrate by any means in an ever-growing and constant way, and the millions condemned to a life of poverty and hopelessness in our Island. But the most glaring vacuum, with my exception, was that of the journalists and independent bloggers that do actually cover the day-to-day reality from the depths of the Island.

Once again, the sugar-coated views of foreigners prevailed.A privilege of the powerful, the media and politicians, for whom Cuba is only an exotic and beautiful island, long ruled by a genius -- perhaps a tad tyrannical, but who will have to die someday -- and replaced, in dynastic order, by his brother. An island inhabited by the most cheerful and happy people in the world.