International Press Inform that the Main Issues Were Cuba, Legalization of Drugs, and the U.S.’s Isolation from South America
by JEC / Special to the OB Rag / April 25, 2012
Would I sound naïve – perhaps pedantic – to say American media is censored? I just had one those “moments” when information falls in your lap by chance. Like an overheard comment, the authenticity is powerful. As it happened I was in Cartagena, Colombia on Saturday, April 14th, in the midst of the “Summit of the Americas”. I was on the cruise ship “Rotterdam” just after passing through the Panama Canal.
The Summit of the Americas was ever present; helicopters in the air, speed boats cruising the harbor. The streets were nearly lined with police/troops most often holding automatic weapons. Reportedly over 90% of all police and security forces of the entire country where in Cartagena to protect the 33 heads of states. Two small bombs exploded the night before getting everyone in the proper mood.
But what do Americans know?
The Secret Service sex scandal and that’s about it. It was the lead story on the Nightly News Monday night (4/23/12). I’ve heard nothing but the 24/7 drum beat since I returned five days ago – sex, sex, sex – seems to serve as the filler for America media.
Am I surprised? No, disappointed yes because I know it goes beyond Fox News. It’s about how pervasive the censorship is across America’s media, including CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times. And this censorship is damaging us, all of us. We make lousy decisions based on faulty information, thanks to American mainstream media. And when it comes to Cuba, we are nearly psychotic.
Ok, so what happened?
It unfolds this way – on Sunday – April 15th – the passengers were eager to read about what they just saw firsthand. The ship produces ten different condensed papers from a number of countries. Different nations seem to follow their own editorial policies.
The Canadian carried the Summit as its lead story “Emboldened Latin America parts ways with Canada, US on Cuba and drugs”. In direct contrast, The New York Times lead was a dry feature on Nigeria Population growth placing the Secret Service sex scandal on page 3.
By chance I overhead three separate conversations of fellow Americans noting the difference between the Canadian press and the New York Times. They were not happy. The Canadian confirmed what we all heard on the streets while in Cartagena on Saturday. The New York Times, in an effort, apparently, to avoid saying anything favorable about Cuba simply left it out. Or so it seemed. On Monday and Tuesday The Canadian disappeared quickly while the NY Times were left in the rack.
Talking to the locals and getting reports via media from other countries such as Japan and Holland, we sensed important changes were occurring in Latin America. Major industrial expansion, improvements to the infra-structure, plus the expansion of the Panama Canal already 70% complete. China is spending billions in grants spread across the region, making friends by building soccer stadiums, schools, roads, and more; gifts, not loans.
Returning home I decided to search out the actual Sunday edition of the New York Times to see if and how the “Summit” was reported. Yes, the NY Times did run a story – “Americas Meeting Ends with Discord Over Cuba”. But with a different spin:
“…the U.S. and some Latin American nations remained sharply divided over whether to continue excluding Cuba…”;
Really, some, not all Latin American nations? If you read the entire article you’re left with the impression that the Latin American nations are not unified on the question of Cuba. This is far from the truth. Latin America and the Caribbean Islands are in complete agreement as all have asked the U.S. to end the embargo on Cuba.
I emailed reporter Jackie Calmes for comment about the differences between the NY Times story and The Canadian’s and which Latin American nation(s) sided with the U.S. on the Cuba question? I received no response.
At home, we are served daily dishes of sex scandals and similar distractions. The issue of Cuba has become an American psychosis; the U.S. has been appeasing the Cubans of south Florida for so long I think we’ve forgotten why. In the meantime the world is changing under our feet and we Americans are being kept in the dark.
Failure to report a story is disappointing. But I believe the NY Times and the stories reported on CNN are designed to fog the issue and mislead us, to lie to us. Is it a lie? I have to say yes. Why? Because they are the New York Times, and they know the difference as to twist and fog the facts as they did was certainly intentional. They do know what’s going on. So why would the NY Times sacrifice their credibility and our trust? Why do they do this? For the aging Cubans of South Florida who fled Cuba over 50 years ago?
As to Latin America, the sense was Colombian President Juan Manual Santos delivered a friendly ultimatum – Cuba will be included in the next summit or there will be no summit. As reported in The Canadian, the Latin American nations and Caribbean islands have formed a new network, ‘The Community of Latin America’. It is the Organization of American States (OAS) excluding the U.S. and Canada, the only two supporters of the Cuba policy. By every indication Latin America is ready and now willing break with the U.S. And by many indicators, they are able.
And it’s becoming clear that in the end it will be the U.S. who loses. The Cuba policy clearly estranged America from the rest of the Western Hemisphere. It’s time we come to grips.
The U.S. is becoming yesterday’s news in Latin America. But we’ll get another thousand hours of dribble about soldiers using prostitutes – wow. This is the product of a consolidated media.
So I lost the NY Times; but I’ve discovered the overseas press.
A few random facts concerning Cuba – and the U.S.
- The U.S. started providing material support to Castro while he and Che were we the mountains in 1957. Eisenhower was playing both sides.
- Frank Sturges became Castro’s personal body guard in 1957.
- In January, 1959, because of the support he had received, Castro thought the U.S. would quickly recognize the new regime. The U.S. stood back to let things develop. Three months later Castro seized a number of hotels owned mainly by the Mafia (think Godfather II) and used for prostitution. Castro was a moralist of a kind. Frank Sturges then tried to poison Castro, twice. Second attempt he was discovered and fled Cuba with the assistance of the CIA. Frank Sturges was later arrested as a Watergate burglar and variously identified as CIA and/or Mafia. Some believe that he was also the man on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963.
- Castro, fearing that the U.S. was out to kill him, sought a big brother. He found the Soviet Union who was more than happy to exploit the situation.
The rest is history, as they say.