Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Great moments in journalism

There is an almighty witch hunt going on in Havana at the moment, with the Castro regime searching high and low throughout the city for one Paloma Cervilla.

As regular readers of this blog may recall, Ms Cervilla has written a number of hard-hitting reports from inside Cuba in recent weeks for the highly-respected Spanish daily, ABC.

In a recent dispatch, she revealed how the privileged sons and daughters of senior Communist Party leaders are involved in a range of illegal and/or corrupt activities - and getting away with it.

Among those identified in the article was “El Potro”, the son of none other than General Juan Almeida, a vice-president of the Council of State and one of the original comandantes of the Revolution.

Well, the powers that be in Havana aren’t happy.

Like totalitarian regimes the world over, they don’t like nosey foreign journalists who insist on straying from the official line.

So they have used one of the regime’s official websites, Cuba Debate, to launch a scathing attack on ABC. You know, it's supposed to be a “right wing newspaper” of “declining circulation” that is “desperately trying to attract new readers” by “pandering to extremists”.

Regarding Ms Cervilla, Cuba Debate admits without even a hint of shame that they have gone through the records of all the foreign journalists currently licensed to operate inside Cuba - and found there was no one registered by that name.

The website then claims that ABC is lying to its readers: “It is not unusual for right wing publications like ABC to pretend they have a journalist inside Cuba when in fact the stories are fabricated in Miami, where they are welcomed, blah, blah, blah, Cuban American Mafia, blah, blah, blah, terrorists, blah, blah, blah …”

All this may explain why Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has just rated the Castro regime as one of the worst offenders in the world today when it comes to press freedom.


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