Lies, damned lies and Communist statistics
In the book, Taylor spends time analysing how the Communist regime in what used to be called the German Democratic Republic (GDR), regularly invented “official” statistics for propaganda purposes.
For nearly 50 years, the GDR produced shonky figures to support its claim of a highly industrialised, cohesive and modern society whose happy and committed citizens enjoyed world-beating levels of health and educational outcomes and a high standard of living.
And because they couldn’t be verified, much of the rest of the world simply accepted the data at face value – the United Nations, the Western media, even the World Bank.
It was all lies.
Which brings me to a curious report by ACN, the Cuban news agency.
In a narky little article headlined, "Extraordinary news from Cuba without international repercussion", the agency complains that media outlets in the US and Europe have failed to give proper coverage to "new" health figures recently issued by the Castro regime some days ago.
The figures are supposed to show that the island’s infant mortality rate is now among the lowest in the world, with some municipalities claiming to have recorded a zero infant mortality rate for 2006.
Despite this, the article complains that the “news” has been ignored by the capitalist media “which are always looking for useless news from the island to damage Cuba's image”.
The article accuses the international media of “censoring” positive news from Cuba as part of an evil plan by media moguls (again!) to “discredit socialism” and to “serve the Empire and its lackeys”.
Methinks they protest too much. You can read the whole hilarious dummy-spit here.