Monday, August 06, 2007

Media relations 101


Now that Fidel Castro is spending his twilight days writing silly “editorials” about whatever comes into his mind, his role as the international face of the regime appears to have been taken up by another Castro.

No, no, it’s not his (slightly) younger brother Raul, the man supposedly in charge.

As far as the foreign media are concerned, the shiny new media face of what is in reality a nasty and decaying regime is the dictator’s niece, Mariela Castro.

Ms Castro’s public platform is her position as head of the government-controlled Cuban National Centre for Sexual Education (Cenesex), but of course, she is more than just a mere functionary.

After all, she is Raul’s most visible offspring … and she is happy to give carefully selected interviews to foreign media as often as necessary.

In fact, hardly a week goes by that we don’t read yet another interview with Ms Castro, to the point where she has been dubbed la princesa regente by our (very perceptive) friends at Penultimos Dias.

Ms Castro is obviously clever, eloquent and seems to be able to charm the pants off most reporters she talks to.

And unlike her father or that awful Felipe Perez Roque, she can sound inclusive, modern and open-minded, using words like “transformation”, “change” and even “toleration”.

In other words, she can sound half way credible – unlike most of the other representatives of the Communist hierarchy.

Equally important, she sticks to message.

In her latest interview, Ms Castro has told the Spanish news agency Efe that Cubans are mature and well-educated people who are ready to keep the revolutionary flag flying when her uncle finally kicks the bucket.

All will be well on the island, she insists. Some changes may be necessary but no chaos.

And once again, the clever Ms Castro used the interview to present a very positive image of her father. As you would expect.

Hardline and intolerant? No way, says Ms Castro. Raul is flexible, very sensible and always eager to solve problems on behalf of his people. Oh, yes, and her Dad is very inclusive and tolerant ...

See? Stick to message.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice bracelet, babe. Could it be...gold? Nah, that would be most un-proletarian. I mean, how many ordinary Cubans could afford such a bourgeois luxury (except jineteras, of course)? Still, perhaps Mariela was somehow contaminated by her recently deceased mother, who was born into money and always lived (and enjoyed) a life of privilege, before and after 1959. Anyway, it's only fitting that a princess wear jewels, isn't it?

3:47 am  
Anonymous asombra said...

Ah, yes, a smiling, animated, youngish and ostensibly hip face (or mask) to put on a decrepit, putrid and incorrigibly perverse totalitarian system. Castro, Inc. has always been very good at image manipulation; it could certainly teach advertising agencies and public relations firms a few tricks.

And yes, there will be no shortage of useful idiots and hypocritical opportunists to seize upon the Mariela Mask as evidence of "change" and "improvements," even serious reform. Some will do it because they're ignorant and/or gullible (at best), others (probably the majority) because it suits their interests.

Still, one must admire the ploy. If nothing else, it's far more sophisticated than anything the likes of the North Koreans appear capable of contriving.

3:31 am  

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