Manipulation And Silence, Cuba's Information Policy On Venezuela
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 9 May 2017 — Cubans have not seen the
images of that lady who, armed only with her determination, stopped an
armored police tank in the streets of Caracas. The official press also
conceals the tears of those who have lost their children because of the
repression of the those in uniform and the government-allied militants
known as colectivos. Instead, the media controlled by the Communist
Party of Cuba appeals to silence and distortion to narrate what is
happening in Venezuela.
On Tuesday, the front page of the Juventud Rebelde newspaper went a step
further and compared the demonstrators against Nicolás Maduro with
"those hordes that gave rise to the fascism that triggered the Second
World War." The text, sprinkled with words like "right,"
"counterrevolutionaries" and "onslaught," reinterprets the events in the
South American country and adjusts them to the information agenda of
Havana's Plaza of the Revolution.
A journalistic manipulation that is repeated – again and again –
whenever an ally of the Cuban government faces popular protests or
commits some political blunder. Recent history is plagued with examples
in which the national newspapers have wanted to adjust reality to their
editorial line in order to finally swallow the bitter evidence that life
follows another path.
The island authorities stood up for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras,
presenting him as an inflexible revolutionary who would never accept
"the impositions of the European Union." But they were silent when
Greeks took to the streets to protest the policies of austerity,
impoverishment and deprivation embraced by the left-wing Syriza party
itself, after its sell-out to the Troika of the European
Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank.
A few years earlier, the government newspaper Granma said that the
Polish union Solidarity had been totally dismantled and its leading
leader Lech Walesa was nothing more than a memory of the past. A few
months after that note appeared in the official press, Cubans knew that
president Wojciech Jaruzelki had agreed to sit at the negotiating table
with his opponents.
During the United States' invasion of Granada in 1983, the information
distortion became immensely scandalized. The national media reported the
immolation of Cuban soldiers – while wrapped in the Cuban flag – when in
fact they ran for their lives and surrendered without any heroism. Soon
afterwards, those who had supposedly perished returned to the country.
The list of lies or omissions spans decades and includes the silence on
the Island when a man stepped foot on the moon, the falsehoods around
the fall of the Berlin wall, and the indescribable journalistic neglect
in not specifying the cause of the death of former President Fidel Castro.
Now it is Venezuela's turn. It is time to "sweeten the pill" of what is
happening in that country and fill the pages of the daily newspapers to
accommodate the desires of the Miraflores Palace rather than the
truth. The ink of praise for Nicolás Maduro will run, protesters will be
branded enemies of the country and the images of repression will be
However, nothing will stop the reality. On Venezuela's streets citizens
are demanding change, and not even experts in editorial manipulation can
turn their cries to applause.
Source: Manipulation And Silence, Cuba's Information Policy On Venezuela
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