Castro’s latest

Via Jack Shafer’s Twitter feed, this AP story on Fidel Castro’s decision to fill three of the eight scant pages in the party-controlled newspaper Granma with nonsense from 9/11 Truther and Bilderberg conspiracy theorist Daniel Estulin. AP writer Will Weissert does a nice job detailing how Estulin’s work actually draws on the thinking (rather, “thinking”) of the extremist right.

I’m glad to see that the Obama administration is moving to ease travel restrictions to Cuba. And yet I’m still amazed that there are those on the left who continue to admire Castro, this pitiful crackpot, who has long outlawed the very existence of a journalistic culture on the island, preferring to force-feed the Cuban people his own ravings, along with the ravings of fellow loons.

I know, journalism in the U.S. is anything but perfect, but the quick dissemination of news and debate fostered by the Net — and the enormous flux in media and information cultures detailed in this very interesting pair of pieces in Wired (hat tip John Murph) — couldn’t stand in starker contrast to the utterly shriveled, hideous excuse for a media outlet that is Granma. And every other official organ like it elsewhere on the planet.

Read Chris Anderson’s thoughts on iPads and RSS feeds and Pandora and the like. And then recall that the Cuban government took the enormous step of legalizing cell phones in 2008. We thought it was right-wing anticommunists, per William F. Buckley, who “stood astride history, yelling ‘Stop!’” Turns out it’s actually the communists. (Of course, America’s Castro apologists benefit from cutting-edge online communication to get their organizing done.)

By the way, Castro’s not the only one spouting laughable conspiracist rot. Hugo Chávez, we learn in this valuable piece by Christopher Hitchens, believes the moon landing may not have actually happened. But the most amusing part of Hitchens’s account is how deeply, how desperately, Sean Penn wants to believe in Chávez’s political sanity, all evidence to the contrary.

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4 Responses to “Castro’s latest”

  1. nell says:

    i guess hugo could teach gil scott-heron a thing or two about where whitey really is

  2. Joanne says:

    I’ve met several people who simply refuse to believe a bad word about Che Guevara or Fidel Castro or about Cuba in general. It’s amazing.

    When I mention writer Paul Berman’s points about Che’s helping to found the Cuban gulag, and his authorizing of hundreds of executions (among the victims socialists, social democrats, homosexuals, the reaction was out-of-hand rejections. When I mention that medical care in Cuba isn’t all it was cracked up to be, my points have also been summarily waved away.

    One time I mentioned to a retired Bolivian diplomat about all the bad policies of Chavez (his replacing judges and army officers with his cronies, his appropriating large portions of the national oil company’s profits for use by his political party, his clamping down on freedom of expression, his attempts to change the constitution to gather more power in his own hands, etc.), she refused to acknowledge these points, instead shrugging and saying, “we have to believe in something.”

    And that’s it. This it not a question of genuine belief, but of a desire to believe, a desire that’s based on something deeper and more emotional. That’s why rational argument and evidence don’t seem to work.

    I hear that medical care is really great for everyone there, and of course everyone is literate, that there are not so many political prisoners so why make a fuss over them….and so on.

  3. Amy says:

    The romanticism for Castro and Che is heartbreaking. No matter what their original ideals where, they have been tainted by 50 years of Castro’s oppression and Che’s blood stained legacy.

    I’m simply amazed that after all of the evidence and history, that some still wish to believe in a fairy tale.

  4. There’s certainly a lot to find out about this topic.
    I really like all the points you made.

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