“We cannot for a second abandon propaganda. Propaganda is vital — propaganda is the heart of all struggles,” - Fidel Castro in a letter to a revolutionary colleague Melba Hernandez in 1954
“A foreign reporter — preferably American — was much more valuable to us at that time (1957) than any military victory. Much more valuable than rural recruits for our guerrilla force were American media recruits to export our propaganda.” - Ernesto “Che” Guevara in his diaries
History records few recruitment drives as phenomenally successful as Castro and Che’s. To wit:
“This is not a Communist Revolution in any sense of the term. Fidel Castro is not only not a Communist, he is decidedly anti-Communist.” (Herbert Matthews, New York Times, July 1959)
“It would be a great mistake even to intimate that Castro’s Cuba has any real prospect of becoming a Soviet satellite.” (Walter Lippmann, Washington Post July, 1959)
History records NO propaganda campaign as successful and enduring as Fidel Castro’s. Here’s PBS’ Ray Suarez reporting from Havana for PBS, Dec. 22, 2010.
“One of Cuba's greatest prides is its health care system. And, according to the World Health Organization, the country has much to boast about. There are twice as many doctors per person in Cuba than in the United States. In fact, it's the highest doctor-patient ratio in the world. .How can one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere provide free care and achieve such impressive health outcomes?”
Senor Marzo Fernandez, an economist who until defecting in 1996, served as Secretary General of Castro’s Ministry of Nutrition was somehow overlooked by PBS for their “special report.” He elaborates on some impressive health outcomes also overlooked by PBS and their Cuban case-officers:
“The average height of Cubans has decreased by 8 centimeters in the past 25 years,” he reported on Miami television last year. “For the first time in Cuban history, thousands of macrocepahlic children (abnormally large heads in proportion to their bodies) due to protein (primarily milk) deficiencies have been found in the eastern provinces.”
This in a country that prior to the glorious revolution enjoyed a lower infant-mortality rate and more doctors and dentists per-capita than half of European countries, plus a larger middle class than Switzerland.
According to UN figures, Cuba’s current infant mortality rate places her 44th from the top in worldwide ranking, right next to Canada. (The lower the rate the higher the ranking.) What PBS overlooked is that according to those same UN figures, in 1958 (the year prior to the glorious revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.