Given the media’s neurotic hyper-sensitivity to the most microscopic hint of white on black racism here’s a question:
When would a black human-rights activist who was jailed and tortured by a lily-white regime for the crime of quoting Martin Luther King be totally ignored by this same media while he testified to a Senate Committee?
And when would the white daughter of his white torturer (almost concurrently) get fawning media coverage including a forum by CNN for this white woman to insult the black torture victim as a “liar” a “crook” and a “mercenary”—without the slightest rebuttal from her host?
Answer: When the black gentleman was jailed and tortured by the Castro regime and when the white woman is Raul Castro’s daughter Fidel Castro’s niece and Che Guevara’s god-daughter. Oops! A caveat: I realize that The Godfather remains the top educational source on Cuba for many Americans. But unlike Connie and Michael Corleone, Cuba’s Stalinist Mafiosi aren’t big into religious arcana like assigning godparents. So I admit to imprecision on the identity of Mariela Castro’s godfather. Raul Castro did serve as best man at Che Guevara’s first wedding however. And Che Guevara later stood in Raul’s. So I’m close.
Mariela Castro’s family regime, by the way, has jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoners in modern history, several of them suffering longer in her father and uncle’s dungeons than Nelson Mandela suffered in South Africa's apartheid.
Mariela’s “godfather” Che famously denounced blacks as, “indolent and fanciful, spending their money on frivolity and drink.” Not that you would know any of this from CNN, who Mariela’s uncle bestowed with the first news bureau granted to a U.S. network.
“Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!" Ted Turner gushed to a capacity crowd at Harvard Law School during a speech in 1997. "You people would like him! Most people in Cuba like him!" Two weeks later CNN was granted its coveted Havana Bureau.
And if the above crack about The Godfather as “top educational source on Cuba” sounds flippant here’s Jon Stewart (often touted as the top news source for young Americans) from July 23rd 2008: “All I know about pre-Castro Cuba I learned from the Godfather II!”
Here’s Chris Matthews from Oct. 23rd 2011: “I mean everybody who saw Godfather II knows what it was like when Castro took over!”
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.