All true. But for the past 36 years Havana resident Gail Reed has also been married to an officer of Cuba’s KGB-founded-funded and mentored Directorio General de Intelligencia named Julian Torres Rizo. Reed is also a regular contributor to Cuba’s Communist party organ, Granma. In 1991 she was tasked by the Castro regime with writing its official “Island in the Storm: the Cuban Communist Party's Fourth Congress," a not inconsiderable honor.
She served in all these capacities while working for Business Week and NBC, by the way. Not that any American readers or viewers imbibing her reports on the marvels of Cuba’s healthcare and the wicked U.S. “Blockade” of her adopted country in those “mainstream” media organs might have guessed any of her background.
The above probably sounds “crackpot” but it was recently revealed in a bombshell book — and with full-documentation.
The partnership by this future CNN, NBC and Business Week correspondent with Castro’s secret police began in 1969 with those visits to Cuba as a member of the (DGI-created) Venceremos Brigades. This was also the beginnings of Reed’s romance with DGI officer Julian Torres Rizo. The terrorist offshoot from the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) known as The Weathermen and staffed most famously by Barack Obama’s future “neighbors” Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn served as the DGI’s U.S. recruitment officers at the time, which proved easy. In that heady Age of Aquarius hundreds of starry-eyed college kids were volunteering to “help build Cuban Socialism” and “fight U.S. Imperialism,” mostly by joyfully cutting Cuban sugar cane.
Castro’s DGI had other goals in mind. “The ultimate objective of the DGI’s participation in the setting up of the Venceremos Brigades,” says an FBI report declassified in 1976, “was the recruitment of individuals who are politically oriented and who someday may obtain a position, elective or appointive, somewhere in the U.S. Government, which would provide the Cuban Government with access to political, economic and military intelligence."
Among the items CNN and their “medical expert” Gail Reed left out of their report is that according to those same UN figures, in 1958 (the year prior to the glorious revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide with the lowest infant-mortality rate. This meant that robustly capitalist pre-Castro Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world. This put her not only at the top in Latin America but atop most of Western Europe, ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Today all of these countries leave Communist Cuba in the dust, with much lower infant mortality rates.
And even plummeting from 13th (Capitalist) to 47th (Communist), Cuba's "impressive" infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by a truly appalling abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere's highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at trouble gets "terminated."
In April 2001, Dr. Juan Felipe García, MD, of Jacksonville, Fla., interviewed several recent doctor defectors from Cuba. Based on what he heard, he reported the following:
"The official Cuban infant-mortality figure is a farce. Cuban pediatricians constantly falsify figures for the regime. If an infant dies during its first year, the doctors often report he was older. Otherwise, such lapses could cost him severe penalties and his job."
More interesting (and tragic) still, the maternal mortality rate in Cuba is almost four times that of the U.S. rate (33 versus 8.4 per 1,000). Peculiar how so many mothers die during childbirth in Cuba, and how many one- to four-year-olds perish -- while from birth to one year old (the period during which they qualify in UN statistics as infants) they're perfectly healthy!
This might lead a few people to question Cuba's official infant-mortality figures. But such people would not get a Havana bureau for their news agency (CNN, NBC, ABC, etc.) or get access to the Stalinist regime’s “medical experts.”
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.