Last week National Public Radio (lavished with over $4 billion by U.S. taxpayers over the past decade) ran a week-long “special series” on—and from—Cuba. Such was its propaganda value for the Castro regime that Cuba’s own KGB-founded and mentored media gleefully ran some of the programs —and in their pristinely unedited form.
Given totalitarian media practices that’s quite a “compliment” to NPR’s producers. To wit:
"Everything within the Revolution, nothing outside of it." (Fidel Castro speech, June, 1961.)
"Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." (Benito Mussolini, Doctrine of Fascism, 1932.)
In his famous speech on June 16, 1961 Fidel Castro--whose KGB-designed jails and torture chambers at the time incarcerated one of every 19 Cubans for political “crimes”-- was warning the rest of his subjects how they might stay out of them. In particular he was setting the barbed-wire and machine-gun guarded boundaries of “artistic freedom.” If your prose or poetry or films or journalism served the purposes of the totalitarian regime (i.e. if you succumbed to lackeyism) you might remain outside of such enclosures. Otherwise?
As usual, as seen above, even with this declaration Fidel Castro was stealing--from his hero Benito Mussolini this time. Earlier he also stole from his hero Adolf Hitler.
“Condemn me, it doesn’t matter,” declared Fidel Castro during the 1953 trial for his failed Moncada putsch. “History will absolve me.”
“You may pronounce me guilty,” declared Adolf Hitler during the 1924 trial for his failed Rathaus putsch. “But the eternal court of history will absolve me.”
Over the decades NPR and PBS (NPR’s parent taxpayer-subsidized company) have run literally dozens of pieces on Nelson Mandela. So many in fact that an innocent bystander could easily conclude that the plight of “political” prisoners (especially black ones) greatly concerns NPR.
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.