Humberto Fontova

Others might say the manner in which the megalomaniacal mass-murderer is foiled in the nick of time by another communist mass-murderer (Khrushchev) who, though he amply earned the nickname “Butcher of Budapest,” was himself horrified by the Cuban dictator’s bloodlust and yanked the nuclear missiles from his reach—some might think such a scene would surely perk up an audience.

Oh, almost forgot another detail: all the above attention-grabbers also happen to be completely true.

But maybe to PBS producers such scenes come across as pathetically mundane and bereft of drama, real snoozers?

Or maybe PBS‘s (not so-hidden) agenda involves soft -soaping anyone and anything issuing from the Left?

PBS, who boasts that their programs are “distinguished by professionalism and thoroughness” does not mention political prisoners, torture or terror-sponsorship whatsoever in its “comprehensive” coverage of the top torturer of political prisoners in the Western Hemisphere.

Now when PBS ran a program on another “controversial leader” from Latin America (anti-Communist Chilean President Augusto Pinochet) the first two paragraphs of the show’s trailer included the words “dictatorship,” “concentration camps,” “secret prisons,” “torture,” “murder” and “executions.” Then the show itself showcased nothing but the items mentioned above.

But instead of that …YAAAAAWN....nuclear apocalypse the “provocative Cuban leader” almost ignited, and those tens of thousands of totally snoozeworthy murders and tortures at his hands, here’s among the items that according to the PBS program helped Castro “grab the world’s attention:”

1. "Cuba's poverty in the 1950's (before Castro) rivaled that of any 3rd world country."

2. It is estimated by his rivals that during Batista's (Castro’s predecessor) reign more than twenty thousand political dissidentshad been killed.

3. Despite the U.S. blockade--Cuba's doctors are among the best trained in the world. The quality if Cub's healthcare is very good and also free of charge.

4. Fidel Castro attempted to make peace with the U.S.--but the U.S. refused so Castro turned to the Soviet Union for help.

Let’s take these items seriatim:

1. PBS, who boasts that “accuracy” is their programming’s “cornerstone” might have researched the matter beyond Castroite sources and discovered how pre-Castro Cuba in fact enjoyed a higher standard of living with a larger middle class than much of Europe, from which people clamored to immigrate to Cuba.

2. PBS, who bills itself as America’s “most-trusted source for news and public affairs programs” might have researched the matter beyond Castroite sources and discovered how the “20,000 killed by Batista” meme was hatched in 1957 by a blatantly Fidelista Cuban magazine publisher named Miguel Angel Quevedo. Further research beyond Castroite sources would reveal how ten years after he hatched and spread the lie, Quevedo (from exile, he scooted out just ahead of a Castroite firing squad) confessed to the lie in a letter and greatly regretted how the lie helped the propaganda campaign to put Castro in power. The regret for the calamity he helped bring upon Cuba was such that, right after signing the letter, Miguel Angel Quevedo put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.

3. PBS, who boasts that they “embrace the highest commitment to excellence and professionalism”, could have researched the matter beyond Castroite sources and discovered how Castroite Cuba is in fact ravaged by infectious diseases unknown since 1900 and how the average height of Cubans has decreased by 8 centimeters in the past 25 years due to nutritional deficiencies. They could also research and discover how thousands of macrocepahlic children (abnormally large heads in proportion to their bodies) due to protein (primarily milk) deficiencies now exist in Cuba’s eastern provinces.

4. PBS, who boasts that its editorial content ”embraces intellectual honesty and transparency,” might have looked past Castroite sources on U.S. diplomacy and discovered that in fact the U.S. offered Castro’s government diplomatic recognition in record time, then showered it with $200 million in subsidies from U.S. taxpayers. Then during Castro’s first 16 months in power the U.S. made over 10 back channel diplomatic attempts to ascertain the cause of his tantrums and further charm and placate him. Argentine President Arturo Frondizi was the conduit for many of these and recounts their utter futility in his memoirs. Regarding the heartbroken Castro turning teary-eyed to the Soviets in 1969 after the U.S. snub, PBS could have done a little digging and discovered that Raul Castro had a KGB handler since 1954 and Soviet KGB and GRU agents were already swarming into Cuba during the first months of 1959.

Every debunking of every Castroite fairy-tale (a.k.a. mainstream media meme on Cuba) mentioned above is thoroughly documented here.

In fact such shameless propagandizing for Castroism is nothing new for PBS, which hails Estela Bravo’s 1992 documentary Miami-Havana, as among the “10 best documentaries” of its Point of View series. For years Estela Bravo was an executive in the Castro regime’s Oficina de Publicaciones Consejo de Estado, (a division of the Stalinist regime’s propaganda ministry.)

PBS boasts of “shielding” their “creative and editorial processes from political pressure or improper influence from funders or other sources.” In other words, for fear of “improper influence,” no PBS program dares flaunt a Coke can or Big Mac. And heaven forbid that a Republican political operative should contaminate one of their pristinely objective programs. But the propaganda ministry of a totalitarian regime often dictates the contents of PBS programs. Such input apparently does not qualify as “improper influence.”

Here’ another comforting boast from the PBS Mission Statement: “As America’s largest classroom, PBS is the No. 1 source of media content for preschool teachers.”

Now here’s another comforting boast: "Give me four years to teach the childrenand the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." - Vladimir Lenin.

Humberto Fontova

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