Rich Tucker

There’s no defense for hijacking. It’s a serious crime that puts many people in danger. But there’s a trend here. Some people are so desperate to escape Cuba, they’ll do whatever it takes. Why, exactly, is that?

CNN’s in a unique position to answer that question. It has a staff that’s familiar with the island; Havana Bureau Chief Lucia Newman has been there since 1997. If they are willing to go out among the people -- without government supervision -- and do some reporting, maybe the network can explain why Cubans are so unhappy with their dictator.

If they do that, Fidel Castro will probably be angry. He’ll probably order CNN to leave Cuba, and probably ban them from ever returning.  But as Jordan’s op-ed makes clear, what good is being there if you won’t tell the important stories?

Several days after his op-ed, Jordan told The Washington Post that CNN’s coverage of Iraq had nothing to do with access. “To me it was about one thing and one thing only -- saving lives of innocent people,” he said.

If that’s true, he should order CNN’s Havana bureau to do what its Iraq bureau failed to do -- report the sometimes-awful truth from inside a dictatorship. It’s likely innocent people are being jailed and even executed on the island. CNN can, and must, find out what’s happening and report it.

Eventually Fidel Castro will die or be deposed. It would be a shame if we have to wait for that to happen before CNN will tell us what’s really going on inside Cuba.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for