It’s one thing when a U.S. political party (Democrat) recruits U.S.-based news networks as full-time propaganda auxiliaries. That every U.S.- based network (except Fox News) has long served in this subservient capacity for the Democratic party has long been obvious to every analyst and commentator with functioning eyes, ears and cerebrum.
Efforts by both parties mentioned above to deny this parasitic and incestuous bond are too pathetic to merit further comment in a column meant for intellectually sophisticated readers. So let us proceed to more engaging themes.
When Fidel Castro celebrated his 90th birthday last week U.S.-based CNN was the eager first-responder. "More people have tried to murder the world's most famous socialist than any man alive," according to the 2006 British documentary "638 Ways to Kill Castro."
Got it? CNN paints the poor old boy as a victim. And gosh? What in the world would cause anyone to wish harm upon this inoffensive health-care provider? After all, his only offense was to dispossess mobsters and provide free and fabulous healthcare and education to his formerly wretched and exploited countrymen?
The question above pretty much sums up the CNN story. The primary source for the British “documentary” --and for CNN’s recent “report”--by the way, is Fabian Escalante, one of Castro’s oldest and most trusted KGB-trained intelligence officers. So never mind that:
Fidel Castro’s regime jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s during the Great Terror and murdered more Cubans in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered Germans during its first six . In the above process Fidel Castro and Che Guevara converted a nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe and a huge influx of (first-world) immigrants into one that repels Haitians and boasts the highest suicide rate in the Western Hemisphere.
Here’s a list of Cuban’s socialism’s accomplishments:
*Converted a nation that formerly attracted more immigrants per-capita than the U.S. (and even from the U.S.) into a hellhole that drove TWENTY times as many desperate Cubans to die horribly attempting to escape it as East Germans died trying to flee East Germany.
*Converted a nation with the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth –-ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal– into an island slum, sewer and prison ravaged by diseases long-eradicated in Cuba, boasting the highest suicide rate in the hemisphere–and whose practicing “doctors” overwhelmingly flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor’s assistants.”
Not that any CNN reader would have the slightest clue about any of the above items from their trusted source Fabian Escalante. But all items are thoroughly documented here.
“Fidel Castro is one hell of a 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."
Within weeks CNN was granted its coveted Havana Bureau, the first ever granted by Castro to a foreign network. Bureau chief Lucia Newman (now with Al Jazeera) assured viewers, "CNN will be given total freedom to do what we want and to work without censorship."
Hard-hitting stories immediately followed. To wit: CNN soon featured Fidel's office in its "Cool Digs" segment of CNN's "Newsstand." "When was the last time you saw a cup full of pencils on the boss's desk?" asked perky CNN anchor Steven Frazier. "And they do get used – look at how worn down the erasers are! Years ago, our host worked as an attorney, defending poor people. ... He's Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader since 1959!"
“No dubious campaign spending here [in Cuba].” Reported Lucia Newman a bit later during some Castroite “elections.” “No mud slinging -- a system President [italics mine] Castro boasts is the most democratic and cleanest in the world!”
There you have CNN’s take. Now regarding all those dastardly CIA assassination attempts against Castro so breathlessly reported by Fabian Escalante and so eagerly transcribed by CNN’s intrepid gumshoes:
In the early 60s, the late E.Howard Hunt was head of the political division of the CIA’s “Cuba Project.” “So far as I have been able to determine,” Hunt clarified in his book Give Us This Day, “no coherent plan was ever developed within the CIA to assassinateCastro, though it was the heart’s desire of many exile groups.” Interestingly, Hunt stressed that killing Castro was his own recommendation. But he couldn’t get any serioustakers within the agency.
This may have been because there were so many Castro supporters in the CIA at the time. Consider these quotes from CIA officials:
“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas.” (Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s chief from 1957-1960.)
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except [Republican] ambassador Earl Smith.” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.)
Howard Hunt, himself, has denied that any assassination attempts were undertaken by the CIA. Hunt has been recorded on video admitting: “We never got that far.”
Even the liberal pro-Castro Frank Church Committee has claimed that the assassination stories were largely mythologized:
In August 1975, Fidel Castro gave Senator George McGovern a list of twenty-four alleged attempts to assassinate him in which Castro claimed the CIA had been involved…The Committee has found no evidence that the CIA was involved in the attempts on Castro’s life enumerated in the allegations that Castro gave to Senator McGovern.
On the other hand, we have CNN’s Havana bureau earning their keep by transcribing reports of those nefarious CIA assassination plots, as reported to them by Fabian Escalante—one of Castro’s oldest and most trusted KGB-trained intelligence officers.
There was a day when most Americans would laugh at any U.S. press bureau that regarded on-duty communist intelligence officers as trustworthy news sources.