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The New York Times 1959 Project—Similar to Their 1619 Project

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“This project (the 100 page “1619 Project” published by the New York Times magazine) is, above all, an attempt to set the record straight. To finally, in this 400th year, tell the truth about who we are as a people and who we are as a nation…On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment (a ship containing slaves landing in Virginia) it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.” (The New York Times, Aug. 18th)


"Out of slavery -- and the anti-black racism it required -- grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system, diet and popular music, the inequities of its public health and education, its astonishing penchant for violence, its income inequality..."

In brief, in a series of essays published last week, the New York Times aspires to "prove" that slavery of blacks pretty much defines the entire American experience, from inception in 1619 to the "racism" of Trump.

This is hardly the first time the New York Times has set out to “reframe” a historical or news narrative “truthfully.” Starting in 1957, for instance, The New York Times devoted itself to assuring readers that—unlike what those Cuban deplorables were frantically warning the CIA and U.S. State Dept. about-- the Castro regime was in fact antiseptically free of the slightest communist taint.

“Fidel Castro (who at the time led a KGB-sponsored terrorist group in Cuba known as the July 26th movement) has strong ideas of liberty, democracy and social justice. This amounts to a new deal for Cuba, radical, democratic, and therefore anti-communist.” (Herbert Matthews of the NY Times, Feb. 1957.)

Two years later, with a Cuban version of Poland’s Katyn massacre in full swing, (and directed by the same Soviets for the same reason) the New York Times veritable Herbert Matthews double-downed: “This is not a Communist revolution in any sense of the term. Fidel Castro is not only not a Communist, he is decidedly anti-Communist.” (Herbert Matthews, the New York Times, July 1959.)  


In fact, vengeance, much less justice, had nothing to do with the Communist bloodbath the New York Times was trying to camouflage. Che's murderous method in La Cabana fortress in 1959 was exactly Stalin's murderous method in the Katyn Forest in 1940. Like Stalin's massacre of the Polish officer corps in the Katyn forest, like Stalin's Great Terror against his own officer corps a few years earlier, Che's firing squad marathons were a perfectly rational and cold-blooded exercise that served their purpose ideally. This bloodbath decapitated -- literally and figuratively -- the first ranks of Cuba's Contras. This is Bolshevik takeover 101, amigos. 

One day in May 1959, only five months after the triumph of Castro’s New York Times’ celebrated “anti-communist” revolution, Castro’s own Air Force Chief, Major Pedro Diaz-Lanz told his friend Eddie Ferrer, “I’ve got to tell the Americans and the world what’s going on here and start the fight against these communists. Everybody seems asleep!”

A week later Diaz-Lanz resigned his post and declared publicly that Castro’s civilian government was a hollow sham, nothing but a front (maintained with the then-invaluable assistance of the New York Times) for Soviet-trained communists who were running the show behind the scenes, especially in the crucial functions of the military and police. Diaz-Lanz then bundled his wife and kids onto a small boat and escaped to Miami just ahead of a firing squad.


After weeks of frantically knocking on doors and hoarse from phone calls, Diaz-Lanz finally appeared at a public hearing before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. The date was July 14, 1959. 

Mr. SOURWINE (Chief Counsel): “Is Castro friendly to the United States?”

Major DIAZ: “No.”

Mr. SOURWINE: “But Fidel Castro has said on many occasions [as dutifully transcribed and transmitted by the New York Times] that he is friendly to the United States. You are saying that this is not true?”

Major DIAZ. “He is lying.”

Mr. SOURWINE: “You are completely sure that Fidel Castro is what?”

Major DIAZ: “That Fidel Castro is a communist. Also, I’m prepared because the communists have a well-known system of trying to destroy the reputations of anyone who disagrees with them.”

The following day Castro put his fingers to his mouth, blew a whistle and The New York Times scurried to duty: “In Cuba there are no communists in positions of control,” stressed their reporter Herbert Matthews in a fresh article. “The accusations of Major Pedro Diaz- Lanz are rejected by everybody.”

But as Diaz-Lanz warned, when outing communists, their denial is only half the story. The truth- teller must also be defamed. Castro whistled again.

“Sources (obviously Castro and his henchmen) tell me that Major Diaz-Lanz was removed from his office for incompetence, extravagance and nepotism,” added Herbert Matthews in his front page New York Times article on July, 16 1959 (the very day following Diaz-Lanz’ testimony!)


“Much more valuable to us than military recruits were recruiting American reporters to export our propaganda.” (Che Guevara in his diaries.)

“To our American friend Herbert Matthews with gratitude. Without your help, and without the help of the New York Times, the Revolution in Cuba would never have been.” (Fidel Castro while pinning a medal on New York Times reporter Herbert Matthews, April, 1959.)

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