PBS Partners with Castro - Again
“We cannot for a second abandon propaganda. Propaganda is vital — propaganda is the heart of all struggles,” - Fidel Castro in a letter to a revolutionary colleague Melba Hernandez in 1954
“A foreign reporter — preferably American — was much more valuable to us at that time (1957) than any military victory. Much more valuable than rural recruits for our guerrilla force were American media recruits to export our propaganda.” - Ernesto “Che” Guevara in his diaries
History records few recruitment drives as phenomenally successful as Castro and Che’s. To wit:
“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, New York Times, July 1959)
“It would be a great mistake even to intimate that Castro’s Cuba has any real prospect of becoming a Soviet satellite.” (Walter Lippmann, Washington Post July, 1959)
History records NO propaganda campaign as successful and enduring as Fidel Castro’s. Here’s PBS’s Ray Suarez reporting from Havana for PBS, Dec. 22, 2010.
One of Cuba's greatest prides is its health care system. And, according to the World Health Organization, the country has much to boast about. There are twice as many doctors per person in Cuba than in the United States. In fact, it's the highest doctor-patient ratio in the world. How can one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere provide free care and achieve such impressive health outcomes?
Senor Marzo Fernandez, an economist who until defecting in 1996, served as Secretary General of Castro’s Ministry of Nutrition was somehow overlooked by PBS for their “special report.” He elaborates on some impressive health outcomes also overlooked by PBS and their Cuban case-officers:
“The average height of Cubans has decreased by 8 centimeters in the past 25 years,” he reported on Miami television last year. “For the first time in Cuban history, thousands of macrocepahlic children (abnormally large heads in proportion to their bodies) due to protein (primarily milk) deficiencies have been found in the eastern provinces.”
This in a country that prior to the glorious revolution enjoyed a lower infant-mortality rate and more doctors and dentists per-capita than half of European countries, plus a larger middle class than Switzerland.
According to UN figures, Cuba’s current infant mortality rate places her 44th from the top in worldwide ranking, right next to Canada. (The lower the rate the higher the ranking.) What PBS overlooked is that according to those same UN figures, in 1958 (the year prior to the glorious revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide.
This meant that robustly capitalist Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world. This put her not only at the top in Latin America but atop most of Western Europe, ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Today all of these countries leave Communist Cuba in the dust, with much lower infant mortality rates.
And even plummeting from 13th (capitalist) to 44th (communist), Cuba’s “impressive” infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by a truly appalling abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere’s highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at trouble gets “terminated.”
In April 2001, Dr. Juan Felipe García, MD, of Jacksonville, Fla., (also overlooked by PBS) interviewed several recent doctor defectors from Cuba. Based on what he heard, he reported the following:
The official Cuban infant-mortality figure is a farce. Cuban pediatricians constantly falsify figures for the regime. If an infant dies during its first year, the doctors often report he was older. Otherwise, such lapses could cost him severe penalties and his job.
This might lead a few people to question the Cuban regime’s official infant-mortality figures parroted by PBS. But, of course, such people would not get a Cuban visa to broadcast a “special report.”
According to a report by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, more than 75% of “doctors” with Cuban “medical degrees” flunk the exam given by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates for licensing in the U.S. Most Cuba-certified doctors even flunk the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates exam for certification as “physician assistants.” None of this is meant to disparage these hapless men and women who were simply cursed by fate to be born under a Stalinist tyranny.
In fact, PBS’s services to Fidel Castro far precede that of the Johnny-come-lately, Michael Moore. PBS often “cuts out the middle man” and runs the Castro regimes own propaganda as “documentaries.” PBS hails Estela Bravo’s 1992 documentary Miami-Havana, for instance, as among the “10 best documentaries” of its POV (Point of View series). Estela Bravo has lived off and on in Havana since 1959 and functioned as an executive in Castro’s Oficina de Publicaciones Consejo de Estado (Publication Office of Cuba’s Council of State.) For obvious reasons Ms. Bravo’s film are among the most widely shown in Fidel Castro’s fiefdom. Cuban Dissidents refer to her a “Fidel’s Personal Documentarian,” and PBS refers to her as among their top ten filmmakers of 1992.
Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy." - Jorge Luis Borges"
And by idiots we refer—not to those who “report” from Havana (scoundrels aren’t necessarily idiots) —but to those who believe their “reports.”