Monday, November 28, 2016

Nov. 28: Castro and our contemptible news media.

Today's irvinig press has a striking example of propaganda presented as news.  ( That's actually quite common in our news services.) This one is a story about Cuban exiles in Miami celebrating the death of Castro.   It's about  how the exiles long for a return to a Cuba that is free and democratic, etc.

That seems natural? Well, it would. but....

The Cuban exiles in Miami are people who lived  happily in a Cuba that was ruled by a dictator who murdered and tortured. How come they didn't leave then?
Answer - they had no quarrel with a dictator who murdered and tortured. Many of them were his murderers and torturers. In fact, one of them is well known as the man who blew up a  Cuban civilian airliner killing all on board.

Remember, these 'exiles' were people who happily stayed in Cuba under a murderous dictator. It was the defeat of the dictator that sent them scurrying. Any reporter should have been able to figure that out. But not one reflected it in the reporting.

This looks like a news story about people longing for freedom. But it's really propaganda for people who fought against freedom.

Priests celebrating the mass prayed for an end to communism because it causes suffering.  (I skip lightly over the fact that they don't seem to know what the word 'communist' means.)  In any case, Castro brought equal opportunity for education, and he created a  health care system that is one of the best in the world.   Capitalism all over the world  has resisted those. For that matter, Cubans suffered poverty under Castro, but not because of either Castro or communism. It suffered poverty  because the capitalist U.S. forcibly cut off its markets.

Capitalism takes a back seat to nobody when it comes to causing suffering.
This is a news story that is entirely fiction. Strong on propaganda, though.

Note, too, that New Brunswick is about  to privatize the non-health-care services in its hospitals. Will this provide greater efficiency and eonomies? Of course not. The services will now have to provide a service PLUS a profit.    So it will cost us more. So why do this?

Because big business wants to privatize hospitals in general. This is a first step  to change hospitals from serving people to serving profits.

And, of course, we have the usual reminders that the US is great defender of human rights. Yes, it is - in speeches.  It's also the U.S. that had and still operates the biggest torture system in the world - with full cooperation from Canada.
The story below is just one example of the horror of climate change combined with western interference with social patterns all over the world. We cannot deal with this and fight wars at the same time. But there's more profit in fighting wars. We will soon pay one hell of a price for the profit that will never, in any case, reach most of us.
On a related point, there are several articles on people like Castro who, love them or hate them, made real changes in the world, changes that had to be made. I can think of a great many billionaires we'll never be able to say that about.
Particularly the oil ones.
The Guardian, despite several tries, has nothing intelligent to say about Castro. One columnist sneers at the poverty of Cuba in the 1990s. Obviously, she doesn't know that poverty was forced on Cuba by the rich United States. She sneers at him because he was a dictator - nicely ignoring the fact one of her country's greatest friends is the dictator of Saudi Arabia who has never done any good for his friends or anybody else.
This next article is not uncritical of Castro - but it's more intelligent than anything I saw in The Guardian. This one does what others do not - it looks at the only alternatives to Castro - the extremely rapacious and brutal American capitalists of the sort who had set up Batista.

In a century of dominance and aggression by American business, Castro was the only person who ever tried to make life better in Cuba. And if you know of American business leaders who would have done better, please make your insight known to the world.
Here's a very serious look at the direction this world is taking. Capitalism never worked as it was supposed to. And now it has moved into a highly destructive phase.
Our local paper still hasn't noticed Standing Rock.
Canada's Conservative party has denounced Castro because he was a dictator. But they adore the Saudi royal family who are, presumably, in the tiny and confused heads of Conservatives, great democrats.
With climate change we are facing the biggest crisis in history. We cannot deal with it and, at the same time, fight wars to make billionaires richer.

I'm quiting a little early today because I'm not feeling well. But before I stop, I want to add a few words about the death of Castro.

Most press coverage that i've seen of his death has been self-righteous, arrogant, and hopelessly out of touch with any reality. It was The Guardian that first ticked me off - but I also saw lots of others.

Much of the criticism is indignant because Castro did not make Cuba a democracy. Well,  no he didn't. How could he? He was a short distance from a U.S. that was 30 times the size of Cuba, was hostile, that attempted an invasion, that flooded the country with mafia killers and special ops killers, that sought to destabilize it in every way through, for example, setting off bombs in its hotels. It also condemned Cuba to poverty by cutting off its trade. His chances of rebuilding the nation while at the same time fending off American aggression in the midst of the chaos were pretty slim. And I  couldn't help noticing that the journalists who criticized Castro had never had a problem with the brutal dictators  who, with the blessing of Washington, preceded him. Or with our good friend dictators in Saudi Arabia.

Nor did they note his triumph in building a health care system and an education system infinitely  superior to those of the U.S. and, indeed, those in most of the world.

He did his good work without stuffing his own pockets - unlike the media billionaires who do stuff their own pockets without doing any good work.
And the leaders who don't praise Castro for his work will have no trouble praising the mass murderers and thieves like George Bush and Tony Blair when their time comes.

And I can't help noticing that the journalists at irving press had nothing whatever to say about a man of accomplishment like Castro while they heap praise and kisses on their owners who have never done anything for the province except to pollute its land and poison the air  over its refineries.  (And to sponsor each other for halls of fame.)

Castro was a better and more honest person than all our billionaires and their political hacks put together. That made him almost unique among national leaders. but you won't learn that by reading most of our news media.

1 comment:

  1. I read your blog many times a week and I truly look forward to hearing your thoughts on different matters. I beg to disagree with yoir views on Castro. Throwing innocent people in jail is ok because the USA tried to assassinate him? I admire Castros (and Chavez's for that matter) willingness to stand up to the USA, but what is the point of having high literacy if it is to be arrested. I had the honor of spending a month in Cuba. While not an expert, I was able to make some observations. The health system is pretty good, but it is better for the cuban elite and foreigners. The local Hospital that I visited looked like a dump. Later on, a canadian friens of mine was injured and taken to the Hospital, with much better standards.