Major media – Spanish media for example- say categorically that there is no press freedom (1) in Cuba and show with their daily practice, what this press freedom is.
The public channel 24 hours of Spanish Television offered last April 10th a wonderful practise lesson. Its space called “Table today” reviewed, among other news, the Summit of the Americas celebrated in Panama, where met for first time in 50 years, the presidents of Cuba and the United States (2).
As press freedom requires plurality, the program was attended by two journalists, with different views on the same topic: how the US government could get a political “transition” in Cuba. “The big problem is that this transition is not a point which has demanded by US (to Cuba). And that seems like an historical mistake of Mr. Obama”, said Victor Arribas (3). José María Brunet refuted that (4): “These agreements -opposite your pessimism, Victor- would say that will have results by slow lane, but will have results”.
The freedom of press allows the debate about “how”, while the “what” is not disputed. Both analysts agreed on an irrefutable truth: that Cuba is not a democracy and must inevitably change its political system, as Washington demands. “I don´t think that the Castro regime is to be opened easily. Cuba remains a country without freedom, do not lose sight”, said Brunet. “US has put on the table a demand for democratization of the island”, completed Arribas.
In Madrid, thousands of miles away from US, Spanish Television reproduced the same debate about Cuba of today that exists between “democrats” and “republicans” (5). That is which method is most effective -if the sudden death or the death slowly- to defeat the Cuban Revolution and implement a system according to US interests on the island. The journalist José María Brunet supported the thesis of the Democratic Party: “I suppose that these agreements will facilitate the transition (in Cuba), but so far the transition has not even begun”. The “Republican ” caucus was represented by Victor Arribas: “Cuba comes to this meeting and the start of the meetings with the US demanding that sanctions – Helms Burton Law and others- must disappear immediately. Above, demanding…”
This legitimization of neocolonial interference, the “democrat” José María Brunet defended the right of Spain to intervene in politics issues in countries like Cuba and Venezuela. “I give importance to the pressure that should be on both countries (Cuba and Venezuela). In Venezuela we see in mobilizing our own presidents. Well, is news to see Aznar and Felipe González agree on something, and they are regarding the need to act to press the Government of Venezuela. With Cuba from Spain had tried in many times…” (6) The “Republican” Victor Arribas, however , was much more depressed and pessimistic: “It seems to me that what happens in Latin America is not to celebrate, or much less … ”
Conclusion: press freedom allows disagreement about which method is more effective to impose Western geostrategic interests in rogue countries like Cuba or Venezuela…while those interests are not discussed.
And if this happens in a public media -the Spanish Television, whose Information Statute includes as ethical principle: “contextualize (…) events (…) with (…) all possible points of view” (7) – imagine how are this week gatherings and analysis on the Summit of the Americas in the private television channels.
(José Manzaneda, Cubainformacion`s coordinator)