Cuban State Media’s Hemiplegic Plot

José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba. (Matias J. Ocner for 14ymedio)

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, Havana, 20 November 2019 — Help me understand this: Granma, a Cuban newspaper of national scope, financed by the state coffers and with its journalists based within Cuban territory, publishes an article against a citizen, resident on the Island and held in a prison, which describes him as a criminal and accuses him of criminal acts.

However, to prepare the text, the reporters of the official organ of the Communist Party have not contacted José Daniel Ferrer, his relatives or his activist colleagues to offer their testimony and opinion on the events that took place on October 1, that ended up sending the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba to prison.

Do Granma journalists have resources to make a phone call to Aguadores prison? Why did the newspaper’s management not send its correspondent in Santiago de Cuba to Ferrer’s house to obtain the version of the facts that his wife wields, facts that contradict those published this Wednesday in the official newspaper? Did the reporters request a meeting with the prisoner from the Directorate of Corrections?

Sadly, the shortcomings of the article in Granma are not due to economic problems of the newsroom of the main Cuban newspaper, nor to the absence of permits to access the prison. The argumental hemiplegia of this note is evidence of the abuse of power of an entire apparatus that believes it has the right to crush an individual’s reputation, demonize and defame him without his being able to defend himself in national media. This is the old strategy of reputation execution, but using the state structures themselves, the official voice and the institutional speaker.

That is not journalism, nor press, much less information. We are facing a typical act of propaganda and slander… and of shameful complicity by some who call themselves journalists and editors.

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