On its main page, Yahoo! leads with a big news item (photo included), informing us that 16-year-old Elian Gonzalez speaks out. Not once does AP writer William Weissert inform us that, the young Mr. Gonzalez can only speak out with permission of Cuban authorities. Given the nature of the government that rules the island where he currently resides, likely offers their talking points in order to secure a better life for himself and family.
In this article, we learn nothing of the squalid living conditions in Cuba–and how because of his prominence, Mr. Gonzalez surely has a higher standard of living than most of the unfortunate denizens of that island.
We read, “The younger Gonzalez was celebrated as a hero and his father, a restaurant employee, was elected to parliament.” Um, elected to parliament? To the average reader that suggests that the elder Gonzalez gained such popular acclaim that he was swept into office by a wave of patriotic sentiment. Not exactly. The Communist Party handpicked him to run in an uncontested election where its candidates always win.
Wonder why Mr. Weissert failed to mention that?
We read of an
. . . event was organized by Cuba’s Council of Churches, which includes all major Cuban religions except the Roman Catholic Church, and was held at the Episcopal Santisima Trinidad Cathedral in Havana. The council staged a celebration in the same church days after Gonzalez’s return in 2000.
Wonder why Mr. Weissert failed to mention that this is not an independent organization, but is, in fact, controlled by the Cuban Communist Party.
When the younger Gonzalez returned to Cuba, Weissert breathlessly reports of another wave of patriotic fervor:
. . . men, women and children jammed the road from Havana’s airport, cheering, waving Cuban flags and throwing flowers as the motorcade carrying them passed.
He forget to mention that those citizens didn’t have make choice in the matter, being required to participate by the authorities in this totalitarian nation.
In short, this article makes it appear that there was a groundswell of popular and religious support for the return of Mr. Gonzalez when all there was a stage-managed events designed to enhance the power of the Communist State. And yet another Western reporter falls for the charade.
Hand Mr. Weissert and Yahoo! the Walter Duranty award.