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Monday, May 2, 2016

Orwellian Press Coverage on Carnival Cruise to Cuba

Memory hole - A system of pipes, similar to pneumatic tubes, which were used to destroy documents. A document stuffed in the memory hole would be conveniently whisked away to the furnaces below - quickly & easily wiped from history. - The Newspeak Dictionary

When one asks why the news media is dying perhaps because all too often it is no longer news but propaganda that assists the powerful in advancing their agenda rather than informing U.S. citizens.

Multiple news outlets were reporting that "the first cruise from America to Cuba in more 50 years"  was underway but the fact of the matter is that on May 16, 1977 a cruise from America to Cuba that departed from New Orleans with Raul Castro's sister Juanita leading hundreds of protesters in a march through the port who blasted the trip at the time arguing that economic boycott by the United States should be maintained.Why is there no mention of this historic first in the press coverage underway?

Or the fact that Cuban-Americans on that voyage, who had left Cuba prior to the Castro regime, were discriminated against and not allowed to disembark with the other passengers when they arrived in Cuba. So far, Patrick Oppman of CNN has made the correction in a tweet.
 CBS national got the story right today with details that explain why perhaps this chapter many who advocate normalized relations would rather forget:
After Carter dropped limits on Cuba travel, 400 passengers, including musical legend Dizzy Gillespie sailed from New Orleans to Cuba on a 1977 "Jazz Cruise" aboard the MS Daphne. [...] The following year, however, Daphne made a several cruises from New Orleans to Cuba and other destinations in the Caribbean. Cuba cut back on all cruise tourism in 2005, ending a joint venture with Italian terminal management company Silares Terminales del Caribe and Fidel Castro blasted cruise ships during a 4 ½ hour speech on state television. "Floating hotels come, floating restaurants, floating theaters, floating diversions visit countries to leave their trash, their empty cans and papers for a few miserable cents," Castro said.
Cruises to Cuba were shut down after the Cuban dictator in 2005 made a long speech and decided he didn't like them (probably because Chavez made it financially unnecessary at the time). Times are tough now and the cruises are viewed positively by the dictatorship for now.

The big difference today is that Cuban exiles united on the issue of discrimination against Cubans who had wanted to book a trip on the Carnival cruise and using nonviolent resistance managed to change both Carnival's and the Castro regime's position. Unlike 1977 passengers who are of Cuban origin will be able to disembark along with the rest. The circumstances that led to this outcome need to be further studied.

However the  CBS local affiliate continues to report the erroneous story that this is something new and historic. Why? Is it just sloppy reporting or something more sinister? Either way it is not good for journalism or U.S. democracy.

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