Be sure to follow me on Twitter @leftiblog

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Did Cuba cut off electricity to the U.S. Interest Section in Havana?

No doubt many of you have seen this item in the news, about how the U.S. was charging that Cuba had cut off the electricity to the U.S. Interest Section in Havana. Now the first thing to note in the article I just linked to, which is typical of the coverage I've seen, is that despite its length (just under 400 words), the article is entirely composed of quotes from U.S. spokespeople. The author didn't even bother to call any Cuban source for some sort of ritual denial; the story is presented simply as unchallenged fact.

But, you won't be surprised to hear, that isn't the whole truth. Or even any of the truth, as you can find out today from Granma, who, in typical Cuban fashion, has published a long, fact-filled editorial documenting the actual truth. The electricity, as a reporter could easily have verified, was part of a wider outage, connected with recent tropical storms hitting Cuba (storms bad enough to have warranted the evacuation of 25,000 people):

In fact there were a large number of power failures in the city of Havana and throughout the country; one of them occurred along the underground 13,000-volt circuit Vedado2, which directly feeds the Interests Section offices, and one of the two channels that supplies electric power to the Anti-Imperialist Tribune, due to the adverse weather conditions experienced by the country over the last two weeks up until yesterday afternoon, Monday (June 12): repair work on this interruption is underway just like on all the others.
But Granma doesn't stop there, documenting their history of repairing problems at the Interests Section, the amount of electricity used by the Interests Section, how many Cubans work there, and so on. And finally, the identify what is behind this latest nonsense, quoting a speech earlier this year by Fidel Castro:
"Under pressure from the Cuban-American mafia, and as one of its next steps, the government of the United States is intent on openly violating the U.S.–Cuba Migratory Agreement (...) It is looking for any pretext to prevent, at all costs, the sale of agricultural products to Cuba, which has been increasing, while our country has paid every cent on time during five years – something it did not expect from a blockaded nation facing constant aggression (...) And, unhappy with the decision taken by President Carter on May 30, 1977, it proposes to force a rupture in its current minimal diplomatic ties with Cuba. The gross provocations that have been carried out from its Interests Section offices in Havana do not and cannot have any other purpose."
Will you be reading the Cuban side of the story in the U.S. press? Perhaps. CNN online is now carrying the story, but it's safe to say it won't get one-tenth the play that the initial false story did.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com High Class Blogs: News and Media