Flat White

Castro a tyrant? Not according to the ABC

27 November 2016

1:22 PM

27 November 2016

1:22 PM

Snip20161127_10Unbelievable. Absolutely un-be-f*cking-lievable.

Read the ABC’s obituary of Fidel Castro, the “romantic revolutionary”.

Not one mention of human rights abuses. Of the persecution of political opponents. Of murder and torture. Of oppression. Nothing — a strange omission, given the importance the national broadcaster puts on the subject — of his obsessive denial and repression of the rights of homosexuals.

No. Nothing but propaganda.

“Castro – who died aged 90 – was a romantic revolutionary, a persuasive and moving speaker who had the affection of his people,” the ABC says.

“He was a charismatic, hands-on politician, with” — and here we get Aunty’s sole hint his rule wasn’t entirely sunshine and lollipops –“a history of violent, forceful politicking.”

Yes, buried deep in the report is the concession that Castro was “dictatorial”, but the same sentence goes on to say “he remained popular with Cubans who received free health care and education” before the next paragraph gushes “Under his rule, literacy rose to 98 per cent, 10,000 new schools were opened and infant mortality decreased.”

In other words, most of it is pure propaganda. Corrupt communist propaganda.

The ABC is even happy to report his entirely manipulated “elections” as if they were democratic processes with integrity, saying “He was elected Cuban president in 1976 and continued in this role until health problems overwhelmed him”.

The entire piece is a disgrace.

It contains no byline, but the author should be identified and reminded of the very first principle in the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s Code of Ethics — it’s on the ABC website, after all — “Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis.” So should the editors who allowed the piece to be published.

And readers who want an honest take on the former Cuban strongman might like to see the offering from Human Rights Watch.

Its first two paragraphs have more honesty and integrity than the ABC’s thousand-plus words combined:

During his nearly five decades of rule in Cuba, Fidel Castro built a repressive system that punished virtually all forms of dissent, a dark legacy that lives on even after his death.

During Castro’s rule, thousands of Cubans were incarcerated in abysmal prisons, thousands more were harassed and intimidated, and entire generations were denied basic political freedoms. Cuba made improvements in health and education, though many of these gains were undermined by extended periods of economic hardship and by repressive policies.

PS: The ABC-Fidel love fest continues. “Hundreds of students massed at Havana University to publicly mourn and praise Fidel Castro in the hours after he died,” our national broadcaster has now reported.

It’s almost indistinguishable from the type of unquestioning hagiography found on the Korean Central News Agency site. The North Korean Central News Agency, that is.


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