CBS Flips Blame: 60 Years of 'Communist Rule' Caused Cuba’s Problems


On Monday, CBS This Morning drew criticism from the reasonable when they blamed former President Trump for the plight of the protesting Cuban people. But later that night, the CBS Evening News made a blatant reversal of messaging as they became the only broadcast network that evening to not only say the word “communism” but also blamed the “six decades of communist rule” for their lack of food and other “basic necessities.”

Earlier in the day, correspondent Manuel Bojorquez noted that Cuban dictator “Miguel Diaz-Canel blamed the protests on the U.S. and its trade embargo for a severe impact on Cuba’s recent economic downturn.”

And Cuba-based CBS News producer Portia Siegelbaum chimed in by blaming Trump for the poor economic conditions in the country. “The Trump administration passed many more regulations, many more sanctions against it, which basically has cut off all income coming into Cuba,” she asserted.

The change in finger-pointing was almost immediately noticeable at the top of the evening newscast when anchor Norah O’Donnell teased: “In the streets, Cubans fed up with the communist government stage nationwide protests.” And when she got around to the segment, she again noted that the uprising was against “that country’s communist regime.”

Bojorquez was back with some praise for the protesters. “The protests are as remarkable as the outward displays of anger towards the government, flipping over a police car here,” he reported. He noted that Diaz-Canel accused the U.S. of stoking the unrest via social media meddling and “blames the economic downturn here on the U.S. embargo.”

 

 

But that’s when Bojorquez shot back with the truth, that the communists were to blame: “[F]or many, the tipping point, after six decades of communist rule, are shortages of food and medicine exacerbated by the pandemic.”

The director of the Cuban Research Institute, Jorge Dunay, spoke with CBS about how life for the average Cuban was “very difficult and it’s becoming increasingly difficult” under the communist party’s rule on the island. “People have a very difficult time finding food, finding medicine, fuel, just the basic necessities,” he said.

Shockingly, Bojorquez called out the Biden administration for not having a coherent Cuba policy:

BOJORQUEZ: Jorge Dunay is director of the Cuban Research Institute and says this puts pressure on the Biden administration to formalize its Cuba policy and navigate helping the Cuban people without enriching their government.

DUANY: Their basic message has been they’re reviewing the policy and that they will place human rights and democracy at the center. But beyond those general comments, we don’t know exactly what the Biden administration will do.

The segment ended with Bojorquez observing a solidarity protest in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida. He told viewers that reporting out of the island had been disrupted because the government had cut off the internet.

The only thing really missing from his report was how Cubans were marching while holding American flags (something the other networks didn’t mention either).

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CBS Evening News
July 12, 2021
6:40:18 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Tonight, President Biden says the U.S. stands with the Cuban people after the largest and most violent protests in decades against that country’s communist regime. And they’re the first since the Castro brothers relinquished power. CBS’s Manuel Bojorquez is monitoring the unrest from Miami.

[Cuts to video]

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: The protests are as remarkable as the outward displays of anger towards the government, flipping over a police car here. The regime’s response was swift. Violent confrontations with police were posted online until the government cut the internet off. Thousands in Miami have joined in solidarity. President Joe Biden weighed in today.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The Cuban people commanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime. And I don’t think we’ve seen anything like this protest in a long, long time.

BOJORQUEZ: Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel blamed the protest on a U.S.-blacked social media campaign. “Manipulating the emotions and feelings of people,” he said [translating]. He blames the economic downturn here on the U.S. embargo. But for many, the tipping point, after six decades of communist rule, are shortages of food and medicine exacerbated by the pandemic.

What is life like for the average Cuban right now?

JORGE DUANY: Very difficult and it’s becoming increasingly difficult. People have a very difficult time finding food, finding medicine, fuel, just the basic necessities.

BOJORQUEZ: Jorge Dunay is director of the Cuban Research Institute and says this puts pressure on the Biden administration to formalize its Cuba policy and navigate helping the Cuban people without enriching their government.

DUANY: Their basic message has been they’re reviewing the policy and that they will place human rights and democracy at the center. But beyond those general comments, we don’t know exactly what the Biden administration will do.

[Cuts back to live]

BOJORQUEZ: Tonight, the show of support continues here in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Because the internet is out in Cuba and numbers are hard to come by, it is unclear exactly how many people there have been arrested for the protests, but there are reports a priest was among them. Norah.

O’DONNELL: Manuel Bojorquez, thank you.



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