Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) approves of Cuba's press censorship
Regarding New York State's Governor Andrew Cuomo's business trip to Cuba, Silvio Canto, Jr. optimistically wrote:
Let's hope that he takes an interest in a couple of issues happening this week regarding freedom and workers' rights.
Hopes dashed, Mr. Canto. And workers. As Susanne Craig, Albany (NY's capital) bureau chief for the New York Times, tweeted:
Happening now: Andrew Cuomo has taken over the Jet Blue speaker on our flight home from Havana. Says he likes Cuba's approach to the press.— Susanne Craig (@susannecraig) April 21, 2015
So what is "Cuba's approach to the press" that endears it to Cuomo? Actually, it is quite disturbing for those of us who believe that part of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of the press. Cuba doesn't. Exactly a year ago, the Committee to Protect Journalists protested the jailing of a citizen-journalist for disturbing the Cuban government.
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the imprisonment of Juliet Michelena Díaz, a member of a network of citizen journalists, and calls on Cuban authorities to release her immediately. Michelena was detained on April 7 days after photographing a police operation in Havana, according to news reports and local human rights defenders.
"The detention of Juliet Michelena Díaz underscores the persistence of Cuban officials' intolerance for independent reporting," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas. "We call on authorities to drop the charges against Michelena and release her immediately." (snip)
The Cuban government has refrained from long-term imprisonments of journalists in recent years, though it has continued its practice of short-term detentions, according to CPJ research.
So Cuomo approves of this approach? Short-term detentions are fine. Well, yeah, I can see how Cuomo might approve of that; write something negative about him – oh, say, regarding the corruption in his government – and he and his minions haul the reporter off to prison for a short detention period. That should stifle negative reporting that would hinder his chances for the Democratic nomination for the presidency (of the U.S.) should he want it. Oh, right.
During the Cuban trip, Cuomo also proudly circulated a 30-year-old plus picture of his father, Mario Cuomo, also a governor of New York, chatting with Fidel Castro.
To paraphrase: With friends of workers like the Castros, who needs enemies?