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Fidel's Flatterers

The U.S. Media's Decades of Cheering Castro's Communism

Executive Summary

2006-08-01-CBSCastroWhile every other country in the Western Hemisphere moved towards democracy, Cuba has remained a one-party state under dictator Fidel Castro, who held power without free elections from 1959 until health problems forced him to step aside in 2006. Castro's communist regime has executed hundreds of political opponents and driven tens of thousands more into exile; hundreds of dissidents today languish in Cuban prisons. The U.S. State Department, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all listed Castro’s Cuba as among the worst violators of human rights on the planet, while the Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the harassment and imprisonment of journalists.

Yet liberals in the U.S. media — who have rightly condemned such abuses when perpetrated by dictators such as Chile’s Augusto Pinochet — inexplicably remain enchanted with Castro and his socialist revolution. For more than half a century, positive profiles of Castro have appeared in U.S. papers. Back on January 18, 1959, New York Times reporter Herbert L. Matthews exulted in Castro’s seizure of Cuba: "Everybody here seems agreed that Dr. Castro is one of the most extraordinary figures ever to appear on the Latin-American scene. He is by any standards a man of destiny."

For 20 years, the Media Research Center has documented the liberal media’s infatuation with Fidel Castro and Cuba’s communism. Below are some of the choicest examples from MRC’s archives, many accompanied by audio and video clips, plus links to further evidence.