[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: DeFede Interviews Alarcon

Monday, June 20, 2005

DeFede Interviews Alarcon

The Herald's Jim DeFede continued his series of Cuba columns with his latest piece yesterday in which he interviewed Cuban National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcon. It's worth a read, even for you Herald and DeFede haters out there.

I was expecting DeFede to lob lots of softballs at Alarcon, mixed in with a few batting practice fastballs. Instead, DeFede managed to throw him a steady diet of breaking balls, although he failed to put him away with any 95 mph fastballs.

Let's take a look at Jim's interview scorecard, provided to you by the 26th Parallel sports wire:

- Question about Cuba harboring suspected terrorists? Check.
DeFede threw a hanging breaking ball when asked by Alarcon to name one example of a terrorist in Cuba, he answered back with Joanne Chesimard. A fugitive, yes. A terrorist...not quite Jim. He tried to make up by mentioning the ETA and Colombian terrorists, to which Alarcon made a vague reply.

- 1994 13 de marzo Tugboat Sinking? Check.
Alarcon insisted that it was an accident, but one that has been overplayed in Miami. I'll leave this one alone...it's too obvious.

- Brothers to the Rescue takedowns? Check.
See above.

- The 75 dissidents? Check.
Here, Alarcon decides to respond by belittling the First Amendment. Even a third-grader could nail him on that one. More on this later. ''First have the U.S. get off of our shoulders,'' Alarcon said sternly. Have the United States abandon its policy of provocation against Cuba, which is part and parcel of their aim to dominate Cuba. That's the real issue.'' Pobrecito Ricardito. Poor little Ricky.

- Suggesting that Cuba uses the U.S. as an excuse for its failed policies? Check.
''Lift the embargo. Lift the excuse. Let's do this: Lift the embargo for one year, and let's see what happens. One year without this excuse,'' Alarcon added. I have spent much of my life denouncing it. What shall I do with no more embargo? Well, I will write my memoirs. . ."

- Cuba cutting back on economic reforms instituted in the early 1990s? Check.

- Venezuela bolstering Cuba's economy with its oil. Check.
''No, no, no,'' Alarcon said. ``You see that's an example of American perception.''

Ok...enough with the baseball metaphors.

Basically, DeFede asked some good questions, questions that I would expect an American journalist to ask someone from the castro regime. Alarcon was put on the defensive several times, and failed to directly answer some questions. However, DeFede failed to put him away once he had Alarcon on the ropes. Insisting that it's Cuba who must start to make reforms to match the rest of the free world, not wait for the U.S. to change its policy towards Cuba, would have been a start.

DeFede could've also asked about all the money and goods flowing into the island, yet still pay peanuts to its workers. He also could've asked why tourists get preferential treatment while ordinary Cubans aren't allowed to access the best medical facilities.

I'd like to close by quoting the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Comprende Ricardito?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the article was surprising, to say the least, i expected "easier' questions.. on a side note, i know alot has been said lately about cuba harboring terrorists in regards to the posdada case.. in regards to CERTAIN eta members, there was a handful that were "exiled" at the request of the spanish government and cuba took them in.. its not like they fled jurisdiction, they were simply expelled by spain.. im not talking about all the eta in cuba, im not talking about black panthers who hijacked planes in the 70's, this is only in reference to certain members of eta in cuba.. i just mention it because if you use eta in an argument against someone who knows about that feal they may fire it back in your face
daniel

3:52 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Robert said...

I guess one could make the argument that Spain shipped the ETA terrorists off to Cuba. Is that what you're saying?

I see it as Cuba willingly taking them in, not Spain exiling them to Cuba specifically. I could be wrong.

4:39 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

spain was expelling them, and looking for takers, i think the way it went was spain asked cuba if they would take them, figuring theyd probably say yes..

5:01 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, hit return by mistake, im not excusing or accusing or anything, im just saying that if one is going to use the ETA claim specifically, it is not exactly a case of cuba harboring fugitives, that specific ETA case is one where the spanish government asked for cuba to take them in, rather than leave them in spain where they could eventually leave prison and cause more troubles.. it happens alot, especially with deposed leaders... countries all the time take in individuals "to prevent" further trouble.. when you talk ex-leadrers, the usa took in the shah of iran, france took in duvalier, brasil took in stroessner from paraguay and mesa from bolivia.. sure, were talking world leaders and not interpol terrorists in those cases, but im just saying, it happens alot more than you think..
daniel

5:13 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Robert said...

I see what you're saying daniel. I'm sure there's a lot more to this than we've discussed. I should do some research on it.

Whether Spain asked Cuba to take them or not, Cuba could have turned them down but didn't. No wonder countries ask Cuba to take their terrorists away from them.

5:22 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

That F***ing piece in the Herald pissed me off. Yeah he asked him some semi-tough questions but where is the writer's opinion about the half answers and dodges? This guy is usually full of opinions. You mean to tell me he just sat there and decided to become a stenographer for that a-hole Alarcon? I'm sure he had to be weirded out by that creep. Maybe we'll get the real scoop when he's back in Miami. He could have easily pinned down Alarcon when he was dismissing the opinions of the Cuban exiles in Miami. DeFede could have said "well it's obvious you have little regard for the opinions of Cuban in the United States, why should Americans in the U.S. have any regard for the "million man marches" you stage?"

Alarcon talks about Posada Carriles as if he's on vacation at Disney World. I mean the guy is in custody. He says that if we don't extradite him then we are obligated to put him on trial here. DeFede could have said easily "what makes you think that's not going to happen?" After all the guy was only detained like a month ago. He hasn't even had immigration hearing yet.

Alarcon is a big Mariconson!

12:47 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Robert said...

Fishfan,

I was disappointed that DeFede did not go for the kill. I'm hoping (but not holding my breath) that he will say what he wants once the dust settles. He's already back in town so he doesn't have the "I'm in Cuba" excuse.

This whole thing should be a classic set up for DeFede to go off on one of his rants. We'll eventually see what side of the fence he sits on.

10:05 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I have a friend who's had some personal dealings with DeFede. He says although the guy is plainly liberal, he a fair minded guy. I'm hoping that he was smart enough to see through smoke screen they threw up for him. A guy like that could help us greatly if the Cuban government turned him off. I did see the tenor of his writing change as the trip wore on. Pehaps that's the answer. Send all the liberals to Cuba but not for a few days. Send them there for a couple of months. Send them there with $50, no more. And see what happens. See what they say.

11:25 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Robert said...

I've never met DeFede personally, but your friend's assessment seems accurate to me.

I feared absolute chaos when the Herald hired him from the New Times (talk about a piece of crap rag!). He's been a lot less ascerbic at the Herald, and I even recall him coming to Cubans' defense a couple of times when some idiot official from Miami Shores blamed all of Miami's ills on the Cubans.

I don't expect DeFede to wave the flag of the right-wing in this, or any other issue. All we want is fairness and accuracy in his reporting.

3:01 PM, June 21, 2005  

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