GMA Suggests Independence From US More Important To Cubans Than Freedom

Fidel will someday disappear, but MSM nostalgia for the Cuban revolution is forever.  Good Morning America devoted a segment today to celebrations in Havana marking the 50th anniversary of Castro's dictatorship.  The thrust of Jim Avila's report was that, yeah, there are those who "complain" about that oppression stuff, but the key is that Cuba is free from los Yanquis!

JIM AVILA: It is Raul Castro who now runs the country, with Fidel incapacitated.  He brought the celebration back to where in 1959, he, Fidel and Che Guevara came out of the Sierra Maestra mountains to overthrow the American-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista.
Cut to clip of Batista and Pres. Nixon exchanging smiles and a handshake.  Funny: Avila referred to Batista as a "dictator", but never used that term for the Castro boys.
AVILA: That was ten American presidents ago. And while many Cubans complain about economic conditions and oppression, most still take pride in their independence. 
Cut to clip of a former State Department official, who reinforced that message. 

WAYNE SMITH: I think the Cubans are more nationalist than they are socialist.  They wanted to free Cuba of US domination.

Oh, they "freed" it alright. At one point, Raul was seen bellowing "viva la revolucion!"  I cannot confirm that Avila joined in.

Turns Out Wayne Smith Is a Big-Time Castro Apologist

Smith, who quit the State Department in 1982 over his disagreement with Ronald Reagan's policy toward Cuba—turns out to be a big fan of Castro and of his goal of bringing "social justice" to Cuba.  Check out this excerpt from an interview Smith did with Radio Havana, the official voice of Communist Cuba:

I arrived in Cuba in 1958 and, of course, it was very exciting. Castro’s forces were moving up the island. It was perfectly apparent as of summer 1958 that Fidel Castro was going to win. Then January 1, 1959, Batista fled the country and within a few days, Castro was in Havana. It was very exciting, a very optimistic time for Cuba. Castro was going to bring social justice and a better way of life for Cubans and we were hopeful that we could have a decent relationship but there were too many things in the way. It was too difficult with Cuba’s move to bring about social justice, inevitably some American companies were expropriated and nationalized, which didn’t help relations between the two governments.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.