WaPo Columnist Milloy Proves Useful Idiot for Castro Propaganda

¿Como se dice "useful idiot" en español? Try Courtland Milloy.

The liberal Washington Post columnist today published an item reflecting on his time in Havana with "community activists" who "engage[d] in frank talk about Cuba's social inequities."


Yet nowhere in his column did he cite a Castro opponent who called for greater economic liberalization or for the legalization of official opposition parties.

Instead Milloy quoted Castro regime official Johana Tablada who spun Cuba's economic lethargy as a stop-and-smell-the-roses approach to life lacking in Washington:

“I say, listen, maybe you have the 10 brands of cereal. Maybe you have the 100 options of clothing, which I like,” Tablada said. “But I don’t miss it when I’m here. I will go over at lunchtime and see my mom. Up in Washington, people do not stop; they do not look around. There is always something for you to consume, that consumes your life without you.”

Milloy then turned his fire on the U.S., painting Washington as the aggressor:

More remarkable than Tablada’s take was the extent to which her country’s brand of socialism seems to terrify the U.S. government. An ongoing, half-century-long economic embargo aims to bring Cuba to her knees while a spurious designation of the country as a “state sponsor of terrorism” leaves the door open for regime change.

In April, The Washington Post reported that the new chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), told a filmmaker in 2006 that she would welcome the assassination of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The columnist later insisted that "[t]he Cubans we met were not enslaved commie automatons. Many were intrigued by Cuba's transitioning from guaranteed government jobs to opportunities for self-employment. Just not at any cost." Milloy then, of course, quoted his tour guide who, of course, works for "the state-owned Havanatours":

“In the past, people were losing their values over tourism, doing anything for the green paper,” said Abel Contreras, our guide from the state-owned Havanatours. “This is my own opinion. One of the best things this government has done is to give us the possibility of being ourselves, of having self-respect and not being treated like a brothel of the United States.”

I'm sure Contreras has his own opinions that may stray from the Castro party line, but it's highly unlikely he could express them to a reporter with government officials closely monitoring him.

But that doesn't seem to register with Milloy who closed his column by emphasizing commonality between average Americans and everyday Cubans:

"You like baseball; we like baseball,” Contreras said. “We like jazz; you like jazz. You want universal health care and a good education for all; so do we. Both countries are struggling to find solutions to those problems.”


And don’t forget the food. Contreras likes black beans and rice; I like red beans and rice. Hold the political hot sauce, and our tastes are not so different after all.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters