What's the matter with Cuba? Why is its economy a disaster, its people mired in poverty? Could it be . . . communism? Of course not. Cuba's dire straits are the fault of that hegemonistic entity just to the north of the Florida Straits. Oh, and Cuban youth could care less about being enslaved. Don't believe it? Ask Andrea Mitchell.
The NBC correspondent appeared this morning at 7:10 am EDT on a special live-from-Havana edition of "Today," anchored by Matt Lauer.
NBC CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL: The island's infrastructure is crumbling, crippled by a U.S. trade embargo that has lasted nearly half a century.
That was the sum total of Mitchell's explanation of Cuba's economic woes. Although Cuba is free to trade with all the 180-or-so other countries in the world, she offered not a word suggesting the brutal communist dictatorship could be to blame for what Matt Lauer had earlier acknowledged is the 50-cents per day average wage. True, Mitchell was seen boldly inveighing for change to a government official . A U.S. official, that is. Interviewing Cuban-born U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Mitchell made her case for lifting the embargo.
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MITCHELL: Couldn't you argue if more Americans could go to Cuba and more information could go back and forth, that the society, the island, would open up that much sooner?
GUTIERREZ: Anyone who goes there to do business is essentially encouraging that system, it's allowing that system to be cemented even more.
Earlier, Mitchell found a strange way to make the case that Cubans aren't interested in freedom, running a clip of a guitar-strumming 17-year old boy wearing a Pink Floyd tee-shirt.
MITCHELL: Cuba's next generation, more interested in music than in politics. For the first time in 50 years, their future will not revolve around Fidel Castro. To 17-year old Jose Raul Rivera and his friends, Castro and politics are just not important.
17-YEAR OLD JOSE RIVERA: Not at all, not at all, never do we speak about it. We just don't care.
It's possible that Jose and his music-loving friends might not care much about politics. Like teenagers around the world, they tend to have other things on their mind. But what of the millions of post-adolescent Cubans? Why didn't Mitchell interview any of them to see if they "just don't care" about having no freedom? And if Cuban teenagers are anything like their American counterparts, and I bet they are, they are many who passionately care about politics. But surely Mitchell knows what would happen to Rivera and his family, or to any Cuban, who announces on American TV his desire to see the dictatorship overthrown. Could Andrea possibly be more cynical?
This is not the first time Mitchell has laid Cuba's woes at Uncle Sam's feet. As I documented here
, just last month she claimed that in Cuba, "there have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo,
the economic embargo."
Alan, are you listening? How about a crash course for the missus in Freedom and Free Markets 101?Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org