14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, Havana, 17 March 2020 — Every day I have to make an effort to watch the official Cuban official. My work as a journalist obliges me to tune in to those news programs because in a country marked by vertical control of the news, there are data and statements that are only published on those television or radio stations. Although I always muster a special patience to sit before the screen, I must confess that these days the drink is getting much more bitter.
NTV, in the evening primetime hours, is broadcasting some dangerous hoaxes about the coronavirus, turning the pandemic into an ideological battle, using the calamity to compete politically, and denying the mistakes of the “fellow comrades” while minimizing or falsifying the successes of democratic countries before the advance of Covid-19. Thus, it disseminates statements from officials more concerned with appearing normal than with protecting the population. Everything Venezuela’s Maduro and Nicaragua’s Ortega do in the face of the pandemic is an example to follow, while Germany’s Merkel or France’s Macron seem to be literally sinking their countries, according to this crude news script.
The newscast speaking of the interior of Cuba tells us that everything is “tranquility and discipline” and in its reports and headlines chauvinism reaches unbearable heights with a mix of recklessness, arrogance, absolute lack of humility and folly. The responsibility for the damage this disease causes in an unsuspecting Cuba – where the borders have not yet closed, classes are not canceled, work days are not suspended, offices are not closed, and there is no strong call for people to stay at home – will fall on the official news media and its public “information.”
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