‘Granma’ Erases Two Comments Critical Of Diaz-Canel’s Visit To Venezuela

First comment: Seeing the situation we have in the country now is it time to take a trip abroad. you should be with the people who lost lives, homes, harvests, etc. because of the storm. Second Comment: With all respect for the new authorities and fundamentally for the beloved Cuban people, I would have liked to see Senor Diaz Canel with boots in the flood bringing help in such difficult times when human lives have been lost. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 31 May 2018 – Since Wednesday, most of the talk on Cuban streets is about two things: the heavy rains that have kept the country on edge and criticism of President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s visit to Venezuela right in the middle of the floods caused by subtropical storm Alberto. The controversy has reached the digital pages of the official newspaper Granma, which censored two comments that questioned the president’s trip.

The article that announced Diaz-Canel’s arrival in Caracas was published this Wednesday shortly after 11 o’clock in the morning and by 3 o’clock in the afternoon there were at least two comments that criticized the leader’s departure from the country.

“He should be with people who lost homes, harvests,” demanded an Internet user named Aby. A few minutes later, another, under the name of Humberto, added that he preferred to see the president “with boots in the flood offering help.”

On Thursday morning, 14ymedio was able to verify that both comments had been deleted and only the favorable messages about the trip to Venezuela remained at the bottom of the article.

The official organ of the Communist Party has an ironclad moderation policy on its digital page and texts from users who question the political system, leaders of the Revolution or official functionaries are rarely published. As a rule, these comments do not even appear in the discussion thread.

In this case, however, the questions posted by Aby and Humberto did appear on-line and they remained up at least four hours before they were erased.

This is Diaz-Canel’s first official visit abroad since he took office as president on April 19. Although his rapid appearance at the site of the May 18 crash of the Cubana de Aviación flight was praised by citizens, this departure from the island in the midst of the storm Alberto, a natural disaster that cost the lives of four people, did extensive damage to homes and had serious effects on agriculture, has generated increasing criticism.

“What he did with his head he destroyed with his feet,” said an elderly man sitting on a wet bench in Havana’s Central Park. “He left when there was more to be done,” he said.


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