The readers’ forum

U.S. media indifferent to Cubans' plight


Re the Dec. 23 story Soledad O’Brien works it: It’s interesting that, despite Al-Jazeera correspondent Soledad O’Brien’s myriad interests and projects, none had anything remotely related to assisting her fellow Cubans living in Communist Cuba. She is half Cuban, and for people who find themselves en el exilio, the topic of the cruelty, corruption, hopelessness and squalor inflicted by the Castro brothers is usually never far from their thoughts. I find O’Brien’s silence on this point curious.

She could have shown interest in assisting the nonviolent pro-democracy group Las Damas de Blanco, who have been viciously assaulted, beaten and imprisoned for years by government thugs for silently protesting the abysmal conditions and virtual apartheid that Cubans have been subjected to for decades.

Meanwhile Alan Gross, a 64-year-old American working with USAID, was convicted of “crimes against the state” for trying to help the dwindling Cuban-Jewish community. Perhaps O’Brien remains unaware of the religious repression that this and other groups have suffered. Gross has been pleading for assistance from O’Brien’s favorite, President Obama, but up to now he has remained disinterested and she has apparently not been one to complain.

The ignominious list of political prisoners, beatings, assaults and offenses against Cubans goes on and on but for many in the U.S. media, there is only silence and tacit acquiesence.

I would have thought better from O’Brien, but perhaps that would be asking too much.

Frank R. Diaz-Balart,

Tomkins Cove, N.Y.

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