I once knew a Cuban who, before he fled Cuba, worked for Fidel Castro (search) as manager of the sugar industry. Eventually he was elevated to an even higher position: head of the Cuban Film Institute (search). The point is, Fidel gives the highest priority to movies as propaganda tool.
As Cuban filmmaker Reinaldo Cruz, who fled Cuba in 1998, says about the Cuban Film Institute, it has one overriding purpose: "…to project the power and the image of the regime of Castro. It was founded for that." And now, for the sixth year, Fidel is bringing that propaganda tool to the big apple, in the form of the Havana Film Festival (search) in New York. And get this, the co-sponsor of the event, is that champion of civil liberties, The New York Times.
The Times issued a statement saying that they were co-sponsoring the event because their readers “appreciate a diversity of thought and opinions in culture.”
But are their readers getting a diversity of opinions? The festival won’t let any Cuban dissident films be shown. So much for diversity. Cuban American filmmaker Ivan Acosta (search) is incensed that the New York Times is endorsing a censored vision of Cuba: "They have a duty of investigating and finding out what is going on, instead of being useful idiots."
And that’s the Asman Observer.
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