Sunday, August 12, 2007

He may not be a communist...

...or a Cuban intelligence agent but the Cuban communists certainly are defending Oscar Corral. The item below was posted on the Granma web site. For the uninitiated, Granma (yes Granma) is the "Official Organ of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party." It is the Cuban equivalent of the old Soviet Pravda. Translation by Herald Watch.

Miami Police arrested journalist Oscar Corral
OSCAR Corral, the Miami Herald reporter who unmasked well-known Florida journalists [who were] paid by Washington; and who dared to investigate hot subjects related to the international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and who was recently a victim of death threats from the Miami extreme right, has just been implicated by the Miami police in a case in a presumed case of soliciting a prostitute in the street.

According to the Miami press, Corral was arrested during an operation against prostitution in which 14 individuals were detained in the Flagami neighborhood. That zone, located on the west end of Eighth Street, is well-known in Miami for being frequented by prostitutes that come from around the country…and, often, by police women dressed as "hookers" who try to attract men in order to accuse them.

The journalist declared himself innocent of the crime.

The most well-known investigative reporter in the Miami press had recently received death threats, intimidating calls and insulting messages from Cuban-American extremists.

In a recent interview recent with the reporter Rebecca Wakefield of the weekly newspaper The Sun Post from Miami Beach, Corral recounted how he had to take refuge “in a secure location for six weeks " in order to finish news articles, after suffering a “bombardment” of attacks from “anti-Castro” fanatics against his person his person and his family.

Oscar Corral who revealed, several months ago, how South of Florida journalists “including three from El Nuevo Herald ", receive “regular payments” from the government of The United States for their contributions to programs of Radio Martí and TV Martí, two Governmental organizations that belong to the propagandistic machinery of the Bush annexation plan.

Among the journalists thusly remunerated by those affiliates of the Voice of America, that depend directly on the State Department, were the political commentator Pablo Alfonso, known for his attacks on Cuba, and the fugitive terrorist Carlos Alberto Montaner.

Corral also often touched the “taboo” subject of Cuban-American terrorists, while investigating the case of Posada Carriles and his mafioso network. On July 3, 2005 he published an article with his colleague Alfonso Chardy, in which he revealed how the three mafioso congressmen from south of Florida --Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen-- wrote to the ex-president of Panama, Mireya Moscoso, so that she might pardon Posada, on the 8th of May, 2003.

Also it was Corral who developed the subject of the scandalous audit report of the General Accounting Office (GAO) that revealed how the Miami Mafia has spent, between 1996 and 2005, the millions [of dollars] assigned [to it] by the government of the United States for its dirty war against Cuba by way of its Agency for Development (USAID, by its abbreviation in English).

The reporter made public the list of doubtful acquisitions made by the mercenaries of the State Department: Nintendo and Playstation games, mountain bicycles, fur coats, cashmere sweaters, chocolates and crab meat.

The scandal caused the untimely exit of the mafioso Adolfo Franco from his position as chief in this cave of brigands.

Corral's arrest, presumably under mistaken circumstances, by all means, serves the interests of the local Mafia that has always known, in the past, how to solve the “case” of those reporters who dared bother it.
First a few words about Granma. We often complain here in the US about the lack of media objectivity and the intrusion of bias in the news. In Cuba they don't have that problem because there isn't even a pretext of impartiality. You can see from the liberal use of adjectives and hyperbole that this is plainly obvious. The problem of course is that there are no legal alternatives to the official state-run media in Cuba. It's quite ironic that that Granma attacks Miami journalists who were moonlighting for Radio and TV Marti because those are government-run while the only permitted media in Cuba is government-run.

In addition to the one-sided nature of the report certain things are simply false. The article leaves the reader with the impression that the Herald's own Marti Moonlighters continue to freelance for Radio/TV Marti. The truth is when they were rehired that they agreed not to continue with their freelance assignments.

But what's interesting here is how quick they are defend Corral and imply that he was set-up by the Cuban exile community which they call the "Miami Mafia" (a slur that Bob Norman doesn't mind repeating). The reader is supposed to believe that the "Miami Mafia" placed a device in Corral's car which directed him (against his will) to an area frequented by street walkers and to allegedly negotiate fellatio from a prostitute named Yamilet Lopez.

It's worth remembering that when a column appeared in El Nuevo Herald wondering if Corral was a Cuban agent, because the official Cuban media had the scoop on the Marti Moonlighters story before the Herald itself could break it, that (then) TMH executive editor Tom Fiedler called it a "blood libel". Now when Corral is in hot water with law it's the official Cuban media that comes to his defense. Whether Corral actually works for the Cuban government is pure speculation but this article in Granma leaves no doubt that they are very very happy with his work.

It should be noted as well that the Herald has never conducted an investigation (at least they have never made one public) into how they were scooped by the Cuban communist media. They have also refused to take seriously statements made by Dr. Antonio de la Cova about a Cuban intelligence defector named Jesus Perez Mendez who in 1982 allegedly denounced current Herald editorial contributor Marifeli Perez-Stable as being controlled (at least at one time) by the Cuban DGI during an FBI debriefing. Dr. de la Cova reports on his web site that "Perez-Stable refused to respond to Miami Herald reporter Miriam Marquez when questioned about the espionage allegations made by DGI defector Jesus Perez Mendez." Herald Watch wants to know what she is hiding.

It should also be noted that Ms. Perez-Stable, through here attorney (and ACLU lawyer) John de Leon, threatened me with a libel/slander lawsuit for publishing de la Cova's statements. To date nothing has come of that. Herald Watch suspects that Ms. Perez-Stable doesn't actually want to be deposed or have other witnesses including Perez Mendez himself testifying. But she is still cashing paychecks from the Herald. Most recently Perez-Stable has been publicly supporting a Cuban transition to a "Chinese model" where the economy would be liberalized while the government (and presumably the Communist Party) retain control of the political institutions.


Anonymous said...

Granma had some real whoppers the other day. they said none of the PDVSA people on the airplane in the Argentine money scandal are executives or in high position in PDVSA. They also said that Dengue has ben eradicated from the island and that there are no cases now...If Napoleon had had Granma the people in France still would not know about the battle of Waterloo

asombra said...

The issue now is not whether Corral is in the habit of employing prostitutes or what is the exact flavor of his politics. The issue is how the Herald organization will respond to this unquestionably newsworthy Granma article which is of obvious interest and concern to a great many people in the community the Herald is supposed to serve.

Given Corral's highly controversial history with regard to the Cuban exile community, and the Herald's decision to take his side against a very significant proportion of its potential readership, this Granma business MUST be addressed (and I don't mean an "article" the size of a credit card buried in a back page).

If, however, neither of the Heralds tackles this, that should be quite telling. However, I'm not exactly holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

It's not surprising the "Heralds"
siding and defending Castro'sbrutal
totalitarian dictactorship so it's permission to appear in "Granma"(Fidel'own newspaper) so it is also well known their visious
attacks to the real victims of Castro's mounstrosiities who live
all over the world,specially where most lives that is in Miami addressed as "Miami Mafia";name invented by the insane Fidel and used so fashionly by useful idiots

Anonymous said...

"Blood libel." "Speaking truth to power," or something like that. It would seem Fiedler was rather fond of bombastic, overwrought phrases. I wonder if that's related to the fact he owed so much to plain, ordinary "monkey business." Oh, well, I suppose grandiloquence might make for passable window dressing. One does what one can.

Henry Gomez said...

Thank you for your comment anonymous, err I mean Manuel.

asombra said...

Silly me. To even imagine the Herald might conceivably tackle this VERY remarkable Granma defense of one of its most notorious, er, best-known reporters. What was I thinking? That would mean bringing up Corral's prostitution incident, which the Herald scarcely touched and apparently relegated to dead-letter status, not to mention risking riling up those nasty, sniping Chihuahuas, uh, Cubans, who persist in being so damn uppity, er, difficult.

Just lay low and let it blow over. After all, nothing's been done, as far as anyone can tell, to clear up why and how Cuban government media scooped the Herald-Corral "Big Story" of 9/06, and that was, what, almost ONE YEAR ago? Why bother with the new Granma item then, it being so inconvenient and all? No news is good news, or so it certainly seems.

And of course, the reason Nuevo Herald is being so extremely reticent, not to say oblivious, regarding the recent developments involving Corral (including the Granma piece) has NOTHING to do with any kind of gag order or pressure from higher-ups in the organization. I guess the Nuevo folks are just too busy otherwise to bother with something of such obvious and undeniable interest to their Cuban-American readers.

asombra said...

I forgot to say that, in light of the Herald's ever more amazing track record vis-a-vis the Cuban-American community, my trust and confidence in the Herald organization will soon be as great as my admiration for "good little Cubans," and as deep as my desire to emulate them. Maybe if I work hard enough at it, I can get a Herald byline, too.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing new at all regarding Corral in either Herald today (8/15). If the Granma story was to be covered, that would have run by now. Guess it was deemed "trivial" or "irrelevant" to the community, unlike some new Paris Hilton incident.

I wonder what would have happened if Armando Perez-Roura had been caught soliciting a teen-age prostitute, or if Ninoska Perez-Castellon were somehow associated with Pinochet, no matter how flimsy the evidence.

asombra said...

Just remember, no news is good news, especially if the news is inconvenient or detrimental to the newspaper. Makes perfect sense.