Gonzales Supposedly “Wishes Castro Well”

The Associated Press is uncritically reporting that Elian Gonzales sincerely hopes that Castro recovers from his unknown illness.

Elian Gonzalez sent a note Sunday wishing a speedy recovery to “my dear grandpa Fidel,” and Cuba’s vice president said the world’s longest-serving leader is recuperating well after surgery.


Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of an international custody battle with family members in Miami six years ago, published a letter in the Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde signed with “little kisses” from him and his half-siblings and cousins.

“We send you this letter to let you know that we are worried about your health,” Elian, now 12, wrote. “We hope for your speedy recovery and take the opportunity to wish you a happy birthday, may you have many more.”

You know, it may very well be that Gonzales’ statements here are the absolute truth. I’m not a mind-reader, and this kid is 12 years old. And from my understanding, Castro has taken him under his wing.

However, I do think that there is some journalistic irresponisbility involved here. I mean, would it have been that difficult to have a sentence in the article mentioning that, had Elian Gonzales not wished and prayed for Castro’s health, then he likely would have been imprisoned?

I don’t know Anita Snow’s work, and I’m not about to claim that there’s any kind of bias at play here. But I do think that something that is obviously the propaganda of a nasty dictatorship shouldn’t be reported straight. You would think that some criticism would be in order.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, Media, World Politics, , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. anjin-san says:

    Before you get too high and mighty about the nasty dictatorship in Cuba, you might want to reflect on how America is in bed with the nasty dictatorship in China, or, for that matter, how we supported and armed Saddam’s nasty little dictatorship in Iraq when it suited us.

  2. lunacy says:

    Because China, Saddam, et al have exactly WHAT to do with the article and journalist noted above?

    Anjin San’s comment is like the foreign policy version of “I know I am but what are you” sneared on playgrounds around the world.

  3. McGehee says:

    Anjie’s ambition, as near as I can tell, is to be taken un seriously by every human being on earth at one time or another.

    Multiple times are just icing on the cake.

  4. To paraphrase Lincoln, you can be a fool to all of the people some of the time, or a fool to some of the people all of the time, but it takes a special talent to be a fool to all of the people all of the time.

  5. anjin-san says:

    Its not too complicated. To condemn Castro for being a nasty dictator while one has a houseful of goods produced in sweatshops/slave labor factores in China smacks of ummm, moral relativisim.

    But if you guys don’t want to look in mirror, well who can blame you?