Last week after information had been released about the potential airplane hijacking incident in Cuba a contradiction of news surfaced about really happened. The international newspapers printed the Cuban state run account painting heroic details of how the Cuban military soldier had been killed by the potential hijackers and now had been honored at burial wearing the pride of Cuba. Opponents of the government surfaced with unnamed source accounts of how the Cuban soldier had in fact been killed by friendly fire in the intense moments of the conflict between the would be hijackers and the Cuban military.
Unfortunately this contradiction of such a story is typical. In this era of poor Cuba-American government relations, respective mistrust and opportunistic propaganda by both sides, dissidents, government officials and others make it impossible to know what really happened. Unless one happened to witness the event himself, in current day Cuba reading is not believing. Instead of reporting the truth and all of us interested in Cuban-American relations having facts to guide us, politicians and those interested in winning new believers unto their side post what they believe serves them.
What about the Cuban people? Fidelitos and Bush backers are not going to change their minds regardless of what damning information shows itself about any Cuban or Cuban-American issue. They are stuck in their points of view and will probably die that way.
This in a nutshell is the problem for Cubans and Cuban-American relations. The truth takes a back seek to political interests and the Cuban people, those who really are the sufferers of decades old Cuban-American non-relations continue moneyless, confused and in need. If the United States was truly the heart based, family issues society that we preach, we would look beyond the respective government facades and do something to help the Cuban people. Beyond the few who make it to the island via help oriented organizations, there are millions of Americans who with the opportunity to see Cuba freely for themselves might help start bringing positive changes to the country. Until that day arrives we are up against the wall of propaganda. A hard one to overcome.