Will Telesur Give Cubans the Whole Picture?

Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES — ??Telesur programming has resumed in Cuba, but now it’s live and direct, not like those pre-recorded edited broadcasts of the past, that brought us what the island’s authorities called “The best of Telesur.” I’m left wondering why the change?

Many people I know at first held hope in Telesur because it seemed more open, more truthful and more serious, with fewer barefaced lies than any Cuban newscast.

Then one day they began airing Mesa Redonda Internacional (Round Table International) on the Telesur channel, with the unparalleled Arleen Rodriguez as its host, which was when the whole thing started to stink.

Finally, starting Sunday, January 20, almost eight years since it first aired, uncut Telesur began being shown in Cuba.

Surprise! …or surprise? The first news about our country was typical slapstick from the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT).

In a brief interview segment, they asked several Cubans in the street what they thought about the arrival of Telesur live. Those who responded talked about how they were pleased because they’d have even greater access to information about Latin America and from the Latin American perspective. Because of this they expected to hear more Latino voices!

Notwithstanding, none of those interviewed said what I’ve heard so many people say: how they’re tired of the lies, double standards, and the partial and infantile portrayals of Cuban life presented by the Cuban news, and how they’re rejoicing because they hope Telesur is something different.

We’ll have to wait and see whether they end up being disappointed?


One thought on “Will Telesur Give Cubans the Whole Picture?

  • Too bad Al-Jazeera is not available in Cuba. It has the very best international coverage, especially for the Middle East, Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Latin America. Fortunately up here in the heart of the Beast we can get every network via the net (including, of course, CubaVision, which, if you pick-and-choose, especially on some of the educational and cultural programs, is worth my time). Let us hope that one day sooner–rather than later–Cubans will be afforded the same opportunity. In the meantime, TeleSur en vivo is a step in the right direction. The news and features are certainly more cosmopolitan and sophisticated compared to CubaVision. Still, Al-Jazeera is amazing, with reporters all over the world, even in some of the most wretched Third-World hell holes. Furthermore, unlike correspondentsfrom of the major Northamerican networks, Al-Jazeera’s correspondents (and stringers) are knoweledgable about the country or region on which they report (example Lucia Neuman, who used to be CNN’s Cuba correspondent, now has a much better job as Latin American corresponent with Al-Jazeera; another example of how Al-Jazeera is buying up all the talent which would otherwise languish under the neglect of CNN, MSNBC, etc.).

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