Cuba’s Granma Newspaper and Condoms: The Chain and the Monkey

Pedro Campos


HAVANA TIMES — An article published by Cuba’s major official newspaper on February 11, authored by Ronald Suarez Rivas, reports on condom shortages in the province of Pinar del Rio. The journalist quotes an expert from the Center for the Prevention of Infectious and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, concurring with her view that the matter is, at the very least, “disconcerting.”

The expert goes as far as suggesting people make love without having intercourse, in an effort to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

The journalist formulates a series of questions that go unanswered, including the obvious one: how is it possible that no one at any pharmacy can clearly explain to the population the reason behind these shortages?

Ronald Suarez approached the municipal storage manager, who said she has been ordering the product but that supplies have not come in.

In this way, State employees, the apparatus, the State monopoly, the bureaucrat responsible for supplies, purchases abroad, etc., disappear from the vocabulary used by the warehouse manager and journalist as if by magic.

The article includes a description of the government’s prevention campaign encouraging condom use and points out the contradiction between this campaign and the shortage of prophylactics at pharmacies.

In short, the journalist addressed the problem, but he merely yanks the chain, gives it a few turns and leaves the monkey alone, attacking the weakest link in the chain, pharmacy employees who “are incapable of explaining the reasons behind the shortage to the population” – reasons, to be sure, which are never mentioned.

Never going to the root of the problem is typical of the Communist Party’s Granma newspaper, its bureaucracy and propaganda apparatuses.

They can’t because it isn’t in their best interests to do so, as they would then have to clearly state that the sole culprit is the economic and political system that centralizes everything and is founded on wage State labor, the system maintained by the Party’s bureaucratic apparatus, the State and government, the one they have sought to impose on us in the name of socialism and whose deficiencies always end up being blamed on the workers, those below, when it can’t blame the United States.

It isn’t the journalist’s shortcomings. Everyone knows that the editorial staff of the newspaper, the official journal of the Communist Party, is the one that establishes the editorial policy and decides what is to be censored. Those who work in this newspaper and others, all of them under the control of the ideological apparatus of the Party (which no one elected), do what they can – what they are allowed to – when called on to criticize a problem.

No one can publish what they want to in Granma except for Fidel Castro (for even Raul Castro was censored after his “liter of milk” speech).

This article, like many others published by this newspaper, can help explain why the Cuban government does not allow for freedom of expression and association, why no press other than that run by the government and Party is authorized and why there is so much resistance to free and easily accessible Internet.

I have sent many of my articles to Granma. They have never published a single one. Close friends of mine told me they were going to look into that possibility. I am still waiting, but not with my arms crossed. In the meantime, I will continue to publish my articles through the alternative media that wishes to divulge my writings.

Granma can continue to hide and distort the truth, it can continue to blame those below, it can continue advancing campaigns so that the US blockade-embargo is stretched out over time and negotiations with the United States become protracted, so that the average Cuban continues to be denied access to the Internet – but Granma won’t be able to cheat anyone anymore, because people have been reading between the lines for far too long and they have learned to draw their own conclusions, as Cuban TV journalist Taladrid has taught them to do.

Granma can continue to play with the chain. However most people know where and who the monkey is.
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8 thoughts on “Cuba’s Granma Newspaper and Condoms: The Chain and the Monkey

  • Well within this half of the 21st century, artificial intelligence will become so far advanced beyond human capabilities that god-like capabilities will become commonplace .
    This coupled with a universally extremely well-educated planet-wide population ensures that things will turn out far better than you think.
    You make the common error of presuming original sin, that all us humans are created evil or are just intrinsically
    evil and that is not the case ; mutual aid being what enabled the species to survive and prosper since we and our cousins, the chimpanzees split off from our common ancestor some 100-250,000 years ago.
    We’ll be back to that most human way of existence before 2050 …easily .

  • In the USA, some 95% of the media is owned by six corporations .
    If you think they will present an honest picture of socialism /communism or even the intrinsic evils of capitalism, you’d have to be incredibly naïve yet the US public overwhelmingly believes their lies.
    These lies are designed to manufacture consent and create necessary illusions .
    They are just as essential to totalitarian free-enterprise countries like the USA as they are to totalitarian state capitalist countries like Cuba in maintaining control of the hearts and minds of their respective populations .
    In Cuba , at least, the majority of the people know that their press doesn’t tell them the whole truth .
    The abysmal and willful ignorance of the US electorate far outstrips anything in the Cuban electorate in this.
    All the proof you need are polls that show Faux News /Fox News is by far the leading source for info for the United States electorate to understand the depth of ignorance and more importantly disinformation (which is deliberate lies in the U.S. population.

  • Pedro ojala el problema fuera solo de condones. El asunto es mucho mas serio, pero Granma hace como el supuesto mono sabio: no veo, oigo ni hablo. Bueno hablar si, desinformar. Porque no decir la verdad real es mentir, distorcionar la realidad. Podemos calificar esa prensa, de publicacion seria, acordes con los principios de un periodismo veraz, profundo y de criterios? Sabemos de los pies que cojea el mundo “democratico” occidental, pero al menos la personas por medio de la prensa underground y los propios medios alternativos como la facebook podemos entrar en el libre juego de ideas. Nunca jamas sera revolucionario, un estado que reprime y conculca la expresion, manipula a la sociedad, y frena el desarrollo economico, porque lo de los cuentapropistas es una medicina de botica para calmar la ansiedad de los cubanos de poder desarrolar sus iniciativas y su inteliegencia en la agricultura, la ciencia y la cultura. 4 Gatos y una descendecia sanguinia que aspira a la sucesion, y una caterva de oportunistas montados en la carroza, no es lo que merece nuestro pueblo ni nuestra historia. Me quedo, ahi. Mis saludos, Pedro Campos. Creo que la ultima vez que nos vimos fue o en la lectura de poemas de Felix Guerra o el homenaje al fotografo mutuo amigo, Ernesto Fernandez. Recuerdo bien? JMG.

  • The moral of the story “Frankenstein” is that that man’s desire to play God always turns out badly.

    In a Revolutionary society based on State violence & theft, deceit, propaganda, enforced conformity and the denial of human rights, is it any surprise that the New Man who arises from such a dysfunctional society is himself dysfunctional?

  • Perfectly plausible. Still, is that what they meant when they predicted a ‘New Man’ would emerge? That is too say, gangsters who traffic in Third World Trojans?

  • The people who control the supply intentionally create a shortage in the official, and discounted price, market. As a consequence, the prices in the black market shoot up. Which is where the supplies were diverted to, naturally.

    Somebody is making a killing.

  • Hahahaha! If it isn’t beer one week and toilet paper the next, it’s condoms. How can anyone take these clowns seriously? Why not send a cargo plane to Cancun and buy a couple million condoms? It would take less than a few hours and a few hundred thousand dollars. Problem solved. You can’t make this stuff up.

  • This shortage is not good news at all, especially when considering this headline:

    “An aggressive form of HIV uncovered in Cuba”

    “Writing in the journal EBioMedicine, researchers at KU Leuven’s Laboratory for Clinical and Epidemiological Virology now report a recombinant form of HIV observed in patients in Cuba that makes this transition much faster. The virus targets the anchor point CXCR4 early after infection, shortening drastically the healthy phase and triggering rapid progression to AIDS.”

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