President Diaz Canel’s Shameless Foreign TV Performance

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Photo: Al Mayadeen

He doesn’t mention the fact that he prefers to buy police patrol cars instead of ambulances for his own citizens.

By Francisco Acevedo

HAVANA TIMES – Clips from an interview Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel gave to Arab TV channel Al Mayadeen have gone viral over the past few days. It’s cringey to see him lie like this about Cuban reality.

In fact, Cuba only found about about this conversation with the TV channel’s director, Ghassan Ben Jeddou, a week after it aired, but bearing in mind what follows, this is an insignificant detail.

Less insignificant is the fact that national TV didn’t rebroadcast it, when it has thousands of hours of air time available on different channels to do so. Everything was limited to press releases on different media platforms that announced the interview’s existence and glossed over some of the issues discussed, with a clear emphasis on the same-old slogans, the rest of the world’s attacks and defending the impossible to the death.

But let’s go bit by bit.

First of all, I was struck by the fact that Diaz-Canel believes there is a “lot of despair” in the world, and he blamed neoliberalism for this.

Sitting very comfortably in the conference hall at the Palace of the Revolution, the leader pointed out that the world is going through tough times, with great uncertainty. What a way to turn the tables and not see his pinky toe, like that song from the most evolving band in recent times says.

According to our Head of State, the pandemic broke the paradigm of neoliberalism because it wasn’t able to provide an equal response to COVID-19 and include everyone.


The disease posed a great challenge for everyone, and for the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) as well, of course. The effects, especially economic that we are still experiencing, were felt in every corner of the world.

However, the President sidesteps the fact that practically noone is living worse than Cubans right now, and that nobody is out in the media bragging all the time about how the pandemic is the reason for our everyday shortages and blackouts (the latter being endemic to Cuba).

That’s when Diaz-Canel gains momentum and says that “health systems in more developed capitalist countries broke down.” He can’t see that his own health system has been broken for a while and reached levels undreamed of collapse in 2020 and 2021, and if you need treatment – and I’m not going to mention an operation – the patient needs to take practically everything with them because hospitals and polyclinics don’t even have a needle to access a vein.

He wants to come off sincere when he adds that he realizes that Healthcare in Cuba “isn’t so good” right now, as if complaints about different problems haven’t dated back decades and, far from fatalities falling after COVID like it did in other countries, here it’s actually increased.

The business of exporting doctors also grew, which was almost dead and cut short in Venezuela, but they took advantage of the international crisis to reactivate these services.

He had to FINALLY admit that opening Cuban borders in 2020 led to a “pandemic spike that lasted almost a year,” when the DELTA variant arrived, because of his stubbornness refusing to do what every other country was doing and wanting to keep his airport (and oxygen) working when a health catastrophe was already being foretold far and wide.

However, he didn’t mention that despite all these adverse circumstances, the so-called Tarea Ordenamiento (Economic reforms)was implemented in Cuba in 2021, which ended up making Cubans’ lives even worse, with prices spiralling out of control leaving wage earners more and more helpless and with less purchasing power.

Despite this, hotels continued to be built, but housing construction stopped, moving very slowly and without meeting targets, with some houses being built before 2020.

He criticized many countries’ war budgets, because “so much could be done with this money” for the wellbeing of Humanity, but he doesn’t mention the fact that he prefers to buy police patrol cars instead of ambulances for his own citizens.

Of course, he had to mention the blockade, the most used catch-all excuse over these past 60-something years, but he didn’t at once mention the fact that the chicken we’ve been eating here in Cuba over the past two years comes from the US, and we’re talking about the only thing ordinary Cubans are pretty much able to get with the rationed Food Basket.

“We have societal tranquility in our country, you can walk late in the night, early in the morning, and nothing will happen to you, it’s safe,” he says. However, he never goes out to put on the farce of engaging with the population without a whole squadron of bodyguards, and forgetting that femicides, homicides and attacks across the archipelago are on the rise.

But the lie detector needle broke when he talked about the protests on July 11, 2021, which he said (you can guess) were the result of the US Government’s support for an “intelligence operation”; and he even added he has proof, but nobody has seen this proof.

Our Head of State says that “a group of people,” not even the majority, are making “complaints,” as if they were talking about the rationed bread roll quality, which, by the way, comes out in every neighborhood meeting time and time again. According to him, nobody asked for freedom or a change of government, they were only asking for electricity, medicine, and food.

Then, the expected came, when he said the protestors were people paid off by the United States, although he took caution with his words and said “there were”, without clarifying if he was talking about the majority of the thousands of Cubans who took to the streets that day, that committed vandalism.

The level of shamelessness reaches its max when he talks about what followed.

Without a trace of a blush, the author of the Combat Order said that it wasn’t “forces from the Ministry of Interior and Armed Forces that repressed these protests,” but an “important part of the revolutionary people.”

For starters, he was the one who egged them on in his TV appearance, who armed them with sticks and would later award them, without forgetting that the photos of police repression, including riot police, were widely circulated, and made it perfectly clear what happened.

The icing on the cake? He adds that nobody was imprisoned for protesting and that people who were taken to trial “with the safeguards of due process” were charged with vandalic acts recorded during the protests.

It seems that over a thousand Cuban families are mistaken and that their partners and children, some of whom are minors, weren’t victims of summary hearings, sentenced without lawyers, most of the tim in military courts.

There wasn’t a single mention of the Baragua Plan to stifle protests and punish leaders, or nocturnal patrols that can still be seen today.

So many (serious) lies in such a short space of time… if it’s not a record, it’s pretty close.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

One thought on “President Diaz Canel’s Shameless Foreign TV Performance

  • March 29, 2023 at 2:06 am

    A challenge to Diaz-Canel .How many days could he survive on an average Cuban monthly salary 6000 pesos..i have never worked out how Cubans whose source of income is this how they do it I have just come back from a month there and with the street food prices no one could last a week. I realise that it is the charity of remesas from friends and family that makes lives of large percentage of Cubans bearable .It is a hypocritical that the regime think this is an acceptable economic model for Cuba.

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