The Dr. Duran Show

Screenshot of Dr. Duran

By Benjamin Noria

HAVANA TIMES – I really don’t want to upset anyone with this article, but the daily briefings by Dr. Francisco Duran, National Director of Epidemiology at Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health, at 9 AM, in front of Cuban TV cameras: is a show. As a result, I think it should be called: The Duran Show. 

The show is a spectacle that catches your attention and sparks an inclination and interest because of its entertainment factor and sensationalism. The Cuban government uses it as part of what we call in the political sciences: mind control, which involves methods of modifying mental processes in individuals, and control and manipulation of the mind. 

What benefits does the Duran show have for the Cuban government? Well, it keeps the population busy with these pandemic statistics, so they don’t think about the national economic situation today. Like many other efforts in the past, this is a strategy to divert the Cuban people’s attention away from the most important things.

A day has 24 hours and we use 8 of them to sleep, 8 to work, etc.  The government puts on two hours of Mesa Redonda, 1 hour of the Duran Show, 1 hour and 30 minutes of news, etc. There’s no doubt that this is keeping the population’s mind busy.

Why fool ourselves? For example, everyone who has seen the Stanley Kubrick movie called: Full Metal Jacket, and the scene where the lieutenant appears giving instructions to military journalists during a break in the Vietnam War, realizes that the news items are fabricated. We’re not exempt from this in Cuba.

The statistics that Dr. Duran presents might be real. Only God will know. Plus, how many countries are dedicating 1 hour of airtime on national TV and resources to talk about the pandemic’s evolution? It happens in nationalist and totalitarian countries like Cuba where the government controls the media and needs to compensate for their failure to create a Welfare State by resorting to other means to win over the population and stay in power.

Due to the discreet repression that exists, very few people know that everything people see in Cuba first passes through the Communist Party’s Ideological Department’s filter. Nothing is broadcast or published without first being analyzed by this Department and getting its green light.

The people who remember the court hearings for little Elian Gonzalez’s return, unfortunately know that the government turned it into a show. Just like the Ubre Blanca cow event in 1982 became a show, and the battle for the release of the Cuban 5. They took great political advantage out of these events. Today, the pandemic is the show of the hour. 

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

3 thoughts on “The Dr. Duran Show

  • As one who daily watched Dr. Duran for many months, provide the daily statistics of Covid 19 in Cuba, I have to say that it was all very persuasive. The details of levels of infection, hospitalizations and even the occasional death, in every community and in each province appeared to be genuine. Such detail, such accuracy!

    Coupled with the Government restrictions, which were strictly applied – movement, closure of schools, increased police supervision, permits to even take a taxi twenty miles with three road checks in such distance – it appeared that Cuba was one of the few countries that was controlling the pandemic.

    The break point however, came in mid July. On July 15, Dr. Duran’s figure for total deaths due to Covid 19, was 1,726. It was about that time and following the spontaneous demonstrations across the length and breadth of Cuba on July 11, that a typical PCC Propaganda Department film about the merits of “socialismo” as imposed in Cuba, included support from well known Party hacks, but including Dr. Duran whose loyalties became apparent, was shown on State TV. For one with prolonged experience of the PCC methods and systems, that raised both thought and questions.

    At those daily persuasive briefings, Dr. Duran was not once subjected to questioning. In all the months referred too, I was unaware of any daily tests being carried out in our not unsubstantial community, yet statistics had been given. Dr. Duran’s figures were assumed to be based upon facts, but with nothing to substantiate them. Within six weeks the figures given for deaths, tripled! The cat was out of the bag.

    I have to openly admit that I had been fooled, complacent and lulled into a false sense of security. Covid 19 had been spreading like wildfire and that is evident from the wide variety of reports given here in Havana Times. It is no secret that I am a critic of the Castro communist regime, but even that did not prevent my acceptance for many months of Dr. Duran’s briefings, which now, clearly were more than suspect!

    So what is the excuse provided by the regime? Apparently the explosion of level of infections and subsequent deaths is a direct consequence of the demonstrations of July 11! It is now promoted that it is the “counter-revolutionaries” who have brought about the increases and thus destroyed the good work of Dr. Duran and the faultless Castro communist regime. This must be correct, because the puppet Diaz-Canel says so.

  • God might be real. Maybe Dr Duran will know?

  • Benjamin Noria sounds like Mark Levine.

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