CNN journalist Jim Acosta is in the news because he had an incident with U.S. President Donald Trump during a press conference at the White House. Acosta first asked about President Donald Trump’s description of the caravan of Central American immigrants seeking to enter the United States as an “invasion”. Acosta accused Trump of demonizing them and in the exchange, a White House intern tried to remove the microphone but that time Acosta resisted and asked a second question about “the Russian investigation.”
As a result, Jim Acosta was expelled from the press conference and his White House credential was withdrawn. This has generated thousands of news dispatches. What none of those reports has remembered is that, when Jim Acosta was in Havana, “embedded” in the delegation headed by then-U.S. President Barack Obama who visited the island, he had another tense dialogue. That one was with Cuban leader Raul Castro, but no one tried to take his microphone or put him out of the room:
Jim Acosta: “Why do you have Cuban political prisoners and why don’t you release them?”
Raul Castro: “Give me the list of political prisoners now to release them. Or give me a list of names if there are political prisoners. And if there are those political prisoners, before nightfall they are going to be released.
Needless to say, Acosta did not turn in any lists, but no one expelled him from Cuba because of it.
CNN’s concern, and that of the American press in general, for political prisoners and liberties, and also its hostility toward Donald Trump, is a little selective. During his visit to Israel, which coincided with the numerous and harassed demonstrations by Palestinians in support of their prisoners in Israeli jails, nothing was asked of the Israeli President or said in those media about political prisoners in Israel.
As for the “invasion” of Central American emigrants, mainly Hondurans, neither Acosta nor CNN, nor any U.S. media has alluded to the responsibility of the United States for the state of poverty, social crisis and violence faced by the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras), who have been devastated by decades of dirty war and neoliberalism encouraged by Washington.
Particularly in the case of Honduras, when it began a path to address social needs, integrating into the education and health programs of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was impacted in 2009 by the military coup that began the U.S. counteroffensive in Latin America aiming to re-establish its hegemony in the region. That was led by Barack Obama’s White House, who by the way has been the U.S. president who has deported more immigrants than any other in history.
In Honduras, 15 journalists were murdered after that coup supported by the United States.There is even a video in which the murder of an informant is ordered, after the uncomfortable question to a powerful businessman linked to the coup plotters (see 10:25 minutes of the documentary The Deadliest Place in the World for a Journalist: which has been on the Internet since October 2011), but neither Democrats nor Republicans demonstrated on the matter, much less CNN nor any US corporate media. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=633&v=dvg1JcvC3KM
One thing that Trump, Jim Acosta, Barack Obama, CNN and all the “free press” agree on is that the United States, unlike Cuba, is a country with democracy and freedom of expression, but more and more common things happen there in the countries classified as “banana republics,” a term coined in his volume of stories Cabbages and Kings by the American writer O. Henry to refer to Honduras, something that is the result of repeated military interventions and economic looting, along with the export of violence, armed gangs and corruption, as well as the export of violence, armed gangs and corruption.
But what is happening in Trump’s United States, with scandals over the president’s relations with prostitutes, dismissals of officials for spurious motives, and even brothel owners who win elections even after death, surpasses novels like The Autumn of the Patriarch or the Resource of the Method. Of course, these are conclusions too deep to be told by Jim Acosta or CNN, and, if they were to be addressed, it would be to say that it is the exceptional result of the management of an irresponsible madman, never of a system where he sends the money and thanks to which a tycoon who runs a country as if it were his company was able to become President.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann
(Publicado en español en Al Mayadeen)