ABC Moves on from Cuban Exiles in America, Hypes Flight from Havana

The Monday night after ABC reported Fidel Castro’s death live from Havana, Cuba, World News Tonight paid little mind to the Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida celebrating the death of the tyrant. Instead Anchor David Muir rambled on as he hyped his flight home from Havana to Miami. “Our journey back beginning at the Havana airport where we learned we would be boarding the first commercial flight from Havana to Miami in decades,” Muir said as he we visibly excited to receive his inaugural certificate.

The ABC anchor captured his entire boarding on camera as he showed off his American/Cuban flag pin. He even pointed out the Cuban flag displayed outside a window, “You can see the Cuban flag just outside the pilot's window there. The entire crew, extremely excited to be part of this plane.

Muir started his report questioning how President-Elect Donald Trump would treat Cuba, and if he would continue to thaw America’s relationship with the island nation. Similar to ABC’s worries from Sunday night. Muir reported that some Cubans are still waiting to see what happens.

The report on Cuba came at the very end of the program, with no mention of the Cuba exiles in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. ABC seems to have phased out all reporting of the anti-Castro/pro-democracy rallies that took place over the weekend. The only mention of the exiles on Good Morning America, on Monday, was in a brief by reporter Tom Llamas who said, “While Cuba has been subdued since Castro's death, Miami's little Havana saw a weekend of celebrations.”

That’s in contrast to Sunday’ World News Tonight where ABC’s Gio Benitez highlighted some family stories of Cuban-Americans whose families were affected by the dictator. Benitez interviewed Rebeca Sosa, the commissioner for Miami-Dade County, who showed off a bottle of champaign her father once gave her with instructions not to open until Castro’s death. Both of her parents were political prisoners of the Castro regime.

ABC’s abandonment of the exiles’ part of the story is unlike their competitor CBS who seemed to plug a future rally in Little Havana. “We are hearing that Cuban exiles are planning what’s being called a massive pro-democracy rally for this Wednesday, in Miami,” reported CBS’ David Begnaud.

Llamas, on Saturday’s GMA, called Castro “a tyrant,” “a killer,” and “a liar” who left Cuba “hungry.”

Transcript below: 

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ABC
World News Tonight
November 28, 2016
6:57:42 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And just this morning, we witnessed that thaw already beginning. Our journey back beginning at the Havana airport where we learned we would be boarding the first commercial flight from Havana to Miami in decades.

This is the inaugural certificate.

AIRLINE WORKER: Correct, this is the first flight to Miami out of Havana.

MUIR: Am I the first passenger to get one?

AIRLINE WORKER: You know what? You can be the first passenger to get one.

MUIR: I'm now the first one with the inaugural certificate.

A pin for every passenger.

It's the American flag and the Cuban flag, the pin here. The first flight from Cuba to Miami since the American Airlines flight. And you can see people in the terminal, all taking photographs and videos, because it's a historic moment for Cuba.

And when we got to the door of the plane, the Cuban flag on the American Airlines jet.

You can see the Cuban flag just outside the pilot's window there. The entire crew, extremely excited to be part of this plane.

And so were the passengers back in that terminal, capturing it all.

[Cuts to live]

That crew, those families so kind to us and we thank you. 

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro