So much for Washington Post staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia waxing poetic about the tech-savvy younger generation of Communists in Cuba. "Party Elders Triumph in Cuba," as Raul Castro has been formally named the new dictator, a February 25 Post headline informs readers. Party elders?! That's language suitable for a story about the role of superdelegates in the presidential nomination process for the Democratic Party, not when describing window-dressing "elections" in one-party Communist dictatorships.
Roig-Franzia opened his article with a lament that a "younger generation" of Communists has been "bypassed" by the Geritol crowd:
HAVANA, Feb. 24 -- Cuba's revolutionary old guard consolidated its hold on power Sunday when the National Assembly bypassed a younger generation of politicians and named Fidel Castro's brother, Raúl, president and a hard-line communist first vice president.
Mainstream media articles heralding Fidel Castro's "presidency" coming to a bittersweet end are so Tuesday afternoon. The younger, hipper generation of Cuba's Communist dictatorship is the real story!
Just look at how the Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia reports how "A New Generation Stands By in Cuba" in the February 21 edition of Granma, er, the Post.:
MEXICO CITY, Feb. 20 -- They've traveled the world. Surfed the Web. Zinged text messages. And watched news direct from the BBC and CNN, rather than filtered through a government censor.
Bombarded by ideas from abroad, a generation of Cuban political leaders who came of age after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution is preparing to inherit it. Many of them, now in their 40s and 50s, have developed a more open political outlook than their fathers, partly because of the thriving black market in outlawed Internet connections that in Cuba have cracked open a window on the world.
Imagine the ire the media would have, rightfully so, if George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney (and Sean Hannity and whatever other liberal bogeymen the ultra-left fear) could even dream of, much less institute, a block-by-block patriotism patrol answerable to the U.S. government.
Of course that would not and could not ever happen under our Constitution. But the same essential thing was a building block of Fidel Castro's Marxist regime in Cuba, and, surprise, surprise, a Washington Post staff writer devoted an A-section article to its waning influence and substitute dictator Raul Castro's hope of reviving it.
Here's how Manuel Roig-Franzia opened his October 30 story (emphases mine):
CAMAGUEY, Cuba -- Children swarmed the table outside Blanca Peleaz's concrete home in this central Cuban city. There were cakes and cookies, gooey frosting and candy speckles, rare abundance in a place where food shortages are the norm.
The sweets came with a history lesson on a recent muggy evening during a celebration of the Cuban Revolution. Peleaz and other neighborhood adults told the youngsters about the Moncada Barracks raid that started it all. They told the little ones that the Communist Party would lead the nation to glory.
Then they sang.
"Marching, we move toward an ideal," the grown-ups blared, urging the youngsters to join in. "Onward, Cubans. Cuba will reward our heroism."
For decades, Peleaz and her mother before her have been keepers of Fidel Castro's communist message, using their position as the head of the neighborhood's Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, or CDR, as an ideological wedge into the minds of their neighbors. Now, in the twilight of Castro's reign, the fate of the CDRs could provide a clue about Cuba's future.
Covering Raul Castro's July 26 hour-long Revolution Day speech, the Washington Post characterized the fill-in dictator's latest speech as one that "hits capitalist notes while placating hard-line party loyalists." But in truth Castro's speech was the typical Communist agitprop fare: empty promises for more pay, a call for harder work from the people, and above all else, blaming the United States for the collectivist economy's failure.
"Wearing his trademark tinted eyeglasses and military uniform, Castro, 76, struck distinctly capitalist notes before tens of thousands of flag-waving Communist Party loyalists," reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia noted in his July 27 story, filed the day before from Camaguey, a city 350 miles east of Havana.
Yet from Roig-Franzia's article itself, it becomes clear Castro is not a Latin incarnation of Milton Friedman. A little more foreign investment is the only capitalist bone to be thrown Cuba's way.