Cuba: Children of Paradise

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 26 23:24:58 MDT 2003


Well, it SOUNDED like it might be a good movie. WRONG!

Tonight my local PBS channel started the evening by playing a Frontline
documentary entitled "Saving Elian". A somewhat balanced look at the history
of events surrounding Elian, though of course littered with references from
the narrator to the "tyrant" (Fidel) and such. But also filled with
information about the physical violence and repression carried out by the
right-wing Miami Cuban community against those in their community with
different opinions, and interviews with a bunch of "Pedro Pan" people who
discovered to their mutual surprise that almost all of them supporting
returning Elian to Cuba even though none of them would admit it publicly.
Anyway, a decent show.

Following that the TV guide showed "Cuba: Children of Paradise." I thought,
well that could be good. Not. This was the "Reefer Madness" of anti-Cuban
movies. 100% propaganda, as heavy-handed as it gets. It was so bad I won't
even ATTEMPT to deconstruct it, that would just be a waste of time. When you
hear people using the word "apartheid" to decribe the presence of
tourist-only hotels, or the term "lynch mob" to describe crowds of Cubans
railing against "human rights" activists, it's all you can do to keep from
gagging. When exactly was it, you wonder, that the last lynching occured in
Cuba?

One thing stuck in my mind - a doctor (all the people interviewed in the
documentary were people who had left Cuba, some of them a long time ago,
others more recently) talking about how medicine was available to "health
tourists" and none to regular Cubans and how the medicine the health
tourists had was "at the expense of" the regular Cubans. Of course, that's
exactly backwards, as everyone on this list surely knows; health tourism is
now a major source of income for Cuba, and the medicine that is available to
Cubans is, if anything, BECAUSE of health tourism. Most of the rest of the
show is even worse.

I wonder when I'll see a show on the same channel that is 100% laudatory of
the Cuban revolution. I promise not to hold my breath.

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