Newspaper of record?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Jul 27 14:17:45 MDT 2003

July 26, 2003

CounterPunch Diary
New York Times Screws Up Again;
Uday, Qusay Deaths are Bad for Bush and Blair;
Kroeber and the Indians:
General Hitchens Visits the Front

Reeling from one blunder to the next, the New York Times plummeted to new 
depths on July 25, combining a serious falsehood with possible 
misrepresentation of authorship.

On the op page for 7/25 appeared a column, datelined Havana, under the name 
Gustavo Arcos Bergnes, identified as Secretary General of the Cuban 
Committee for Human Rights, and titled "A Prisoner Becomes A Warden". The 
column narrated how its author had been with Castro in the original attack 
on the Moncada in 1953, had been imprisoned by Batista along with Castro 
and other comrades, had eventually turned against Castro. The thrust of the 
column was to compare the relatively decent prison and trial conditions 
(and eventual amnesty) enjoyed by Castro and the others in l953, with the 
grim sufferings and stinted rights of political prisoners in Cuba today.

Towards the end of the piece came the following sentence: "(Although there 
is no doubt in my mind that my younger brother, Sebastián, died in prison 
in 1997 because of deliberate lack of medical attention.)"

In fact Sebastian Arcos died in Miami of cancer, a couple of years after he 
was released from prison for humanitarian reasons. But surely, you ask, 
Gustavo Arcos would remember where his brother died.


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