In the month that has now passed since protests erupted across Cuba, much media commentary has focused on how President Biden would react. Earlier this year Biden’s press secretary had said that “a Cuba policy shift is not currently among President Biden’s top priorities.” However, the Biden administration is now clearly shifting policy, but not in the direction that Cubans in Cuba and US progressives had been hoping. On August 10, The New York Times published an article titled Biden Ramps Up Pressure on Cuba, Abandoning Obama’s Approach. The article states that, far from pivoting back to the Obama-era normalization process, “Mr. Biden is taking an even harder line on Cuba than his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump, who tightened restrictions on travel and financial transactions.”
Throughout this time corporate media accounts have been loyally parroting Washington’s line that the protesters were primarily motivated by the “authoritarianism” of the Cuban “regime.” As was the case in the run up the Iraq War, the purpose of these reports is to manufacture consent for Washington’s coercive foreign policy and obscure its self-serving and hypocritical agenda. As would be expected, these reports also ignore growing evidence suggesting that the protests were in part orchestrated by Washington as part of its ongoing plan destabilize the country and, in turn, bring about regime change. In a competitive field, one essay in particular stands out for its shamelessly tendentious propagandizing. Published at the online journal The Conversation, the article is condescendingly titled 5 ways Americans often misunderstand Cuba, from Fidel Castro’s rise to the Cuban American vote.