The New York Times’ coverage of the sudden anti-Communist protests in Cuba quickly drew backlash after it equated the word “freedom” with “anti-government” sentiment, according to Fox News.
On Sunday, the newspaper’s official Twitter account described the story by saying that protesters were “shouting ‘freedom’ and other anti-government slogans” as they “took to the streets in cities around the country on Sunday to protest food and medicine shortages,” adding that the movement was “a remarkable eruption of discontent not seen in nearly 30 years.”
In response to its characterization of the word “freedom,” the Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor tweeted that “only New York Times commies [communists] think ‘freedom’ is an ‘anti-government slogan.’” Anthony Fisher, a columnist for Insider, repeated “‘Anti-government.’ Is the word ‘dictatorship’ too strong or something? Gotta hear both sides?” Gabriella Hoffman of Townhall rhetorically asked “Freedom is dangerous? To totalitarians including communists, it should be. The spirit of Walter Duranty” – a communist reporter with the New York Times who used the paper to defend the Soviet Union in the 1930s – “lives on at the NYT.”
The protests in Cuba were as large as they were unexpected, appearing to originate from a grassroots organizing effort that normally would never see the light of day in the communist regime. Some protesters attempted to film the march on the island nation’s capital of Havana and share the footage on social media, before the government cut off internet service in the city.
Several elected officials, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have voiced their support for pro-democracy protesters in Cuba. Rubio in particular has lobbied the Biden Administration and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to condemn Cuba’s crackdown on its own citizens, while also criticizing the American media for failing to cover it.
“Attention US media,” Rubio tweeted on Sunday, “In Cuba they are rising up because socialism is always a disaster. Are you going to report on this so the world can hear their voices?”