Saturday, August 05, 2006

National Geographic's Pro-Castro Bias

National Geographic has been a huge asset to the America and the world. The magazine, while not perfectly a geography magazine, has increased interest and knowledge of the world in many people's mind.

During World War I, World War II, and the early parts of the Cold War, National Geographic provided in-depth reports about the global geopolitical struggle. Those days are over.

National Geographic News has a story praising Fidel Castro as a conservationist. Stay with me and try to stop your head from exploding.

"[Cuba] has embraced organic farming and low-energy agriculture because it can't afford to do anything else." -Embraced is an incorrect word to use. Maybe "forced by market economics" would do. Embracing implies they want to go this way. Also, organic farming is a style of agriculture. Cuba is doing primitive agriculture. I wonder if National Geographic will praise Robert Mugabe for using "organic" agriculture free from "white colonial influences." How about a historical piece on organic farming by the Huns?

"Students in every department at the University of Havana, for example, have had the opportunity to share a bonding experience by living in an impoverished fishing village while working to protect marine turtles."

and

"As a result, many of Cuba's leaders in all spheres have had a common experience reconciling poverty alleviation and nature conservation," Pearl said. "It is not surprising that this has left a legacy of concern for nature, despite the country's economic challenges." -So an internship helping turtles. -That is nice. How is the supposedly communist state of Cuba helping the improvised fishermen and their families? Castro is loaded; why is he not taking care of his people???

"So what will happen if Castro's regime falls and a new, democratic government takes root? Conservationists and others say they are worried that the pressure to develop the island will increase and Cuba's rich biodiversity will suffer. Barborak said he is concerned that "environmental carpetbaggers and scalawags" will come out of the woodwork in Cuba if there is turbulent regime change." -............. A society can afford to preserve the environment once it can afford a reasonable scale of living. What does Barborak suggest? That people stay under a dictatorship with free speech and religion be crushed to protect a hummingbird?

"One could foresee a flood of extractive industries jockeying for access to mineral and oil leases,” -Do some research! Castro is selling rights right and left.


I love the environment as much as anyone else. However, to write love pieces for Castro is low. If Castro had the chance Cuba would be as developed as any other Caribbean island. What the heck National Geographic? What the heck?

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