On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was praising Cuba’s hard-line, militant dictator, Raul Castro, whom he described as a “courageous” leader.
Yesterday, he apparently tipped a few too many airline cocktails on the return trip home, grabbing the in-cabin mic and proclaiming his love of how Cuba deals with the media.
Albany bureau chief for the New York Times Susanne Craig announced what was happening on Twitter:
Happening now: Andrew Cuomo has taken over the Jet Blue speaker on our flight home from Havana. Says he likes Cuba’s approach to the press.
— Susanne Craig (@susannecraig) April 21, 2015
Nickarama at Weasel Zippers asks the question, “Are we living in an alternate universe?”
Clearly, Cuomo is. No doubt he’ll be issuing a statement declaring that his comments were meant in jest. Because state-controlled media, under the iron grip of dictators who arrest those that voice opposition to the government are just oh, so funny.
Or maybe he was serious. Which would be infinitely more preposterous.
Via the Daily Caller:
The communist island obviously, has an extremely tenuous approach to the media, and nearly all of it is state-controlled. According to the 2015 Press Freedom Index, Cuba is ranked 169th and surrounded by nations such as . Meanwhile, the U.S. is ranked 34th.
Here’s an interesting thing for Cuomo to ponder regarding his “courageous” Cuban friends. Yesterday, as Cuomo was taking photo-ops in the island nation, 60 dissidents were arrested in the capital of Havana for holding up images of others arrested before them.
Via Capitol Hill Cubans:
Yesterday, over 60 members of Cuba’s Ladies in White and other democracy activists were arrested in Havana.
They were carrying images of current Cuban political prisoners.
Castro regime officials confronted and arrested them with great violence.
Meanwhile, independent media watchdog Freedom House describes Cuba’s relationship with the press thus:
Cuba has the most restrictive laws on free speech and press freedom in the Americas. The constitution prohibits private ownership of media outlets and allows free speech and journalism only if they “conform to the aims of a socialist society.” Article 91 of the penal code imposes lengthy prison sentences or death for those who act against “the independence or the territorial integrity of the state,” and Law 88 for the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy imposes up to 20 years in prison for committing acts “aimed at subverting the internal order of the nation and destroying its political, economic, and social system.”
But hey, Cuomo likes that about them. And admitting he’s completely in sync with dictators is just as “courageous.”
Cross-posted at the Mental Recession