Robert Ménard, friend of Miami terrorists and “advisor” in Brussels

Campaign News | Wednesday, 16 February 2005

French academic reveals the sordid reality of Reporters sans frontiers

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD -Special for Granma International-

THE latest anti-Cuba attacks by the French NGO Reporters sans frontières (RSF) within the European Union are the result of an “unhealthy obsession” that is “too similar to that of the White House for it to be a mere coincidence” affirmed French researcher Salim Lamrani on analyzing the latest actions of this organization in Brussels.

In a letter dated January 28 and addressed to the European Union, RSF general secretary Robert Ménard has condemned that grouping’s latest decisions with respect to Cuba and is once again bringing up issues that are clearly inspired by the US State Department.

For Lamrani, at a time when the EU “decides to adopt a more constructive position towards Cuba and distance itself a little from the aggressive line adopted by Washington,” Ménard is “raising the barricades and calling on the organization to align itself” with the United States.

The researcher from the Sorbonne University in Paris and author of several studies on the Cuban-American community and its extreme right wing since 1959 has demonstrated RSF’s connections with the Miami circles linked to anti-Cuba terrorism.

“On January 16, 2004,” he recalled,” Robert Ménard was triumphantly received in Miami by ATREC (The Association for a Third Cuban Republic), an extremist organization. He subsequently made several visits to Cubanet, a press organization controlled by the Cuban-American extreme right and financed by the US government itself, and Radio Mambí, directed by former Alpha 66 chief Armando Pérez-Roura, identified as a terrorist by the FBI and responsible for multiple attempts on the lives of Cuban civilians.”

Questioned as to how the EU could give credibility to a group playing this double game - on the one hand pretending to defend human rights before international organizations and on the other, being in contact with Florida’s extreme right wing- Lamrani confessed his incredulity.

“How can a person say that they’re defending press freedom throughout the world and then meet with individuals closely linked to international terrorism? How can they give a press conference at the Casa Bacardí at the University of Florida, knowing perfectly well that the Bacardí firm has financed attacks on Cuba? asked the academic.

Lamrani also stated that RSF is constantly developing campaigns against tourism in Cuba, “an essential sector of the Cuban economy”, an operation that coincides with the US administration objective of “asphyxiating the Cuban population.”

Is defending journalism and journalists really the objective of this organization? “That is totally false,” says Lamrani. Mumia Abu-Jamal, the famous African-American journalist imprisoned for the last 20 years for a crime he did not commit, has never interested the RSF.”

With respect to its defense of so-called “independent journalists”, Lamrani indicates that RSF is trying to “pass off as progressive” various individuals on the “Washington payroll,” when the “evidence against them is overwhelming,” with the objective of “creating the conditions needed to destabilize Cuba.”

There is abundant evidence to support Cuba’s exposé of those so-called “dissidents” as mercenaries for the US, and the information is available on the website of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which provides details of those receiving US funding to support “independent journalists”.

“The rhetoric of human rights is evidently tendentious and geometrically variable,” commented the French academic. “Whilst the international community sends soldiers into Haiti to overthrow President Arisitide, Cuba is sending hundreds of doctors and teachers to help a population that has been abandoned.”

Lamrani also questioned the treatment Cuba has received from the French press.

“It is both iniquitous and unique,” he said. When one sees that 70% of the articles published on Latin America are on the subject of Cuba and that 100% of the content is negative, it’s not necessary to have studied at the Sorbonne to understand that a serious problem exists. I am deeply outraged when I see how they deal with the Cuban question in the press. It reveals a serious problem of ethics.

Salim Lamrani is attending the Havana Book Fair to launch his book Superpower Principles: US Terrorism against Cuba published by Common Courage Press.

His next work, Cuba face à l’Empire: propaganda, guerre économique et terrorisme d’Etat (Cuba Faces the Empire: Propaganda, Economic War and State Terrorism), is to be published by the Lanctôt publishing house in Canada and has a prologue by Noam Chomsky.

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