By Chris Simmons
Tracey Eaton’s Thanksgiving Day post, “Alan Gross, A Soldier Left Behind” falls far short from some of his better pieces of investigative journalism – like his feature of Cuban spy Juan Pablo Roque.
For example, Eaton assigns sinister motives to a US AID program that shuttles Cuba dissidents to speaking events. Really? Havana sends diplomat-spies to speak at US-Cuba Sister City events and Eaton remains silent and yet he slanders a PUBLIC contract fostering open discussions on Cuba?
Eaton then quotes ad nauseam from expelled Cuban spy Josefina Vidal– who continues to serve under shallow cover as head of MINREX’s North America Division. One of her more laughable claims is ““The [US AID] programs…have an interventionist, hostile and destabilizing nature.” Given her own extensive credentials in interventionist, hostile and destabilizing activities, Eaton can fairly cite her as an expert source. However, an honest and objective article would have directly addressed Vidal’s career as a Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer.
Eaton then extensive cites frequent Cuba traveler Phil Peters, a senior member of the Lexington Institute. Again, he omits some significant information. Most importantly that this organization was discredited years ago for writing flattering news stories on its corporate sponsors. Coverage on their money-for-stories approach can be found here: Analyst’s switch stirs tanker talk, and “Sherritt, Cuba, and the Cubanologist.”
With its extensive use of discredited sources and recycling of tired anti-US tirades, Eaton’s article reads more like regime-written propaganda rather than legitimate journalism. We expect and, quite frankly, deserve better from an award-winning writer like Tracey Eaton.