The February 28 New York Times story on the downing of the "civilian" jets by the Cubans was written by Barbara Crossette. The piece viciously maligns the Cuban government for shooting down the planes, even though accompanying transcripts, printed in the same edition of the Times, show that her claim that the Cubans had plenty of time to warn off the Cessna pilots is misleading: the transcripts show the Cubans DID make a strong warning to the pilots, who vowed they were continuing on to Havana and were aware of the danger. Crossette also continues the demonstrably false line that Basulto was a pacifist, when his history shows, among other anti-Castro activities, participated in terrorist bombing in Havana, and had recently performed a leafleting run over the city. As the Cubans said, if he could drop leaflets, he could drop other things as well.
So, the question becomes, how could Crossette be so misleading?
Sidebar from LIES OF OUR TIMES, June 1994, page 17:
Crossette and the Coup
One can only wonder why the New York Times, through Barbara Crossette, has chosen to tell the truth about conditions in Grenada (albeit with a lot of incorrect details). The last time that happened was quite prophetic - indeed so prophetic that many supporters of the Bishop government wondered about Crossette's ties to U.S. intelligence.
On August 7, 1983, the Times ran a front-page Crossette article designed mostly to play on the racist fears of U.S. conservatives and the anti-communist preoccupations of U.S. liberals. The article falsely portrayed Bishop as a wild-eyed radical intent on turning Grenada over to the Soviets and the Cubans. But there was one shock: Crossette said, "there are rumors of a rift between the Coards and Mr. Bishop." Bernard Coard was Deputy Prime Minister, and Phyllis Coard was head of the National Women's Organization. Almost no one outside the top leadership of Bishop's New Jewel Movement knew that there was trouble at the highest levels of the country's political structure. The Cubans did not know; the Soviets did not know; none of the many supporters of Grenada in the progressive movement in the United States knew. Somehow, Barbara Crossette knew.
Two months later, the Coards led the coup against Bishop; several days later, Bishop and his key aides were assassinated; a few days later, the U.S. invaded. (For a full review of the U.S. Campaign against the Bishop government, see Ellen Ray and Bill Schaap, "U.S. Crushes Caribbean Jewel," CovertAction Information Bulletin, Winter 1984, p. 3.) --William H. Schaap
The sidebar appears in an article starting on page 16 , highly (and justly) critical of Crossette's New York Times article of March 13, 1994.
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