When the editorial pages editor at the Greeley Tribune sent me the Washington Post obituary on Vilma Espin, I first blew off the air on my lungs and thought to myself, "No comments. It's worthless".
But then, the journalistic ethic in me subconsciously kicked my butt and I replied to her something like:
—Please, don't believe everything you read about Cuba. Sometimes, it is just a plain lie. She was just another one from the "aparato" that passed away. There are still thousands of huge and really concerning problems affecting Cuban women and, neither Vilma or anybody else has done anything to solve them. And they never will—.
Then she replied back admitting she was ready to believe up front everything the article said, and thanked me for being in the newsroom to always provide a different insight on Cuba's reality.
And she was right.
I ALWAYS LIKE TO PROVIDE A DIFFERENT INSIGHT WHEN THE TOPIC IS CUBA. That's why I couldn't follow the "no comments policy".
So, searching online for the link to the article, to post it here, I found Adams' Berstein email and, in another ethical journalistic moment, decided to write him this:
Dear Mr. Berstein,
I am Cuban, and a fellow journalist in a Spanish weekly newspaper in Colorado.
And, after reading your article on Vilma Espin, I have to tell you I'm so ashamed and upset to even think you are a journalist as I am.
Thousands of questions piled up in my mind while I was reading, but one was on top ALL THE TIME: Where are his journalistic ethics? Where did he forgot the story balance we learned in J-school?
What's wrong with the Washington Post editorial board?
What's wrong with the whole word when the topic is Cuba?
Why he didn't include ONE SINGLE SOURCE OR REFERENCE from someone having a different opinion on throwing off flowers and compliments on a person that was just another part of a dictatorship where women are USUALLY THE MOST AFFECTED?
In Cuba, women are dying —literally, dying— in domestic violence incidents and Vilma never recognized the issue or did anything to change it. She never advocate for the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of the political prisoners, nor even she did it for the Cuban women who are against the Castro government.
She never said a word about the high abortion rates in the country, about the teenagers becoming sexual attractions for the tourists, about not even having free access to the sanitary pad every women needs once a month.
She never did a single thing about that. And you just extended her indifference and the indifference of all the Americans that think like you.
That's not fair.
That's not your job as a journalist.
And at this moment, I am very ashamed to share this profession with you.
# # # # #
Later, I realized I forgot to make clear for him a little detail: I know this first hand. I'm not talking from a hot sidewalk debate in Miami. (By the way; I love you Miami!!!!And I love the coladas en el Versailles and the super hot debates about Cuba in that sidewalk).
This is not B.S.
I left Cuba merely six year ago.
Hell if I know what I am talking about!
I don't know if he'll receive it. I don't know if he'll read it, or even paying attention to what I said. But, at least for today, my journalistic ethic was left intact. I just did what I thought, as a reporter, it's the right thing to do.