It's gotta be weird to be Oscar Corral right now. The Miami Herald reporter who broke the Marti Ten story is so reviled by the hardline Cuban exile community that I wonder if he's not in real danger. The death-to-Castro brigades (whether they are right or wrong) are full of that especially pernicious and bull-headed kind of insanity that all victims of revolution and decades-old war seem to share. And Corral's reporting has made him more than a seriously disliked journalist in those circles, but something of a symbol of all that they hate.
And damn, do they hate.
Corral's Herald blog, the Miami's Cuban Connection, has long been
a sounding (off) board for the hardliners. And his reporting on Cuban "journalists" who have taken American propaganda money has only intensified the barrage.
The response to Friday's expose has been fairly benign at times, like this: "Cuba will be free very soon, it's inevitable and when it does ... you are going to be under fire for your commie participation!"
They also like to tie him in with Jim DeFede, who earned their wrath for his own clear-eyed reporting on Cuban issues while he was at the Herald: "Oh yeah, and everybody go easy on Oscar. He's already doomed himself to having to sit alone with Defede at the luncheons. And the fat man will hog all the bread and key lime pie."
Now that's class.
Then you get the sort-of-veiled threats: "Hey, Oscar how much are you getting pay by Fidel Castro? You are probably working for Fidel's Government... I think, we should research your backyard."
His backyard? Maybe that's just a mistake, maybe the writer meant background. But it's a curious mistake -- and it implies someone will be watching him physically in his personal territority. Why quibble though, since there are a couple of out-and-out threats:
"You need to watch your back now Oscar. you never know," wrote one poster.
"too bad I did not have more time to talk about you Oscar...
Trying to divide the cuban exile comunity..
you are a disgrace to your heritage..
and you will pay dearly for what you have done"
This isn't new -- it's just very hot right now. And it's not just about Cuba on Corral's blog. One thing about real hardliners, their hatred has blurred over to other groups, especially Muslims and gays. The most extreme of them are soldiers for the most vicious and repugnant side of the right wing. So it's not surprising that Corral's blog became a vehicle for gay bashers-in-print. You can get a taste of the garbage that's being spewed in the comments under the August 15 post if you want, I'm not going to dignify it by reproducing it here.
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Corral has played a bit with his status as a marked man. Here's his post on August 15:
Note From the Underground To Readers of Miami's Cuban Connection: I have spent the last several weeks working diligently from an undisclosed location on a story that has to do with Cuba. I am not convalescing. I am not in prison. I am not dead. All I can say is that some stories require more time reporting than others. And this is a story that deserves complete dedication and attention. Stay tuned,
We will stay tuned, Mr. Corral, and please, keep doing some of the ballsiest journalism in South Florida.