In an unprecedented event for Cuba’s government-run media, Cuban television broadcast a long fragment of President Bush’s speech about the island — without interruptions.
The news program Mesa Redonda opened at 6:30 p.m. with the last 15 minutes of Bush’s speech Wednesday at the State Department, taken from CNN en Español. The president’s speech lasted more than 30 minutes.
In the portion of the speech broadcast in Cuba, Bush speaks to those who could be listening or watching him ‘’with great risk’’ inside the island.
The broadcast took the Cuban public by surprise, among them some members of the internal opposition parties. A group of 20 dissidents had viewed the broadcast from the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
’’Without a doubt this is an unexpected, novel and unusual event’’ said René Gomez Manzano, a dissident lawyer from Havana. “What we always see here is the refutation . . . but not a speech made by the same people who are refuted, in their own voice.’’
No U.S. president is known to have been shown on Cuban television for so long and without editing since 1960.