Miami’s WLRN says sorry for cancelling author of Cuban Five book interview

Finally some good news…

Thanks to a press release sent by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, on Monday we reported that the National Public Radio affiliate in Miami had cancelled a scheduled appearance by Canadian professor Stephen Kimber, currently on tour with his new book, “What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five”.

Joseph Cooper felt the topic was too "incendiary".
Joseph Cooper felt the topic was too “incendiary”.

Tropical Currents host and producer Joseph Cooper nixed the interview stating that “After looking over the book and accompanying material… he feels that the topic is too ‘incendiary’ and fears a negative reaction from certain segments of the community.’”

Was Mr. Cooper coerced? Is he really fearful of how some in this community will react to words spoken by the author? Or does he fear the First Amendment and its implications? The answers are unknown. But the fact that a public radio station almost got away with this act of censorship is troubling.

But to the good news. Juan Tamayo, of The Miami Herald, is reporting that “WLRN radio station has apologized for canceling an interview with the author of a book that criticizes the Miami trial of five Cuban spies, and has re-invited him to appear on a news show to answer “our own hard questions about his claims.”

WLRN General Manager John Labonia issued this statement: “We want to apologize to our South Florida listeners for the decision made this week by Joseph Cooper, the host of WLRN’s Topical Currents show, to cancel an interview” with author Stephen Kimber.

Congratulations to Labonia. Or was it the pressure that groups like the International Committee brought down on the station. Whatever the case, Miami’s better for the station’s decision to backtrack on Joseph Cooper’s lousy move.

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