The media landscape in Cuba is bleak. State-run outlets churn out propaganda while US-based journalism reinforces narratives propagated in Miami and DC. Some foreign media organizations try to find an “unbiased” happy medium, but the result is often false balance that obscures the context necessary to understand a country where every aspect of life is shaped by six decades of economic war waged by the world’s most powerful government.
Belly of the Beast fills the void left by media coverage of Cuba and US-Cuba relations by prioritizing the following:
Investigative journalism that exposes the political and economic interests driving US policy and the impact of that policy on people both in Cuba and the United States. We do not ignore Cuba’s many problems, but our priority is to serve as a watchdog over powerful forces in the United States since our primary audience is based there.
People-focused stories that are often misreported, underreported or ignored. Foreign media outlets tend to portray Cubans as helpless victims or passive cogs in a machine. We humanize Cubans both within and outside of government institutions who are working to make their communities, their country and the world a better place.
In-depth and nuanced reporting on a country that is typically romanticized or demonized. Whether you consider Cuba socialist or communist, dictatorial or participatory, repressive or free, one thing is certain: the Cuban revolution has produced a unique society in which people lead lives unlike anywhere else. We believe that Cuba offers examples in healthcare, social justice and internationalism that the rest of the world can learn from and that by contextualizing the country’s achievements – and its problems – we can help build bridges between Cuba and the United States.
Belly of the Beast adheres to the highest journalistic standards. Our first obligation is to the truth. We strive to present information accurately and with meaningful context. We are committed to the discipline of verification. However, we recognize that while our journalistic methods may be objective, we are not. Belly of the Beast is made up of individuals who care deeply about social justice and fighting for a better world. Progressive values guide our work, from social media posts to long-form documentaries.
We believe in exposing abuses of power no matter where they occur, no matter who commits them. We acknowledge that every government in the world is guilty of perpetrating injustices. We stand with those fighting against racism, white supremacy, police violence, the prison- industrial complex and all other forms of oppression. In the words of Albert Camus: “In a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.”
We operate with no strings attached – we do not represent any government nor do we work for any corporation or billionaire. We receive 100% of our funds from contributions made by individuals (until now, all of them have been US citizens). If you are interested in supporting our documentary series Trump’s War on Cuba with a tax-deductible donation, please visit the Center for Independent Documentary, our 501c3 non-profit fiscal sponsor.
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