Cuban television broadcasts an hour-long news discussion program, La Mesa Redonda, each weekday evening at 7:00 (with rebroadcast at 11:00), in which journalists and academics discuss world events. The program, widely watched in Cuba, offers an alternative to the perspective found in the major international media.
For several months, the situation in Syria has been one of the themes of discussion on La Mesa Redonda. From the perspective of Cuban journalists and academics, Syria attracted the hostility of the United States by deepening relations with Iran and Russia, thereby challenging US efforts to control the politics of the Middle East. Thus the United States and its NATO allies have been trying to discredit and overthrow the Syrian government by providing support to opposition groups in Syria, which would have little strength were it not for foreign support.
La Mesa Redonda of September 2 dedicated 30 minutes to the possible US strike against Syria. Two Cuban journalists, specialists on the Middle East, responded to questions posed by Randy Alonso Falcón, director and frequent moderator of the program. It was maintained that, although the international press refers to the conflict in Syria as a civil war, in fact it is not a civil war but a war of aggression by the United States and its NATO allies against the legitimate government of Syria, a war waged by means of supplying arms and equipment to opposition groups, and a war motivated by US and European neocolonial interests in the Middle East.
Concerning the alleged use of chemical weapons, one of the journalists cited a news report filed from Syria, based on sources in the opposition, indicating that the chemical attack was carried out by the opposition and not by the government. This commentary is consistent with what the Cuban press has been reporting for several days: the government of Syria denies that it is responsible for the attack, arguing that, having agreed to a visit by UN inspectors, it would be absurd to conduct such an attack on the day prior to their arrival. And the Cuban press has been reporting that Russia does not believe that the government of Syria carried out the attack. This was reaffirmed later during the evening news of November 2, in which it was reported that Russia is not convinced by the evidence presented by the United States and its NATO allies that the government of Syria carried out the chemical attack.
The second part of La Mesa Redonda on November 2 was devoted to the Summit of Presidents of UNASUR, the Union of Nations of South America. It was noted that UNASUR passed resolutions condemning the arming of Syrian opposition groups by the Western powers and expressing opposition to foreign intervention in Syria.
The Cuban press presents an alternative to the major international news media. The major news media is integrally tied to the capitalist world-economy, and they function to ensure that the people will not learn to ask questions that would challenge the structures of neocolonial domination. The Cuban press is integrally tied to the Cuban revolutionary project, which seeks to construct an alternative to the neocolonial world-system.