Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Agustin Blazquez is Angry With His Local PBS Station...

Here's why, the Cuban-American filmmaker sent us a copy of his complaint:

Ms. Sheryl Lahti, Director of Audience Services

WETA Channel 26
2775 South Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22206
703 998-3407

Dear Ms. Lahti,

On Saturday, March 26, 2005, while watching “Viewer Favorites” on your public television station, I was shocked and offended by the singer Eric Burton - formerly of the group “The Animals” – wearing a Che Guevara shirt while performing a song on a segment of your presentation.

As a Cuban American, as a writer and a filmmaker, I am acquainted with the Che as a mass murderer who executed, without trial, many Cubans at La CabaƱa fortress in Havana as well as in the Sierra Maestra Mountains before 1959.

Below I enclose a recent open letter from the famous saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera to the famous guitarist Carlos Santana who sported a Che t-shirt while performing at the last Oscar Awards ceremony.

Below D’Rivera’s letter I am enclosing one of my published articles, this one about Che.

It is shocking that your educational public television station is not aware of Che’s criminal record and let pass such an insensitive and offensive display of disrespect to Che’s victims and the Cuban American community in the U.S. If Mr. Burton had worn a Hitler shirt, he wouldn’t have been presented – rightfully so - in order not to offend the Jewish victims and Holocaust survivors.

I think your public television station should apologize.

Agustin Blazquez
Writer & filmmaker
Silver Spring, MD

cc. Michael Pack and John Prizer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Paquito D’Rivera and various publications