|Pope Francis and Fidel Castro meeting on Sept. 20, 2015, during the pontiff's trip to Cuba (Credit: Alex Castro-AP).|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Record's news, feature and travel editors and columnists are trying to keep readers from learning a dirty little secret about Cuba.
The island has long been the safest major tourist destination in the Caribbean.
Cuba doesn't have crime, gun or drug problems, making it a paradise on earth for its 11 million residents, and a great place to vacation.
In fact, the life expectancy on the biggest island in the Caribbean is 80, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported on Saturday.
That's quite a feat for a country that is often portrayed in the news media as one of the poorest in the world, especially when you realize the life expectancy in the United States is 79.
In reporting the death of Fidel Castro, the Sunday edition of The Record is filled with negatives about the Cuban revolutionary, communism and life on the island -- a former U.S. colony (1A, 9A, 10A, 11A).
The headline over the huge black-and-white photo of Castro in 1970 reads:
|In 2000, on one of my visits to Havana, Cuba, I took a photo of three teenagers. They reflected the diversity of an island that until the 1959 revolution had been strictly divided between whites and blacks.|
|From the website Mike Kelly Writer.|
Although readers today won't find any news from the vast majority of the 90 or so towns in the circulation area, the Local front carries a long story about a single parking spot in Ridgewood (1L).
The Record has devoted move coverage to the village's downtown parking woes and solutions than to the entire school system in Hackensack.
Many readers rejoiced at the departure of Elisa Ung, who was the paper's beef-and-dessert obsessed restaurant reviewer for more than nine years.
Ung consumed obscene quantities of mystery beef and other artery clogging food, all on an expense account, and showed extreme deference to celebrity chefs.
Still, Gannett hasn't replaced her.
On Friday, in place of the usual weekly restaurant appraisal, readers found a list of Theater District restaurants taste tested by Food Editor Esther Davidowitz and Robert Feldberg, the theater critic.
The week before, Better Living editors listed expensive North Jersey restaurants that were serving Thanksgiving dinner.