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Juan Manuel Cao: The Cuban Journalist Who Enraged Fidel Castro and Fears Dying in Exile

Juan Manuel Cao

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Behind the well-known U.S. Hispanic television media personality, Juan Manuel Cao is a deep thinker, a first-rate writer, screenwriter, essayist, and a Cuban who has never wavered from his principles.

Now host and journalist of America TeVé’s (WJAN-CD Miami) “A Fondo” program, after a long stint as the anchor of “El Espejo”, on the same award-winning television channel, Cao now offers us a chance to get to know the man behind the television persona in this interview with The American.

Having just turned the corner of adulthood, he ended up in political prison serving a difficult three-year sentence for exercising his natural right to free speech, something forbidden in a communist regime. From a young age, he became acquainted with the nature of a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship. Topics of conversation flowed in broad and extended directions throughout our engagement. The importance of incorporating a historical and philosophical context when analyzing and discerning about an economic or political position is fundamental, the multifaceted journalist told us. “All discussion is philosophical”, he said.

The great contribution of his family, especially his mother, helped inoculate him against the evils of growing up in a country where indoctrination is part of the mechanism of social domestication. The rise of the human rights movement that sprouted on the Island during the 1970s was discussed, as well as the reaction to it in the exile community, the notion of peaceful resistance and the prospect of one day returning to a free Cuba.  

This laidback and enlightening conversation with Juan Manuel Cao is another segment of El American’s series of interviews with figures from across the political world. 

Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.