Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Gelet Martínez Fragela who is the founder of ADN America to the newsmaker line to discuss the effects of communism and the launch of her news site at adnamerica.com.
Leahy: We welcome to our newsmaker line our very good friend, Gelet Fragela. Good morning Gelet.
Fragela: Good morning. How are you?
Leahy: I am delighted to have you on. The big news yesterday. You launched ADN America. On the web at adnamerica.com. This, to my mind, is the first Spanish-language English language news site that approaches news from a fact-based on a conservative point of view. Tell us a little bit about how you accomplished this, Gelet?
Fragela: Yes, for sure. Well, definitely. ADN America was launched yesterday as a bilingual organization and news portal that we’re providing breaking news in real-time, in-depth analysis, and political reports. Like political coverage to Hispanics, which we are the fastest-growing demographic in the United States.
And we also going to focus on covering some Latin American issues and other regions that are of interest to our community. And one of the motivations to create ADN America definitely comes from personal experience.
I’m a former political refugee from Cuba. I left the island when I was 10 and I experienced firsthand how these identity politics have been playing a big role in the Hispanic media landscape and overtaking sometimes actual fact-based journalism or preventing journalists and the Latino community from really having a real conversation about the issues affecting them.
I believe there are many underrepresented stories in the Hispanic community today. A lot of them are from conservative, but also from classical liberalism, from principles of free market, free enterprise, and free thoughts.
And I believe that no matter where our heritage is, although we celebrate all of that, there are certain common values that bring us together as Americans.
And that we come to this country and we share the respect for liberty, resilience, sufficient individuals, and responsibility.
Those are values that many in the Hispanic community share with American principles. That’s what makes us come to this country. And I think it’s very important to really tell Hispanics first generation, second and third generations to talk a little bit about American values. But also to provide fact-based journalism and stories that are of interest to the community.
Leahy: You lived in Cuba and left when you were about 10 years old with your family. While you were in Cuba, your family was subjected to levels of political persecution. Your grandfather was a political prisoner because he was involved in the Bay of Pigs back in 1961.
You have an interesting personal story, though. You apparently as a child, were a child actor and a star on Cuban television. Tell us a little bit about that.
Fragela: Yes. I left Cuba when I was 9 or 10 about that age and a few years before that, I was a child actress. (Chuckles) Yes, that’s funny. It seems so far away right now. It was like a family show about kids and their lives, and it didn’t have at the time of political component per se.
The show is not about that. It was after the Soviet Union collapsed. But however, although it did not have that, the show was done, recorded, and aired in a period of time, that it did not reflect the reality in Cuba.
We were really struggling over this special period in those years from 1991 to 1993. And the show portrayed a false reality. The toys that the kids have, the houses, the shoes or clothes.
And the reality is that in Cuba, those were not things that were accessible for nobody unless you belong to that Cuban elite.
Leahy: To the elite.
Fragela: It was very elite. Oh, totally. Yes, my father was a lawyer, my mother was a school teacher, but we had the same as it is that anybody else because there’s only one class. Everybody’s poor.
Leahy: Except for the Communist Party leaders.
Fragela: Except for that. That’s what happened when you centralized government. And I tell people when I hear sometimes that we need to fundamentally transform America or anywhere in the country.
It is scary because what happened in Cuba is that someone decided and a party decided one day that they wanted to fundamentally transform the country. Look what happened 62 years after it was fundamentally transformed.
It was fundamentally destroyed because when you change the values of a nation when you destroy its moral fabric somewhere on the road, you’re not going to have anything to really cherish and to really feel proud of.
And when you centralize everything around the government, then you’re taking away a lot of individual freedoms. And obviously, we’re talking here about an extreme case, such as Cuba. Obviously, there are differences even through Latin America where socialism is spreading.
But Cuba is like the end result of that. I call communism a cancer that once metastasized in our society there’s not really a way to take it out. And it sounds like, oh, my God, they’re exaggerating.
Trust me, I’m not.
That is what happened because you’re tearing apart institutions, government checks and balances, the rule of law, and ethics. And that is very scary. There are so many ways to move forward without having to go to a social polarization and social polarized ideology that is the world in this binary way of oppressor and oppressed.
There are many ways to come together as a nation and improve things around us without having to go through all these old ideologies. Because they’re not new. They’re very old, and they have done tremendous damage throughout history.
So definitely that has a lot to do. That impacted my views on life. And now what I see throughout Latin America is the spread of socialism. It’s really scary because that’s what happens when you have frictions in a society.
When you have certain inequality in a society. These Marxist ideas leverage on those frictions, and they sell this false reality that this heaven on earth that is never attainable, and a lot of people buy it, unfortunately.
Leahy: You also worked for Univision and Telemundo, the big Spanish language networks. Do they give a liberal view of the world or a conservative view of the world?
Fragela: Well, no, definitely. I believe that here’s the thing. There are two ways of seeing this. The Hispanic community is very conservative or a lot of people in the Hispanic community. Let’s say over 50 percent of social issues because of our Catholic the way we were raised.
Definitely, there’s some conservatism in those aspects. However, that is not really in my opinion when I analyze it when I used to work there. There is definitely a liberal bias that is undeniable. Anybody that says that that’s not the way, maybe they haven’t worked on those stations.
And let me be honest, they have the right to give the view. They decide. I don’t have a problem with that. A lot of people don’t feel represented.
Leahy: You also, as the founder, CEO, and publisher of ADN America on the web adnamerica.com. You have the right to put forward your view and we congratulate you on the launch.
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