How TV News Is Covering the Death of Fidel Castro

By Chris Ariens Comment

U.S. TV newsers have made their way to Havana to cover the death of former Cuban president Fidel Castro. In the early hours following Castro’s death Saturday, CNN’s Patrick Oppmann was the only U.S. TV correspondent in Cuba.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported from Miami International Airport for Nightly News last night, but was reporting for the Today show from Havana this morning. Mitchell first interviewed Castro in 1999. NBC’s Kerry Sanders spent all of Saturday in Miami’s Little Havana for NBC and MSNBC. NBC News counts among its ranks a Cuban-American anchor. But because Jose Diaz-Balart anchored continuing coverage on Telemundo, NBC brought in Lester Holt to anchor Saturday’s broadcast. (Holt’s son Stefan Holt, an anchor at WNBC, is in Havana reporting for NBC affiliates.)

ABC’s David Muir will anchor World News Tonight Sunday from Havana. Jim Avila, who was in Cuba the day the U.S. announced a return to relations with the island nation two years ago, was back in Havana this morning. He’s made more than 20 trips to Cuba over the last 22 years.

ABC’s Gio Benetiz, a Miami native and Cuban-American, is in Little Havana reporting on reaction. ABC’s Barbara Walters interviewed Castro twice, the first time 39 years ago. “He was charming and fiercely guarded about his private life,” she said in a statement Saturday. “He called our interviews ‘fiery debates.’ During our times together, he made clear to me that he was an absolute dictator and that he was a staunch opponent of democracy. I told him that what we most profoundly disagreed on was the meaning of freedom.”

CBS Sunday Morning had several stories on Castro’s death. CBS’s Manuel Bojorquez is in Havana and Jonathan Vigliotti reported on international reaction from London.

Fox News has Phil Keating reporting from Miami and Steve Harrigan in Havana.

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