When is an Aid Worker not an Aid Worker? Or the BBC’s use of language

“Cuba jails US aid worker Alan Gross” – thus runs a BBC headline on the fact that the Cubans have gaoled a US citizen in Cuba. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I hear the term aid worker, I think of someone working for a non-governmental organisation such as the Red Cross or Trócaire or Oxfam. What I don’t think of is someone undertaking illegal work as a contractor for a US governmental agency aimed at changing the political system of a country that the US has blockaded for 5 decades. It might just be me, but this language seems very much like an attempt to put as anti-Cuban a spin as possible on this story. Compare it to the description of the Miami Five who were engaged in anti-terrorism work here. Someone at the BBC – like the entire newsroom – needs to learn what objectivity is.

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