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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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not much better than a Castro agent, which I think is outrageous libel and calumny. It was too bad that Castro said this.

But Matthews went to Cuba to get reacquainted firsthand with the situation there. He did not go there as a news man. You see, in this sense, our policy has changed. He came back, wrote a long memorandum about what he had found which was very interesting, and if I had been in charge of Matthews for our news or Sunday department I think I would have published this memorandum in the form of a magazine article, which is a little different from going as a reporter. But the decision, which is an absolutely and perfectly reasonable decision, one that I don't happen to agree with (but that doesn't make any difference), was not to publish what he had written as a magazine article. I would have rather seen it as a magazine article than as a news article for the reasons that I raised before.

Matthews sent this off to a scholarly journal out in California, the Hispanic American Review, and it was published there. And now, of course, we're accused not only by the right wing of having a Communist agent writing our Latin American editorials, namely Herbert Matthews, but we're now accused by the left and more liberal wing of suppressing Herbert Matthews because we did not run this piece that eventually appeared in the Hispanic American Review. Our answer to the latter is a perfectly honest and straightforward answer: he didn't go there to write news stories or any other kind of story for the Times. He went for the editorial department for editorial background, and that is why he went and why we paid for the trip down, and he went not only with my permission but strong approval. The article that he wrote was one that he simply wrote on his own, and there was no question of suppression at all. In fact, we have a reporter in Cuba right now.

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