Decostructing the AP Fake News on Cristiano Ronaldo and Cuba

Decostructing the AP Fake News on Cristiano Ronaldo and Cuba
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11 March 2021
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In the section "AP WAS NOT REAL: A look at what didn’t happen this week", a summary of the most popular, but completely false stories and images of the week, the North American agency dismantled one of the many Fake News that the machinery of lies keeps building and spreading against Cuba.

According to journalist Marcos Martínez Chacón, the news that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo launched a message against the Cuban government is totally false.

We reproduce his report below:

THE CLAIM: A photograph shows soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo as he holds a sheet with a message against the Cuban government.

THE FACTS: The image was edited. The original photograph shows Ronaldo, then a Real Madrid team player, while holding the sheet with a message of support for the victims of earthquakes registered in 2011 in southeastern Spain.

On May 11th, 2011, two earthquakes shook the Murcia region, in southeastern Spain, leaving a toll of nine people dead, dozens injured and thousands of victims.

According to reports from The Associated Press, the municipality of Lorca was one of the most affected by the earthquakes, considered the deadliest recorded in the Iberian country in 55 years.

Two days after the earthquake, on a visit to Lorca, then-Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero promised to rehabilitate the affected homes, said AP.

"We are going to rehabilitate the heritage, homes, public buildings, and infrastructure," he added.

A week later, Real Madrid players also visited Lorca to express their support for the inhabitants of the region. Images of the visit of the players were released by the football club.

A publication circulating on Facebook shows one of the photographs in which Ronaldo expressed his solidarity with Lorca, but the image was edited to show the player with a message against the Cuban government.

"Thank you very much Ronaldo for your support to the freedom of Cuba," wrote the user who published the edited photo.

However, the unedited photograph shows Ronaldo, currently a Juventus player from Turin, in Italy, holding the sheet that reads: "All with Lorca."

By reversing the photo on Google, the AP found that different edited versions of the photo have circulated on social media to attribute messages to Ronaldo other than those actually written in the sheet.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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