MEMRI's Vice President Ambassador Alberto Fernandez said in a February 27, 2023 show on Alsharqiya News TV (Iraq) that the influence of Russian propaganda in the West has been exaggerated, and that Russian propaganda is more effective in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. He added that Russian influence has been used a pretext in the United States to carry out a witch-hunt that is endangering American democracy. Ambassador Fernandez also said that as a Cuban refugee, he opposes communism, which has been a "disaster for Cuba and everywhere."
Alberto Fernandez: "Propaganda comes from everywhere. Propaganda can be found everywhere. Every country and every entity spreads propaganda – clean propaganda and dirty propaganda. In all honesty, all is fair in love and war. There is no surprise here. In the West, the view regarding Russian propaganda is exaggerated. We have witnessed an exaggerated approach to Russian influence on domestic political issues in the United States. This is extremely exaggerated. There is no doubt about it. The Russians use all the means at their disposal to spread propaganda, and the West does the same thing.
"The real impact depends on the place and the situation. I believe that in the Third World – in the Middle East, in Latin, America, in Africa – Russian propaganda is more effective, not because Russia is good at spreading propaganda, but because, in these regions, there is an obscure historical [narrative] about Western 'infiltration', Western 'colonization', or Western 'Hegemony'. This is why this not-so-strong Russian propaganda is more popular in those regions.
"I am a Cuban refugee, and I am totally against communism. I believe that communism has been a disaster to the world, a disaster for Cuba and everywhere. But what happened in the West, and especially in America, is that the deep state, whose focus has been on the foreign ideological threat, has changed its focus, especially in recent years, and put a spotlight, in what I believe to be a very dirty and dangerous way, on the 'domestic enemy' in the United States. We witnessed this in the days of President Trump, and Russia was presented as the justification for this – the Russian Boogeyman in the United States.
"This was extremely exaggerated and the accusations and lies were hurled that President Trump was a Russian agent, 'in Russia's pocket,' and so on. There were attempts to interfere and spread foreign propaganda, that is true. But when this shifted from defending the foreigners to a witch-hunt within the U.S, we moved from something that is allowed to something that dangers U.S. democracy."