Dagens Nyheter feared that SVT was lining up “a tribute to Castro” while Expressen called the programme “a disaster”. “SVT is celebrating by bowing down before the bearded dictator,” wrote Svenska Dagbladet.
The programme includes two documentaries about Fidel Castro. Both have been criticised for not being critical enough about the communist leader.
Several of the editorial writers reckon that even the guests invited on air by SVT on Saturday evening are far too positive towards Castro and that the picture painted of Cuba and Castro’s regime will not be balanced.
They are questioning the state-owned television company’s independence, which is entrenched in Swedish law.
SVT’s managing director Eva Hamilton countered the criticism by saying that her image of “the Castro regime’s poverty creation” came from SVT.
However, she refused to be drawn on whether the theme night would give a balanced view of the Castro regime.
“I haven’t seen it. Let’s wait until this evening and then criticise if necessary,” said Hamilton.
SVT’s programme director Leif Jakobsson also said any criticism should wait until after the transmission.
“We give a balanced view. It’s in our remit to inform from all perspectives,” he told TT.
He emphasised that Cuba was unusual as a country that had lived under the same political regime for such a long time.
“Now we are trying to give a view against the background of the ageing ruler.”
The Christian Democrats’ youth party (KDU) has reported Swedish Television to the Swedish Broadcasting Commission over the Castro night.