We have met the enemy and he is us
Who is keeping the economy of Castrolandia afloat? As it turns out, the lion's share of the responsibility lies with Cuban exiles and Canadian tourists. As loathsome as the Canadian fun-seeking tourists are, however, they pale in comparison to a whole lot of Cuban exiles.
First, contemplate how exiles bear the largest share of the blame for the flow of foreign cash and goods into Castrolandia.
The chart above, from the latest issue of National Geographic, may not be precisely correct, but it does reveal two undeniable patterns:
1. The ebb and flow of Cuban emigration from 1959 to present, which culminates in a massive extended tsunami after 1994 -- a wave that is about to increase if the so-called travel "reforms" go into effect.
2. The fact that the post-1994 tsunami is linked with an even more massive flow of cash back into the island. At first it was 240 million dollars, in 1994. Last year it was 2.3 billion dollars. The title of the chart says it all: "Cubans out, Dollars in."
Then, contemplate the tourists' share of the blame.
This chart breaks down the flow of tourists to Cuba (red) alongside the number of Cubans living abroad (blue). As this chart shows, Canada dwarfs all other nations, by a wide margin. But who is second, not far behind? The United States. And, if these figures are correct, a whopping 85 percent of U.S. tourists are Cuban exiles. This means that all of those people-to-people junkets are dwarfed by the number of Cuban exiles who visit the island.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we did not weep, but we did keep shuttling back and forth to Zion, loaded with goodies, becoming one with our captors, cheering them with our electric appliances and dollars.