The difference between the ‘real’ Cuba and Castro’s Cuba
In the Tallahassee Democrat, Mike Collazo takes on a recent American visitor to Cuba who is gushing about her "cultural exchanges" with the murderous Castro dictatorship, telling everyone she has experienced the "real Cuba."
Don't count on seeing the 'real' Cuba
[...] [T]he assumption that the Castro government would allow U.S. tourists or businesses to subvert the revolution via approved “cultural” exchanges and personal interactions with “average” Cubans is at best naïve. The truth is that American visitors on these exchanges have limited contact with average Cubans, because hotels and resorts are generally off limits to the average Cuban and controlled by Cuba’s security apparatus. If you do meet a Cuban scholar, environmentalist, artist, musician, community organizer or author on one of these trips, you will almost certainly do so only because the Cuban government has determined that the person’s political views are sufficiently orthodox to permit interaction with foreigners.
Over the past decades hundreds of thousands of Canadian, European and Latin American tourists have visited the island, but Cuba isn’t more democratic. If anything, the state and its control apparatus have been strengthened by tourist dollars. And according to the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, even though more than 60 percent of Cubans on the island are black or mulatos, the Cuban government actively discriminates against them for jobs in the tourist industry, believing that tourists prefer to deal with whites and light-skinned people. As a result, a cultural exchange trip to Cuba will include more than just mojitos and walks on the beach — one will also experience racial discrimination at its worst.
Read the entire editorial HERE.