‘People-to-People’ tourist propaganda scheme paying dividends for Cuba’s Castro dictatorship
When you visit a beautiful and exotic Potemkin Village while on a very short leash and are allowed to view and experience only what your masters allow you to view and experience, the results are pretty predictable. Add into this equation now the fact that most of these Potemkin Village tourists happen to be ignorant and obtuse enough not to realize they are being led on a tour of a non-existent place, and the tour operators have a combination that cannot lose.
That is the entire premise behind the Castro regime's operation of the Obama administration's clumsy and naive "cultural exchange" policy towards Cuba's repressive apartheid dictatorship. Hundreds of ignorant and obtuse American tourists have visited Cuba as part of these propaganda tours swilling down the Castro Kool-Aid, and just as the Western Hemisphere's only totalitarian dictatorship and sponsor of terrorism cunningly planned, they all come back spouting Castro propaganda.
Tours changing American views of Cuba, US policy
HAVANA (AP) — When President Barack Obama reinstated "people-to-people" travel to Cuba in 2011, the idea was that visiting Americans would act as cultural ambassadors for a U.S. constantly demonized in the island's official media.
Two and a half years later, a survey shared exclusively with The Associated Press suggests the trips are not only improving Cubans' views of Americans. They are also changing U.S. travelers' opinions of the Caribbean nation for the better, and dimming their view of Washington policies that have long sought to pressure Cuba's Communist leaders.
"I think U.S.-Cuban relations should be open. People should be talking to each other. People should be sharing," said Ellen Landsberger, a 62-year-old New York obstetrician who recently visited on a people-to-people tour.
"We have this tiny little island that is no threat to the U.S. that we're isolating from the world," she said. "It doesn't make sense."
There's surely significant self-selection among people-to-people travelers; supporters of a hard-line policy against Cuba are unlikely to consider such a tour. And the people who run the trips tend to be more or less sympathetic toward Cuba, or at least to the idea of easing or lifting the 52-year-old U.S. embargo, which could potentially be a boon to their business.
Still, the results of the multiple-choice survey by Friendly Planet Travel, a company based in suburban Philadelphia that promotes legal tours of Cuba, are eye-catching. Three-quarters said they were drawn by curiosity about life in a nation that has been off limits to most Americans for decades.
Before travel, the most prevalent view of Raul Castro's government was "a repressive Communist regime that stifles individuality and creativity," 48 percent of respondents said. That fell to 19 percent after their visits, and the new most-popular view, held by 30 percent of respondents, became the slightly more charitable "a failing government that is destined to fall."
Most striking, 88 percent said the experience made them more likely than before to support ending the embargo against Cuba.
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