As American tourism in Cuba increases, so does the repression

Yesterday I posted about the Castro regime’s report that tourism to the island had increased 11.3% over the same period last year. They have now released another report that states that 2010 saw an increase in American tourists over 2009.

If accurate, that is an interesting statistic since many who are lobbying to lift travel restrictions against the Cuban regime argue that increased tourism by Americans to Cuba will help bring freedom and liberty to the enslaved Cuban people.

In reality, increased tourism to Cuba has only provided increased revenue to the oppressive Castro regime. Revenue they have used to fund their repressive machinery.

You cannot ignore the fact that while more “ambassadors of freedom” were enjoying mojitos and all-you-can-eat buffets during their vacation to the island prison, the repression, illegal detentions, and the brutal violence perpetrated against democracy activists by the regime increased precipitously.

So much for the promised wondrous benefits of “people-to-people” contacts.

Via Reuters:

Cuba reports more Americans visit forbidden island
A tourist poses for a picture at colonial-era fortress

(Reuters) – The number of Americans visiting their country’s long-time foe Cuba is steadily increasing under the Obama administration, according to Cuban government figures, with the highest number in years likely in 2011.

Some 63,000 U.S. citizens visited Cuba in 2010, up from 52,500 the previous year and 41,900 in 2008, according to a report by the National Statistics Office.

U.S. citizens are forbidden from travelling to Cuba without their government’s permission under a wide-ranging trade embargo against the island imposed nearly five decades ago.

In the years following Cuba’s 1959 revolution the highest known number of U.S. visitors peaked at 70,000 under U.S. President Bill Clinton, then dropped to an average of 30,000 in the last term of U.S. President George W. Bush.

The 2010 numbers do not include 350,000 Cuban Americans estimated by travel providers and U.S. diplomats to have come to the island last year. Because Cuba considers them nationals, they are not listed in tourism statistics except within the broader category of “other.”

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