Cuban to Cuban contacts

Via the Anniston (Alabama) Star, a story of a Cuban born local going back to see Cuba. Notice the wistful and almost romantic tone of the piece; not once is it mentioned that Cuba is a communist dictatorship with political prisoners. Journalism? Bullshit.

[…] In recent years, travel from the United States to Cuba has become easier for those with family still there, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. While previously, Cubans with family still in Cuba were allowed to visit once every three years for up to two weeks, President Barack Obama instructed government agencies in 2009 to lift all restrictions on individuals’ ability to visit family in Cuba and to send remittances home.

Since that time, travel to Cuba by Cuban-Americans has increased dramatically, according to Tom Piccone, deputy director for foreign policy at the Brookings Institute.

While previously Miami was the only city from which flights to Cuba occurred, Piccone noted that now airports in several cities—including Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and Tampa—are authorized to send flights there.

Allowing these visits to happen, said Piccone, is part of a people-to-people and family reconciliation that is long overdue.

“It’s a building block to the type of dialogue that’s needed between the two governments,” he said.

Still, he said, the Cuban government limits the number of Cuban-Americans that can enter the country and “applies a kind of ideological test — they would say a review of security threats.”

For Martinez, his career as a military police officer and Army criminal investigator is part of what made him slow to visit Cuba and his family that remained there. He worried his past duties would be of interest to the Cuban government or that a trip could affect his security clearance. But Martinez’s daughter, Mai Martinez, wanted to take her father on a trip to his native country.

“Mai just felt like 50 years was long enough, that I should go visit my roots,” he said. “And she wanted to take me and my son.”

The elder Martinez eventually agreed to the trip. “At this point in my life, if they lock me up and throw away the key, I’ll just deal with it,” he said. “I knew there was not going to be any Cuban invasion if I got locked up in Cuba.” […]

Por eso estamos en el exilio…

3 thoughts on “Cuban to Cuban contacts”

  1. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, including in my own extended family. It’s very difficult to deal with these people, because, probably as a defense mechanism, they see themselves in a kind of beatific light, as if what they’re doing is not only fine but noble and elevated. They turn the thing into some sentimental Hallmark card experience and definitely avoid the harsh, ugly truth and its implications like the plague. My response, at least with family, has been to treat them with basic civility but distinct detachment, as if listening to someone enthuse about his collection of matchboxes or salt shakers. It’s the best I can do for them without hurting them.

  2. Part of it is disconnect and delusion, but part of it can be self-flattery, even if subconscious. In a case I’m quite familiar with, the people in question are “evolved” (read liberal-ish) Cubans who wouldn’t want to be taken for “those people,” and there was a holier-than-thou element involved. There’s also the fact, of course, that some people are simply weak-minded or mushy-headed, and hopelessly susceptible to sentimental considerations despite any and all hard facts and real evidence.

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