Sometimes the devil knocks on your door, unexpectedly

Today I received an invitation to lecture on “luxury” cruise ships traveling to Castrogonia.

Yes, I was offered the same deal accepted by other exiles, such as the new interim director of the University of Miami’s Center for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.

Apparently, the word is out among those who cook up such deals that exiles love to say “yes, sign me up!”

I will refrain from divulging the name of the firm involved.

But the peculiar banality of this evil needs full exposure.

Here’s the invitation:

Good afternoon, Professor Eire …

I am reaching out to you today in the hopes that you might be interested in the opportunity to share your impressive expertise on Cuba while enjoying the inherent benefits of global travel aboard a luxury cruise ship.

For two decades,  our firm, XYZ, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been supplying the luxury cruise line industry with quality onboard programming.  Our enrichment offerings include Destination Speakers, Special Interest Speakers, Art Instructors, Bridge Instructors, Golf Instructors, Yoga Instructors, Religious Service Leaders and Gentlemen Hosts®.  We can proudly say that we serve the most prestigious lines in the world including Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises and Windstar Cruises. 

Your unique background and experience would most certainly enhance the onboard experience for those guests sailing aboard our clients’ vessels and we would be delighted to have you join our esteemed roster of world renowned guest lecturers at sea.

Please let me know if you have interest in pursuing this opportunity and I will circle back to you with further information and details.

Warm regards,

Fulana So-and-So

Here’s my reply:

Thanks for the invitation, Fulana.

I will gladly consider any speaking engagement with your firm, as long as it doesn’t involve Cuba, or any other country run by a small repressive oligarchy.

The Castro regime has declared me an enemy of the state, due to my speaking against them from a safe distance in exile, and, in addition, all of my books have been banned by the tiny oligarchy that still enslaves that country, even those books of mine that don’t deal with Cuba.

Moreover, the Castro regime has imprisoned, tortured, and executed members of my family.  And, as if this were not enough, the Castro regime also prevented my father from leaving Cuba, and, as a result, the last time I saw him was at the Havana airport in 1962, when I left the island without my parents at the age of eleven.

Thanks to Castro, Inc., he died alone in 1976, and by the time his wife and children in the U.S. found out about his passing, he had already been buried.

The Castro regime would not have allowed us to attend the funeral anyway, for that is how they have dealt with the grief of the two million Cubans who live in exile.

But let me assure you, that little fact still hurts more than any words or any primal scream could express.

Nonetheless, even if I were not an official enemy of the Castro regime — and therefore in constant danger while on my native soil — I would never, ever, under any circumstances travel to Cuba.

Travel to Cuba by anyone is immoral, regardless of nationality, for the Castro regime owns the entire tourist industry on the island, and every dollar or euro spent there goes straight into the pockets of one of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Travel to Cuba is also immoral because every tourist who sets foot on the island has access to goods and amenities that are off limits — totally unavailable — to 99 percent of the natives who live there.

Cuba is an apartheid society, in which tourists enjoy all sorts of privileges denied to the natives. In many ways, it is a worse kind of apartheid than the old South Africa, for those who travel to Cuba consider the place “chic” and “cool” without any regard for the human rights abuses endured by the natives, or any regard for the fact that the natives all work for the government and are only paid 30 US dollars per month.

In essence, the Cuban tourist industry depends on slave labor, for the Castro regime collects 92 percent of the salaries paid to Cubans by foreign firms.

Perhaps you are not aware of any of these issues.

I’m taking the time to tell you this, so that perhaps you can begin to think about the ethics of travel to Cuba, and cancel all deals your firm might have with cruise lines that travel there.
Imagine playing a leading role in the collapse of an abusive regime by calling for a boycott of its apartheid tourist industry!

Back in the 1980’s, travel to South Africa was deemed immoral by all decent people on earth, and the tourism boycott against that heinous regime caused it to collapse.

Oh, how ardently I wish the same rules could be applied to present-day Cuba.

So, in sum, I will gladly consider speaking on cruises anywhere but Cuba or any country like it, where the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is considered an illegal document and anyone in possession of it can be imprisoned.

By the way, my professional expertise is in late medieval and early modern European history.  I am fluent in all Western European languages, except for Dutch.  But I can understand about 70 percent of what I read in that language, thanks to my knowledge of German.

I look forward to learning about other opportunities that your firm may have to offer to countries that eschew apartheid and observe and cherish the principles outlined in the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

All the best,

Carlos Eire

3 thoughts on “Sometimes the devil knocks on your door, unexpectedly”

  1. Professor, you left out Buckley’s assertion that he would never again speak anywhere when there is someone on the other side given equal time at that venue to give “his side of the story.”

    “Open minded” people love to brag that they allow for all points of view. But some points of view should not be allowed. And the what about Batista crowd represents one of those points of view that should be verboten.

    I would be wary of speaking anywhere before I knew every participant. Too many enjoy sabotaging people for their own drama.

  2. Superb indeed, Carlos, but you missed an opportunity. You could have offered them your services as a “gentleman host.”

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