Oh, the distorted joys of Cuba
The lefties at the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) never cease to amaze.
In the Business Section of the Sunday edition, we read an inane puff-piece regarding a 9-day excursion — “a rare tour“ — to Cuba, sponsored by the Tempe and Glendale Chambers of Commerce, after receiving permission from the U.S. Treasury Department for this venture. The State Department calls Cuba a “totalitarian police state which assumed power by force in 1959.”
This quote from the sales manager for the travel agency is particularly telling: “What struck them (other travelers) is that Cuba is the only place on Earth they’ve been to that doesn’t have a Starbucks or a McDonald’s,” she enthused. “It gave them a frozen-in-time feeling. “That’s what has been appealing to everyone, to be able to go somewhere that’s not been marred by gross consumerism.”
“Gross consumerism?”Cuba is frozen in time because the people who once enjoyed freedom now live under tyranny. They produce little, live in abject poverty, endure shortages of food and are forbidden to leave the island.
The article also has this gross misrepresentation by Glendale Chamber President Don Rinehart, who intends to take the trip. He romanticized about “classic, vintage cars” lining the streets. I’m a ’50s fanatic and would love to go see those cars again.”
What Rinehart neglects to mention is the “vintage cars that line the streets” mostly don’t run and there are no others to replace them. This article from the New York Times tells the actual story.
But Cuba has honed the knack of exploiting the nostalgia that envelopes such as Rinehart when they visit the island — so much so that the government provides reconditioned old convertibles for use by visitors.
A more lucid perspective of the extreme human rights violations and the repression the Communist regime exemplifies comes via The Unreported Tragedy of Cuba’s Repressive Communist Regime by Mike Gonzalez, Cuban-born VP of Communications for the Heritage Foundation. He states, “We at The Heritage Foundation agree with Churchill and Reagan that tyranny cannot be appeased. We have a proud record of standing up to communism.”
“Communism is a human tragedy, enslaving the soul while failing to produce enough goods for the people trudging under it,” he writes. “Communist countries are large prisons; the borders must be closed lest the people escape. And within that hell there are smaller circles where the repression is intensified. It’s the Gulag, the re-education camp or, in Cuba’s case today, public beatings by government mobs for those who dare to speak their minds.”
For additional background, watch this video seminar titled The Unwritten Story: How the media and the Obama administration overlook Cuba’s wave of repression, hosted by Gonzalez.