Funny things happen to Americans after visiting Cuba through people-to-people programs: (1) contrary to what Marco Rubio and his fellow comecandelas would have you believe, they get to meet everyday Cubans (not just government goons) and engage in real cultural exchanges with them; (2) they turn into “anti-embargo” advocates, writing detailed op-eds about the realities of life in Cuba and how our embargo and travel ban do absolutely nothing to help the Cuban people; and (3) they come to the conclusion that Cuba hardliners in DC are a bevy of boneheads. The latest victim of this strange subtropical malady is Kristen Ann Muniz, who published her account of a recent trip to Cuba in HuffPo today:
The most crucial aspect to acknowledge, however, is that the trade embargo is hurting more humans than it is helping. The tips that Cubans working in the tourism industry would accumulate from American travelers could feed thousands of families. Those who don’t work in tourism would still benefit substantially from donations that Americans could bring with them upon visiting. And finally, because of U.S. patents, it is extremely difficult and time-consuming for Cuba to receive fifty percent of prescription drugs, including treatments for children with cancer. Yes, I just pulled the “Children with cancer” card, so now you have to agree to the embargo on Cuba being lifted. We can do better, America. Visit Cuba… just try not to be an asshole when you do.
You heard her, America. Visit Cuba, just try not to be an asshole when you do.
In the meantime, I’ll keep waiting for a single American to come back from Cuba and write an op-ed on how well our policy is working.