Reagan: Won't visit Cuba until people are free
May 30, 2017
Michael Reagan Perspective
Expedia is now booking hotels in Cuba.
American Airlines is flying American tourists from Miami to Havana.
For more than a year American-owned cruise lines have been hauling U.S.
citizens by the thousands to the Castro brothers' beautiful socialist
paradise 90 miles off the tip of Florida.
Thanks to President Barack Obama's decision to liberalize relations with
Cuba in 2015, the island is now open to direct visits by American tourists.
I can't believe how excited so many Americans are to get a chance to see
some '57 Chevys and Buicks and visit a country that has been wrecked and
essentially frozen in time by a dictatorship since JFK was president.
I'd love to see Cuba, too. Its people, culture and beaches are
beautiful. Its pre-Fidel history and Spanish heritage are rich.
My wife is in the travel business, so I could go on a cruise to Havana
for peanuts anytime I wanted.
But as long as Raul Castro and the other thugs in the Communist Party
remain in power in Cuba, I promise I'll never go there.
Half a century of Castros-style Communism turned Cuba into a backward,
open-air gulag that American liberals unconditionally adored or made
excuses for because everyone in the country got free education and free
Meanwhile, it didn't matter to most liberals that Cubans were also kept
dirt poor and had no free speech, no free vote, no free press or access
to the Internet, no freedom to start a business and no freedom to travel.
Since the Obama administration's liberalization efforts and the invasion
of American tourists, things have not improved for the average Cuban.
Their country is still run by a socialist communist dictatorship, and
they're still third-class citizens.
They still can't go to the fine tourist hotels or pricy tourist shops.
They can't go to the tourist beaches. They sure can't afford a new car
or even a motorbike on their $25 a month, which is about the national
To this day, Cuba's oppressive government continues to treat 11 million
human beings like animals in a rundown socialist zoo.
And if you go there as a tourist from New York or London, all you're
doing is putting hard currency into the coffers of Raul and the other
The Americans who cruise to Cuba with their dollars and debit cards
don't understand, or don't care, that they are propping up a despotic
government, and the liberal and conservative media aren't making a stink
You'd think the free Cuban community in Florida would be making a bigger
deal out of American tourist money being used to keep their family
members in a large cage called Cuba.
But they aren't saying much, either.
As for me, I will never visit Cuba until its people are truly free. I
hope it doesn't take too long.
But until I can go to Havana, befriend an ordinary Cuban and be able to
buy him a plane ticket so he can visit me in Southern California, I
won't spend a dime to help pay for the upkeep of the Castro brothers'
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political
consultant and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution."
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