Please, if you are traveling to Cuba, keep in mind that behind the facade of
beautiful countryside views, with its ever-present majestic Royal Palm tree; behind the 50s automobiles giving you a back to the future tour experience; behind the rhythmic and contagious music; behind the cheerful, informal attitude and hospitality of the Cubans; behind all the beauty and excitement of this wonder-full land and surrounding waters; behind all these facades there is a tyrannical, oppressive and repressive omnipresent authority.
The Washington Post Editorial Board expresses my mental rumination struggle more clearly than I could ever hope:
“In all the enthusiasm in the United States for more tourism, cultural exchanges and investment in Cuba, there have been far too few demands for more democracy on the island. A lesson of Mr. Obama’s visit, and the Communist Party’s overheated reaction, is that the mere mention of democracy and freedom is a powerful tool. Mr. Obama put it simply in Havana, declaring that ‘citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear.’ Those rushing to Havana lately must not forget to articulate this message, again and again.”
I am going to repeat, yes being redundant; perhaps you will remember on your trip to Cuba: “Those rushing to Havana lately must not forget to articulate this message, again and again.” (President Obama’s message: “citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear.”
What about a pledge for those who will experience their magical tour: “For each payment with my hard earned dollars I will express aloud or in whisper: every Cuban should feel free to speak their mind without fear of reprisal.” Make this pledge in your own words, with your own pictures, with your own creative expression, but please, make the pledge. You can be part of a positive human rights and democracy development, and perhaps revolution. Do it for the Cuban people, do it for the advance of free, civil society, do it for your satisfaction, find your own reason; JUST DO IT – TAKE THE PLEDGE!