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    Left-Wing Magazine Plans Posh Trip To Castro’s Cuba

    Left-Wing Magazine Plans Posh Trip To Castro’s Cuba
    BLAKE NEFF Reporter
    11:24 AM 07/11/2015

    The Nation, one of America’s premier left-wing magazines, is advertising
    a trip to Communist Cuba where it touts that visitors will be able to
    meet spies who helped kill Americans.

    An email sent out Friday invites loyal friends of The Nation to purchase
    one of the limited spots on a guided tour of Havana and its environs
    lasting from Sept. 26-Oct. 3.

    Ordinarily, vacation travel to Cuba from the United States is illegal,
    but this trip qualifies as an exception because it is considered a
    people-to-people educational venture rather than a purely pleasurable
    trip. Nevertheless, the letter practically gushes about the
    luxuries travelers will get to experience in Fidel and Raul
    Castro’s island paradise:

    Our week long itinerary will include museum tours with eminent art and
    cultural historians; seminars and lectures featuring renowned Cuban
    economists, government officials, community activists, physicians, and
    urban planners… exclusive concerts with popular jazz artists,
    troubadours, and folk musicians; performances by students of Cuba’s
    internationally acclaimed ballet institutes; visits to artist’s colonies
    and studios; guided tours of Old Havana, the Latin American Medical
    School, and the University of Havana; and visits to many other inspiring
    locales and events. The group will stay for six nights at the famed,
    four-star NH Capri Hotel La Habana, located just minutes from Old Havana
    and just a block from the the Malecón, a broad esplanade and seawall
    which stretches five miles along the Cuban coast. We’ll also travel to
    the scenic Viñales Valley on the western end of the island where we will
    spend one night with a Cuban host family at their “casa particulare”
    (private home), which will offer an opportunity to closely interact with
    residents of the town. While in Viñales, we will have lunch on an
    organic farm, explore the region’s limestone formations, and learn about
    the tobacco fields in this province that produce the world’s finest cigars.
    Among the top experiences touted by The Nation for the trip? A meeting
    with the Cuban Five, whom they note are “intelligence agents considered
    national heroes after spending many years imprisoned in U.S. jails.”

    Well, that’s one way of putting it. Others may remember the Cuban Five
    for their efforts to infiltrate Cuban exile groups in Miami. One of
    them, Gerardo Hernandez, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder
    for helping Cuban intelligence shoot down two planes affiliated with the
    exile group Brothers to the Rescue. Four U.S. citizens aboard the planes
    were killed, though The Nation did not see fit to mention the incident
    in its email.

    Despite their espionage activities, two of the Cuban Five were deported
    after a few years’ detention, while the last three were released in 2014
    as part of a prisoner swap engineered by President Barack Obama, with
    the U.S. receiving intelligence officer Rolando Sarraff Trujillo and
    contractor Alan Gross in return.

    While they’re happy to meet with the Cuban Five, government officials,
    and the “renowned” economists who help manage the country’s woeful
    economy, The Nation makes no mention of meeting any dissident or
    religious groups in the country.

    The cost of this fine opportunity? $5,950 for a single-occupancy room,
    just slightly less than what the typical Cuban earns in an entire year.

    And what will the likely end be of all this traveling? If last year is
    any indication, a gushy piece about how pleasant and sadly misunderstood
    Cuba is. Anna Theofilopoulou, an independent political analyst and
    writer, went on the first iteration of this trip last year and came back
    ready to debunk various “worn-out fallacies” about the country. It was
    hardly true, she said, that Cuba needed competitive multi-party
    elections in order to be democratic. Rather, she happily wrote about how
    one of her Cuban interlocutors “refuted” this myth by telling her “that
    Cuba has democracy and freedom but they are defined differently.”
    Apparently, Cuba’s different definition of freedom allows for
    imprisoning peaceful political dissidents.

    She also touted that Cubans are encouraged to participate in politics
    and that “they are listened to,” without addressing sticky matters like
    Cuba’s atrocious press freedom.

    Source: Left-Wing Magazine Plans Posh Trip To Castro’s Cuba | The Daily
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