Extending the Dictatorship Abroad

Monday, May 4, 2009
There is a cartel of 7 U.S.-based travel agencies, which operate in collusion with the Cuban regime's Havanatur, and charge outrageous fees for travel by Cuban-Americans to the island.  In the same manner the Cuban regime vets these travel agencies for business purposes, they vet Cuban-Americans that want to travel to the island. Therefore, family members in Cuba are essentially used as hostages to silence criticism and opposition activities by their relatives abroad: Blackmail 101.

Pertinent quote from today's Miami Herald report on these travel agencies:
 
''The Cuban government is going to favor those operators who have stated publicly that they oppose certain U.S. policies'' -- like Washington's trade embargo against the island, [John] Kavulich [President of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council] said.
 
''They'll Google you,'' he added. ``Have you written letters, have you given testimony, have you been in the media opposing what the Cuban government feels are policies doing [Cuba] a disservice?''