Shore Leave in Havana?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
There have been various news stories about the British navy ship, HMS Manchester, which docked in Havana over the weekend to (ironically) foster counter-narcotics cooperation between the U.K. and Cuba.

However, the BBC 's report also included this interesting item:

HMS Manchester, a Type 42 British destroyer, has spent the past six months in the Caribbean working on anti-drug smuggling operations. This led to the seizure of 240kg (530lb) of cocaine off the Colombian coast.

There is a contingent of US Coast Guard aboard since drug arrests at sea are prosecuted under US law.

It is believed that the US government has given them permission to take shore leave.

Shore leave in Havana?

Has Cuba now become a tourist attraction for the U.S. Coast Guard?

Are they also given shore leave after intercepting Cubans at sea (who are fleeing oppression) and returning them to the Castro regime?

We have the utmost respect for the U.S. Coast Guard, but this seems particularly insensitive and irresponsible.