The Absurdity of "People-to-Castro" Travel

Friday, December 7, 2012
One of the most deceptive -- albeit perhaps well-intentioned -- aspects of the Obama Administration's Cuba policy is its so-called "people-to-people" travel.

As we've long-stated, the current "people-to-people" trips barely provide any contact with non-governmental Cubans.

To the contrary, from Day 1, these trips are approved by the Cuban dictatorship and their itineraries are almost unanimously composed of visits with Castro regime officials. 

But don't believe us -- here's an excerpt from CNN's report this week:

"[W]hile the policy has kicked off a debate over what is a "meaningful" exchange, a flood of tour operators has entered the still uncertain world of travel to Cuba.

Americans interested in visiting Cuba are offered free CDs of Cuban music and itineraries that include welcome parties thrown by Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, neighborhood watch groups that were created with the original intention of thwarting a U.S. invasion."

That's right -- "welcome parties thrown by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution," otherwise known as the CDRs.

Of course, CNN fails to explain that the CDRs are the Castro regime's network of informants that report to the secret police any activities by dissidents and civil society activists.

In other words, they are the first-tier of repression.

And now, they are the first-tier of contact with American "people-to-people" travelers.

So how does this further the Obama Administration's policy goal of fostering "independence" for the Cuban people from the Castro regime?

It's absurd.