As we all know, "people-to-people" trips are Castro-hosted tourism boondoggles, whereby U.S. travelers are fed a dose of official propaganda while enjoying the finest amenities the Cuban military's four and five-star hotels have to offer.
According to President Obama, who authorized these trips in 2011, the purpose of these measures was to:
"[I]ncrease people-to-people contact; support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence from Cuban authorities."
Thus, surely The New York Times' proposed "people-to-people" itinerary includes meetings with Cuba's courageous independent journalists (i.e. Roberto de Jesus Guerra of Hablemos News), or perhaps with the families of imprisoned writers (i.e. Angel Santiesteban-Prats)?
Or maybe a visit with Pedro Pablo Oliva, a renowned artist who this month had his exhibit, "Utopias and Dissidents," shut down and has suffered continuous harassment by Castro's secret police?
You know -- in order to "help promote the Cuban people's independence from the authorities."
Instead, The New York Times' itinerary features:
"- A meeting with journalists from Granma, Cuba’s national newspaper, as well as with reporters at a small regional newspaper, to learn about the papers and their role today in delivering news in Cuba.
- A reception with members of The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba."
In other words, The New York Times' trip is to "learn" from the Castro regime's information monopoly and enjoy "daiquiris and mojitos" with the entity responsible for censoring writers and artists.
That's not a promotion of independence -- it's a promotion (and celebration) of censorship.
Apparently, old habits die hard for The New York Times.