And so this graduate of EI’s class of 1954 follows in that same path. Notice his pure naiveté about how his tour guide gave honest answers that were “candid,” and how Castro’s Cuba is governed no differently than our own government is. Does this man not know about the thousands who braved their freedom to submit a petition demanding free elections, only to be met by arrest of those who wrote the petition and formal rejection of the demands by the government? He found the local police to be “very friendly,” unlike those in countries like Mexico and Guatemala. Evidently, he did not know about my experience during my trip in the 1970s. After taking a photo of ration lines a few blocks longs in front of a nationalized Woolworth’s store, I was promptly arrested by the friendly police and held in a cell for hours. I was told that I was guilty of taking photos that would be embarrassing to the regime.
Then this imbecilic man is surprised to find that he was regularly approached by “beautiful young prostitutes.” Does he ever read any reports available on the internet of what life is really like for Cubans? Sure, prostitution was declared illegal; the reality is that it is a safety valve for the regime. Its people are near starvation, and many do not have relatives in the USA who can send them money with which to get by. Middle-class students, housewives, and other women have no other way to feed their children and families than to prostitute themselves for the new sexual tourists from Europe who flock to Cuba instead of Thailand for cheap paid sex.
Then there is the fascination of how all those poor people spend so much time fixing those old American cars. Doesn’t it occur to him that with crowded and often impossible public transportation that is hardly available and without funds to buy American and European cars like the apparatchiks of the regime, they have no alternative if they are to get to work? But oh, they have wonderful music. For years the regime banned the musicians whom the leftist guitar player Ry Cooder made famous and brought back to the U.S., until they found that was a new source of income for the government. In the ’70s, U.S. rock and roll, rap, and later hip-hop was banned, and most recently, some of the new crop of young musicians emulating the most recent sounds from our country found themselves in trouble when they wrote lyrics slyly critical of the regime.
Finally, this useful idiot of the Cuban regime tells his classmates to also go to Cuba, so they too can dance wildly on New Year’s Eve with fireworks in the background among scantily clad women. Viva the Revolution! No pasaran! Isn’t Communism wonderful?
So the evidence is in. The mis-education one received in a leftist high school, freely existing in the midst of the so-called repressive McCarthyite years in the United States, is seen to have worked. Few who graduated, I am sad to report, ever allowed themselves to think outside the box and to grow up. The school song had a verse about how those who attended would always stay true to the traditions of the institution. It certainly seems, sadly, that so few of its graduates were able to resist holding on to the leftist traditions of their youth.