American dollars feed Castroís zoo
Expedia is now booking hotels in Cuba.
American Airlines is flying American tourists from Miami to Havana.
For more than a year American-owned cruise lines have been hauling U.S. citizens by the thousands to the Castro Brothersí beautiful socialist paradise 90 miles off the tip of Florida.
Thanks to President Obamaís decision to liberalize relations with Cuba in 2015, the island is now open to direct visits by American tourists.
I canít believe how excited so many Americans are to get a chance to see some Ď57 Chevies and Buicks and visit a country that has been wrecked and essentially frozen in time by a dictatorship since JFK was president.
Iíd love to see Cuba too. Its people, culture and beaches are beautiful. Its pre-Fidel history and Spanish heritage are rich.
My wife is in the travel business, so I could go on a cruise to Havana for peanuts anytime I wanted.
But as long as Raul Castro and the other thugs in the Communist Party remain in power in Cuba, I promise Iíll never go there.
Half a century of Castros-style Communism turned Cuba into a backward, open-air gulag that American liberals unconditionally adored or made excuses for because everyone in the country got free education and free health care.
Meanwhile, it didnít matter to most liberals that Cubans were also kept dirt poor and had no free speech, no free vote, no free press or access to the Internet, no freedom to start a business and no freedom to travel.
Since the Obama Administrationís liberalization efforts and the invasion of American tourists, things have not improved for the average Cuban.
Their country is still run by a socialist communist dictatorship and theyíre still third-class citizens.
They still canít go to the fine tourist hotels or pricy tourist shops. They canít go to the tourist beaches. They sure canít afford a new car or even a motorbike on their $25 a month, which is about the national average income.
To this day, Cubaís oppressive government continues to treat 11 million human beings like animals in a rundown socialist zoo.
And if you go there as a tourist from New York or London, all youíre doing is putting hard currency into the coffers of Raul and the other zookeepers.
The Americans who cruise to Cuba with their dollars and debit cards donít understand, or donít care, that they are propping up a despotic government, and the liberal and conservative media arenít making a stink about it.
Youíd think the free Cuban community in Florida would be making a bigger deal out of American tourist money being used to keep their family members in a large cage called Cuba.
But they arenít saying much, either.
As for me, I will never visit Cuba until its people are truly free. I hope it doesnít take too long.
But until I can go to Havana, befriend an ordinary Cuban and be able to buy him a plane ticket so he can visit me in Southern California, I wonít spend a dime to help pay for the upkeep of the Castro Brothersí human zoo.
Copyright ©2017 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of ďThe New Reagan RevolutionĒ (St. Martinís Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. Mikeís column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Sales at email@example.com.