Field FAQs with Holly Morris Cuba Libre: Will Obama Bring Americans Back Into Cuba? - National Geographic ADVENTURE

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December 16, 2008

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Nice blog, its great article informative post, thanks for sharing it. Thanks for the information!

Elena Lindsay

I tired to email this to you directly but I can't find your email account so I'm forced to put it here on your blog. Don't know if you will read it, but I hope so.

I'm writing to you in reference to your Feb 2009 addition of the National Geographic Adventure magazine, FAQ's section titled "Cuba Libre". I realize that this is a travel magazine but when you interject political views you should check your facts.

First of all, your comment about "Raul being besides the point" clearly tells me that you don't have a clue on what's going on in Cuba or the embargo. Originally the embargo was put into place by the US after Castro took over and seized all American companies and it's monies to pressure him to give back the money that was owed to those companies. Obviously that never worked and several amendments to the embargo have been added since then to no avail. The dire situation the people in Cuba find themselves is not because of the embargo but because of Fidel Castro. He took a country that was rich not only in natural resources(sugar, tobacco etc) but in the general wealth of the majority of the people and turned it into one of the poorest countries in the world single handedly. The embargo did not do that. So Fidel and his brother are the point!!

If you really want to know what's going on in Cuba, click on this link http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/

Its a blog(you can read the english translated version) written by a woman who lives in Cuba and knows all to well the day to day struggles and writes about them from inside Cuba. To name a few, did you know that the average Cuban makes an equivilant of $15-$20 a month, and to buy milk it's almost $3 for a liter(if you can find it). Did you know that when you go to the hospital you have to bring your own supplies, from your pillow to the stitches to antiseptic(if you can find it that is). I didn't think so.

The only country or people that are "hostile toward Cuba and Cubans" is the Cuban government itself. Did you know that all those "terrific" places you and Mr. Bruce Poon Tip suggest tourist go for their adventure cannot be accessed by any Cuban? Only tourist can access these places, restaurants, hotels, beaches etc. Can you imagine living in your own country but you can't go into any of the places because your are not a tourist? Can you imagine being thrown in prison for just expressing a different opinion that is not your governments opinion? Cuba is one of the top countries listed of "crimes against humanity". Now that is not the result of the embargo but the result of a country run by a ruthless dictator who doesn't give a damn about his country or his people.

So I suggest before you start celebrating the "tumbling down of the embargo" by drinking your "mojito" and dreaming about all those fabulous fishing spots and beaches that you and the tourist that you will surely be sending Cuba's way, take off your blinders and think about how this will not change anything in Cuba for the Cubans in the least bit but only put American dollars into the hands of the Cuban government so they can continue to have a strangled hold on the island and the people in it.

I hope this email gives you pause before you advise any tourist, American or otherwise to go to Cuba and enjoy all the beautiful places that "cuba has to offer" when no cuban can enjoy any of those luxuries.

Please forward this email to your feind, Mr Bruce Poon Tip and maybe it will give him pause too. Although I doubt it.

Sincerely,
Elena Lindsay

Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

An underground has always existed in Cuba and it's fomenting and ready to break forth. It's difficult to read about daily life on the island. Much more needs to happen than raising travel restrictions.

Read philologist Yoani Sanchez's blog, "Generation Y" for a look into daily Cuban life and culture.

http://desdecuba.com/generationy/

I long for the artists and dissidents to be able to express themselves freely.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

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John McAuliff

Only Congress can modify the embargo and allow all Americans to visit Cuba as tourists.

However, President Obama can restore the freedom to travel to 12 categories of non-tourists, including family (Cuban Americans), religious, humanitarian, educational, culture, sports and "support for the Cuban people".

At the same time he can do away with the special status of Travel Service Providers so all agents can book flights and hotels for qualified persons.

Urge he do so at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/obamacuba/index.html

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