News and Facts about Cuba

Castro’s Useful American Students

Castro's Useful American Students

Malcolm A. Kline, May 23, 2012

For years we have reported on professors who brag that they have done

something worthwhile by taking their students to Cuba. For example in

2006, we reported that "Gustavus Adolphus College is ahead of the curve

on junkets."

"We have funded 'Teaching for Social Justice' trips to Tanzania, Cuba

and Ireland," Professor Eric Eliason, who teaches at GAC, reported to a

panel at the Modern Language Association's annual convention. Dr.

Eliason did not share the Civil Liberties primers that


"The Cuban government targets those who go there so if you're from

Oklahoma and have never been to Cuba, you'll believe what your professor

tells you," Tania Marstrapa, a research professor at the Institute of

World Politics, said at the Heritage Foundation on May 18, 2012. "Then

they come back and say they met people on the street who say they have

great care."

"They haven't: They've met plants."

Like Eastern European Soviet satellites of old, whose archives she has

studies, Mastrapa points out that the Cuban government engages in

"disinformation campaigns utilizing media, clergy and Western

professors to make anti-communism unfashionable."

"Visiting students stay in areas," says Vanessa Lopez, a

research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies

at the University of Miami. "They don't see the poverty."

Lopez has visited the island nation since Fidel Castro famously ceded

power to his brother Raul and argues that the alleged changes there have

even been cosmetic, at best. "Many people in the media and in some

academic circles are saying that the changes that has

institute in the past six years have led to democratic changes," Lopez

avers. "This is simply not the case."

She notes that there are 181 private sector activities permitted under

Raul Castro. Budding entrepreneurs, for example, can shine shoes, refill

cigarette lighters, be bathroom attendants, and "be a dandy, whatever

that is."

"Raul Castro has governed with severe brutality since 2006," Lopez

claims. "This is not a man who is less of a than his brother."

As part of the presentation during which both ladies spoke, the Heritage

Foundation featured audio messages from activists from

within Cuba. "Parallel to this important awakening of consciousness of a

people who resist and refuse to continue living without , the

forces of the Castro-communist dictatorship have increased their

repressive measures against the Cuban people and pro-democracy

activists, beating women, threatening to sexually assault them and their

small children, surrounding their homes, and confining them to house

arrest, proving that they are very fearful of public actions out on the

streets as part of the We Are All Resistance and The Streets belong to

the People campaigns," black Cuban activist Jorge Luis Garcia Perez

said. "All these repressive politics are increasing, while

various governments and personalities who consider themselves democratic

are openly flirting with our repressors, whether it is by visiting the

island to meet with our victimizers and ignoring the victims, or by

attempting to legitimize the Castro regime in international forums."

"Meanwhile, it is alarming that while activism and Resistance is

increasing inside Cuba and while repression also increases, the

government of Mr. Barack Obama has exercised a political agenda of

approach and relaxation with the regime of Havana, instead of

strengthening the support for the Resistance."

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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