A reader informs me that Greenwich High School is sending band students to Cuba this year, where they can all buy Che Tee shirts, join in torturing political prisoners and dine in fine “dollar only” restaurants while serenaded by the howls of starving Cuban babies outside. This seems like an ill-advised decision.
Shades of the “Venceremos Brigades”, American communist student leagues who went down to that wretched island to cut sugar cane alongside Castro’s slaves in the 1970’s and even as late as the 1980’s. Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about what happened to those kids, most of whom went on to be professional activists, embracing with equal lack of discrimination Black Panthers, communist terrorists and the lesbian movement, nor do I really care if a pampered Greenwich child is deluded into believing that Castro’s Cuba is anything other than a vast political prison with coconuts – the little darlings will soon be in college where they’ll be fed that mush anyway.
But I do object to supporting Castro’s regime, both monetarily and symbolically. Stuffing dollars in his pockets just helps him maintain his death-grip; sending students to his beaches where they will be used as propaganda is disgusting. There are plenty of places in the world the GHS band can go if they wish to blow their horns: A concert at Auschwitz might be more appropriate, for instance, because the atmosphere would be one of sorrow, rather than a false “It’s a Small World” charade foisted on naive school children.
Keep ’em home or find somewhere else to travel. Pyongyang?