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  • Orbitz Should Stick to Cheap Flights; Abandon Cheap Advocacy

    In case you missed it, Orbitz is not limited to simply booking flights and hotel accommodations anymore. It has also become a passionate advocacy group. In a heartfelt letter to its loyal customers, Orbitz called for an end to the US-Cuban embargo and immediate normalizations with the Caribbean island. On their recently-launched website, www.opencuba.org, anyone can sign the online petition calling for an end to the “alleged injustice” of Americans being unable to travel to the Caribbean island.

    Perhaps our friends at Orbitz might stand to benefit from a quick history lesson on why the U.S. imposed the embargo on the island in the first place – and why it’s still important.

    The Cuban embargo was put in place because Fidel Castro seized U.S. businesses and property, reneged on his promise of democracy to Cuban people, jailed any opposition, and became a global ally of the Soviet Union. Working with its communist allies, the island harbored anti-American agents, thanks to the ruthless Castro regime. Communist policies turned the island into the largest prison in the Americas.

    And after half a century in power, the Castro regime has shortchanged its people, squashed free and fair elections, violated human rights, jailed dissidents and continues to practice a policy of economic apartheid. The most coveted jobs in Cuba are in hotels doing the bidding of foreign tourists, because those are the jobs that command dollars and Euros. Ordinary Cubans, even engineers and doctors, receive no more than subsistence earnings and meager rations that must be supplemented with black market dealings. Thus far, millions of Canadian and European tourists have only helped to strengthen the Castro regime economically, while leaving the Cuban people under the surveillance and control of its efficient secret police. Such is the sad state of Castro’s communist revolution!

    And as Heritage VP Mike Gonzalez recently noted, the arrest of former State Department officials accused of spying for the Cuban government just a few weeks ago is a stark reminder that this is not just simply a relic of the Cold War.

    Perhaps Orbitz might want to ask the countless numbers of political prisoners trapped in the Cuban prisons if they want to sign their online petition… Although we suspect that they may run into trouble upon discovering that Cuba is one of the few places in the world where the internet is banned for all but foreign tourists.

    Certainly free travel to Cuba is in Orbitz’s economic interests. They want to make business, come what may! But there is something within us that opposes lifting restrictions on the Castro brothers’ 50-year-plus regime and giving a green light for all to travel to a land that recognizes no individual rights of travel, free speech, unionization, or genuine political participation, to a land where a hefty percentage of every tourist dollar goes to sustaining the repression of the Cuban people.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Orbitz Should Stick to Cheap Flights; Abandon Cheap Advocacy

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Sounds like Orbitz is exercising carpetbagger antics. Or do they know that history lesson?

    2. Raquel says:

      I was wondering if you can also advocate for the embargo and travel ban to China, Burma, Russia, Kenya…. you know… same reasons!.

    3. Pingback: Orbitz Should Stick to Cheap Flights; Abandon Cheap Advocacy « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    4. Pingback: Welcome to the club, Barney | Cuba News

    5. Vic Bloede, Dallas T says:

      While I usually agree with the (conservative, capitalist, market oriented)views of the Heritage Foundation; in this case I think you are on the wrong side. In my view, opening up travel to Cuba is more likly to help topple the corrupt Castro regime, than to prop it up. The more contact the Cuban people have with Americans and American business the more they will recognize the failures and contradictions of their state run economy.

    6. Alexander Lopez, Mia says:

      Vic from TX, IF the Cuban people were in fact able to interact with the tourist it would spread open-thought and world views. However, the cubans that are 'allowed' to work in direct contact with forigners are those that do not want to change the way things are. Cuba has established segregation not based on color or creed, but on where you work and where you stand politically. As long as world currency finds its way into Cuba, the Cuban regime will remain in power. If the travel ban was lifted, it would only serve to solidify the regine, You want change in Cuba, allow all to have freedom of speech and free flow of information.Imagine a beutiful tropical place, with beautiful beaches and people, where you dream of free-speech without penalty, that place is Cuba.

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