Article courtesy of Miami Herald, written by Fabiola Santiago.
Imagine a cruise line that won’t take African Americans on sailings to Africa. Or won’t take bookings from American Jews to Israel. One class of U.S. citizen banned while others get access. No company in contemporary America would ever survive such blunt discriminatory business practices.
But that’s exactly what Carnival Corporation is doing in cahoots with the Cuban government and with the endorsement of the U.S. Treasury — banning Cuban Americans from its upcoming cruises to the island starting May 1.
“They’re imposing repressive Cuban laws on American citizens,” says Maria de los Angeles Torres, a respected expert on Cuba and a longtime pro-engagement and anti-embargo academic who is a professor of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago. “It’s like they’re bringing Cuban law here.”
Torres also happens to be a Cuban American, sent to the United States as a child during the Pedro Pan exodus. She has been traveling to Cuba since 1978 to visit family and for academic research. But despite all her liberal credentials, in the age of engagement she has been refused a place on the Carnival cruises to Cuba.
“We didn’t build bridges to have others close them,” she tells me.
The Carnival Cruise Line website beckons: “Be the first to cruise to Cuba in over 50 years. Visit our sister Fathom Travel and reserve your spot now.” There’s not one mention that Cuban Americans need not apply.