Travel to Cuba is the latest thing among the pseudo-cool useful idiots.
After the Obama administration granted a full roster of concessions (in exchange for nothing) to the communist regime, we are bombarded with hype on Cuba travel.
Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys. Episode 4 Slow Train to Guantanamo Bay.
The other evening I came across this PBS show, where a dotty old Brit, Chris Tarrant, attempted to cross Cuba by train. To spare the misery, let me itemize a few facts:
- There is no such thing as a train crossing Cuba. There are railways.
- It’s not a train as you have experienced. There are rails, on which a contraption rigged to an engine of sorts rides, but for the most part Tarrant rode in what looks like a bus bolted on to a railcar chassis.
- The rail “cars” interiors were unlit, the toilets had not been cleaned since the Eisenhower administration, and air-conditioner does not exist.
- The seats are painful to sit on, according to Tarrant. They look like elementary-school seats bolted on without the legs, for people to sit. Or not.
- Tarrant had to hitchhike car rides for hundreds of kilometers to make the connections.
- The fastest speed any train reached was 15 mph.
While describing the absolute misery of Cuban “train” travel (understandably) takes up a lot of air time, Tarrant spews a lot of the communist regime propaganda we have been hearing for half a century.
He exults at the sight of an old tractor with bullet holes sitting on top of a huge concrete plinth, since it’s a monument to Che Guevara, or the revolución, or whatever. When he finally gets to a resort in Guantánamo from which you can see the U.S. base, the swimming pool is empty – a metaphor for the revolución’s empty promises.
He sounds quite dotty at times, but underneath it all he’s a true believer: Listen to his promo (emphasis added),
“Cuba has so much going for it: It’s proudly Communist, it has great music, great people, but also something rather unexpected, almost 4,000 kilometers of railways!”
Sanders noted how many of those on board were eager to get to the island before it was spoiled by capitalism: “The Cuba they will see has many Americans anxious to get here before it all changes.” Passenger Sedrick Tydus quipped: “I want to get there before Burger King shows up.” Sanders laughed and repeated line: “Before Burger King shows up.”
The racist, patronizing tone of that statement is lost on most. ‘I Want to See It Before It Changes’ Is the Wrong Reason to Travel to Cuba
This reasoning is not only presumptuous (who says Cuba will so eagerly welcome wholesale capitalism?), but it reduces the island to an elaborate set, the stuff of cinematic chimera. Magazine photo shoots and features like “8 Historic Cuban Hotels You Can Stay In Now,” only add to the glorification of Cuba-as-iconic-backdrop mentality.
Not that the apologists will tell you about that.