I arrived in Miami earlier this week. Everybody made it to South Florida without any problems. One of our group will be hanging out in South Beach for a few days.
Today our travel group had a relaxing day in Miami. We went on an interesting 4-hour tour of the city, which included a last stop in Little Havana. I kept reminding everybody that most Cuban-Americans favor an end to the embargo, and that it was okay to tell locals that you would be leaving for Havana the next day. In eight trips, I have met exactly two Cuban-Americans who thought it was wrong for us to travel to Cuba. I sometimes forget how illogical the situation is. I understand that many of the older ones lost everything, and some had relatives imprisoned or executed. I don’t blame them for being bitter.
I also usually to try to gently remind them that the purpose of the embargo was to force the Castros from power. (Raul Castro is still president). It hasn’t worked in over 55 years, so it might be time for a different approach. I also try to point out that those in power haven’t suffered from the embargo, but the average citizen of Cuba has suffered greatly. Logic doesn’t matter—pro-embargo Cuban- Americans have their right to feel as they do, even if their beliefs no longer make sense. Apparently, in their minds, their right to remain bitter and support the embargo overrides the needs of millions of Cubans in Cuba and in Florida to visit with their families at a reasonable and affordable price. Many of the older hard-core Cuban Americans have finally started to moderate their positions. So maybe there is hope for change.