Another week, another nonsensical missive from the morally reprehensible alternate reality inhabited by the dopey editors of The Nation.
In a cheeryannouncementthat went up online a couple of days ago, the American left’s flagship magazine invited readers to, and we quote:
Join The Nation for a week of educational and cultural exchange in Havana, Cuba!
Here’s the pitch: from September 26 to October 3, 2015, a few lucky Nation readers will be able to go to Havana “for a unique trip specially curated for fellow Nation travelers.” Meaning what? Will participants be granted an audience with Fidel himself, and be able to kneel before him and kiss his ring?
Well, close enough. There’ll be “private seminars and concerts featuring prominent Cuban professors, government officials, urban planners, journalists, musicians, artists, dancers, and community activists.” “Specially curated” indeed: could anyone but a Nation subscriber stand a full week of wall-to-wall Communist propaganda by Cuban “professors, government officials,” etc., without constantly throwing up?
To judge by the prospectus, by the way, The Nation‘s guests won’t be meeting any dissident writers or political prisoners. They won’t be taken to view the places where gay people were locked up and tortured, the psychiatric hospitals to which critics of Communism were committed as mental patients, the walls against which counter-revolutionaries were lined up and shot, or the coastal locations from which a million or so people escaped from the island prison on flimsy rafts and boats. But we didn’t expect that from The Nation anyway, did we?
Of course, this tour of one of Communism’s last remaining redoubts – led by Peter Kornbluh, The Nation‘s Cuba correspondent, and Charles Bittner, its “Academic Liaison, representing the magazine and organizing panels at academic conferences throughout the country” – comes with an evil capitalist price tag:
The all-inclusive cost of this weeklong tour is $5,550 to $5,950 per person (double/single occupancy) and includes round-trip chartered airfare between Tampa and Havana, seven nights at the Hotel NH Capri La Habana, one night in a private guesthouse in Pinar del Río Province, all transportation within Cuba, tours, seminars, lectures, concerts, most of your meals, and many other captivating events.
Reading through this solicitation, our first thought was that, for a lover of freedom, there could hardly be any form of punishment more cruel and unusual than having to spend a week slumming in Cuba with a gang of starry-eyed Nation staffers and drooling Nation groupies while they “[d]iscuss Cuban foreign policy and the coming changes with Carlos Alzugaray, former Cuban diplomat and expert on US-Cuba relations.”
On second thought, however, we found ourselves wishing we could be there just to hear these bozos making unctuous small talk with the “Cuban family hosts” on their “bucolic private farm” in “the beautiful Viñales Valley” and to witness their earnest conversations with the “professors” and “community activists” and “urban planners.”
Our own question to the urban planners would be this: what exactly does an “urban planner” do in a country where every city is a pile of rubble?