Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Susan Lucci, Sep/Oct 99
(continued from page 3)
A Voice of Generation X
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I am a U.S. Marine currently serving as a Marine security guard at the U.S. Interests Section Havana, Cuba. I have been an avid reader of your magazine for the past three years, and for the most part have enjoyed every issue; that is, until the June 1999 issue.
In this particular issue, Cigar Aficionado appears to be promoting Cuba for tourism. If so, why? Do you realize how many Americans come to this country in violation of U.S. law? Americans often stand out from other tourists, making them a target for petty theft and muggings. Sometimes this occurs just because they are Americans. If, in the process, they lose their passport and other such necessities, they must come to the Interests Section for help. Never mind that a hefty fine can be imposed by our government should it decide to enforce the terms of the current embargo.
Obviously, you have forgotten that the Cuban government does not like the United States very much. The propaganda on every street corner reinforces the Cuban government ideology that the United States is fully responsible for all of the problems that exist here. This country is not exactly benevolent in nature towards its people. It denies them basic human rights (such as freedom of speech). In fact, the United Nations recently condemned its human rights record.
Nearly everyone here lives in poverty, except the Communist elite who, oddly enough, must suffer newer cars, better living conditions and a substantial increase in food. The price, no doubt, for protecting the masses against the capitalists, like you, to the North. I am not here to discuss the politics of it all. I believe you are wrong in promoting tourism to a country where one man is an island unto himself and where the other 11 million citizens are just passing time. It may be good business, but it is certainly not ethical to prop up a communist nation financially in order to keep the good times rolling.
If your interest in this country is only cigars, shame on you, and if cigars are all you want, smoke a Dominican and support your country's economic policies.
Sgt. Donald Quinn
U.S. Marine Corps
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