In full-blown “blame America” mode last week, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry expressed her concern over the Obama Administration’s decision to cave in and thaw relations between the U.S. and Cuba in exchange for nothing but for a very creative reason.
According to Harris-Perry, the coming rise in travel by American’s to the island prison could hurt Cuba because American tourists “can sometimes be a plague on the rest of the world.”
“On the one hand, it is great to reopen these relationships.” “On the other hand, I worry about American tourists and the ways that we can sometimes be a plague on the rest of the world, particularly in these nations that become high-tourist economies. And I’m wondering if there’s a downside to our economic ties opening up with Cuba, for Cuba.”
Writing in NewsBusters, Mark Finkelstein notes that another guest, Professor John Gutierrez with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, countered that the centrally-planned Cuban economy affords the Cuban people virtually no economic freedom and that “we have to stop fetishizing” the idea of Cuba as some unspoiled paradise. Gutierrez continued:
“Cubans are entitled to a good standard of living.” “That may mean having a Home Depot in Cuba, right? And I think we need to respect that. So before we worry so much about whether or not the arrival of American capitalism changes something in Cuba, I think we need to recognize that Cubans have for 50 years been denied many of the basics of modern life.”