The Today Show is broadcasting from Cuba this week and as Newsbusters reports, it's fairly bursting with enthusiasm for the island prison.
To hear the media tell it, Cuba is a great country to live in and visit. With propagandist Michael Moore’s “Sicko” soon to debut and glorify the Cuban health care system, NBC “Today host Matt Lauer broadcast from Havana, Cuba on June 5.
Lauer praised the “booming” economy and talked about the country’s stability.
“There’s stability here. Business is booming and tourists are flocking here, some two million a year.”
But those tourists are certainly not moving there. Robert at 26th Parallel tells the story of Cuba's greatest export.
One thing that set Cuba apart from most Latin American countries was the sustained Spanish emigration to the island even well into the 20th century. From 1901-1930, almost 750,000 Spaniards emigrated to Cuba, mainly from the northern Spanish regions. Many of these came from Galicia, hence the term gallego as a reference to any Spaniard in Cuba (never mind the many Spanish immigrants from Asturias, Catalonia and the Canary Islands who likely bristled at being called a Galician).
As this site points out, it wasn't just the gallegos who formed part of the Cuban immigrant community. Chinese (chinos), Middle Eastern Arabs (referred to as Lebanese - libaneses - or Turks - turcos - regardless of their actual origin), Americans (over 30,000 between 1901 and 1930), and Jews (Ashkenazi and Sephardic), which Cubans often referred to as polacos.
In turn, very few Cubans left their country for good before 1959. Sure, there were some who emigrated to the United States, but compared to the masses from Europe it was a very small group per capita.
If you've stuck with me thus far, what comes next should be obvious. Simply put, after Castro and his bandits took over in 1959, the boats and airplanes changed directions. They began leaving instead of arriving in Cuba. Estimates place the Cuban-American emigration to the United States at over a million. From a population of 6 million in 1959, that's staggering. This doesn't count the many Cubans who emigrated elsewhere in Latin America, as well as to Europe and even Australia. A country of immigrants became a country better known for its human export. A country which boasted sugar among its exports now spits out its own flesh and blood.
Cubans do have the right to vote. Of course they can only vote for one person and failure to do so might and often does result in serious physical harm. So, for the past 50 years they've voted in the one true way left to them -- escaping. How do Michael Moore and the rest of Cuba's Hollywood apologists explain that 1/6 of the country's population risked death to get out of there?