Re the Nov. 15 letter, Visiting Cuba is on my bucket list: If you have lived and were born in Miami in 1951 it seems that you haven’t been paying attention to the real facts of the Cuban revolution which, heaven knows, is available everywhere in Miami since the exiles started arriving in 1959.
In a nutshell, Cuba was quite possibly the most prosperous country of Latin America and was turned around by one man who made it into the oppressive third world country it presently is and his party is still in power. Cuban exiles sending provisions to their friends and family further entrenches them, relieving the government from assisting or acknowledging the population. Scarcity and need are the law of the land and only those with U.S. dollars can survive well.
Shamefully, there are Cuban exiles that travel routinely to Cuba to sell goods and make a living in this manner, further perpetuating the convenient situation for the government. The Cubans still in Cuba ask their friends and relatives in Miami for funds for bare necessities, which ridiculously end up in the pockets of other Cuban exiles that travel to the island.
To respond to your question of why you cannot visit Cuba, it is because those lovely Cuban friends you speak of had to depart from their homeland with the clothes on their back and few belongings, leaving everything behind and starting over in another country.
What you will see if you visit Cuba is what tourists are allowed to see. What you will not see, unless you go out of your way, are the dilapidated buildings that haven’t been kept up because there’s no paint or nails, women prostituting themselves, children that go to school with little to eat unless they have a friend or relative in the United States and hospitals to which you have to take your own sheets and food and at which medications aren’t available and proper sanitary conditions are not maintained.
I was born in Cuba and arrived in Miami in 1957. I have lovely pictures of my family and of my home and most certainly have a greater connection to Cuba than you, but given what I know and briefly stated above, it would be ludicrous to travel there.
Maria Treserra Zaldivar, Coral Gables