For 60 years, communism has had a death grip on Cuba. Prior to the advent of the communist dictator Fidel Castro, Cuba was a prosperous nation. Today, it is a financial disaster. The Cuban people are not free to innovate and create entrepreneurial businesses as the government controls everything. The people do not enjoy basic freedoms of speech and assembly.
The country is in a time warp. Automobiles from the 1950’s are all over the streets as the industrious people have learned to fix old cars since they cannot afford new ones. The country has beautiful architecture, unfortunately, most of it is crumbling and in disrepair.
What is especially infuriating about the trip is that the city government is paying for the Mayor and her entourage to visit Cuba. New Orleans politicians are always complaining about a lack of money to spend on critical public safety projects, so how can the Mayor justify a waste of funds on this frivolous vacation?
Her entourage includes two staff members and a council member. According to a Cantrell assistant, the Mayor is visiting Cuba to learn about the ways Cuba has “produced unique opportunities and challenges in the areas of economic development, trade, healthcare, education and other quality of life issues.”
Mayor Cantrell, here is a basic economic lesson; communism does not produce “unique opportunities” or a proper “quality of life” for citizens. The country does not provide bountiful “economic development” or “trade” opportunities because the citizens have no money. The government subsidizes “education” and “healthcare” and the results are catastrophic, as this country has witnessed to some degree with the disaster known as Obamacare.
If the Mayor wanted to visit a foreign country to help boost the New Orleans economy, she should have toured those foreign cities which have direct flights to the Louis Armstrong International Airport. At the very least, she could have visited countries where the citizens have money to buy American products.
Whatever financial benefits Cuba makes from deals with New Orleans will be used to consolidate the communist grip on the country and further repress the poor citizens. In one way, Mayor Cantrell is helping to perpetuate the communist dictatorship in Cuba with her visit to the country.
According to Cuban-American attorney George Fowler, “The notion that she's going to learn something in Cuba about economics is beyond absurdity…It is totally ridiculous.” He said, “There is absolutely no reason to go to Cuba.” Of course, Mr. Fowler is right, except if the real reason for the visit of the New Orleans Mayor and her delegation is to show support for a failed and repressive communist dictatorship.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award-winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org