People’s Republic of Disconnectedness

Cubans told to shun foreigners,” by Stephen Gibbs, BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4301529.stm, 27 February 2005 (from Roth Report).

More than 100,000 workers in Cuba’s tourism industry have been ordered to restrict their contact with foreigners to an absolute minimum.

New regulations from the communist state’s tourism ministry apply to Cubans on the island and overseas.

They form part of a series of moves by the Cuban government to tighten state control across the country.

Workers are also told to watch their foreign employers and report actions that might threaten Cuba’s revolution.

The new regulations make stark reading. Everyone who works in Cuba’s expanding tourism industry – from bar staff to taxi drivers – is warned to keep a safe distance from foreigners.

Workers are advised that they can attend events at the homes of non-Cubans only with advanced written permission

Similar warnings are issued by Saudi Arabia. Both Cuba and Saudi Arabia are disconnecting regimes. Both governments are enemies of freedom, and neither’s system of vertical control can survive a horizontal flood of content flow.

There is a difference, though. While Havana is a friend of Caracas, Cuba is not the nest of terrorism that Riyadh is. While we should challenge the Communist regime, we should recognize that it is functional (or at least not dysfunctional). So if there is no future for The Saudis’ Arabia but regime revolution, our goal for our island neighbors must be regime transformation.

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