I was surprised and, quite honestly, appalled at the naivete expressed by John Horn in his June 24 article about the "carefree, tropical life style" of Cuba.
As an American of Cuban descent, with many relatives still trapped on the island unable to leave, I know the tragedy of what truly lies beneath this serene appearance. It is not by choice, as John Horn seems to think, that the Cubans are locked in the '50s. They do not have a choice. Castro's Cuba does not allow its people to see nor have those things we take for granted here in the United States.
Upon recently visiting our family in Guantanamo, we found them without such minimal necessities as toilet paper, toothpaste or shoes, not to mention that they had been living on a diet of beans and rice for two months, as that was the last ration that had come in for their city. We were able to buy them a pig (for food) on the black market for an exorbitant amount of Yanqui dollars.
The daily suffering that is endured by the Cuban people is beyond comprehension. By visiting Cuba as an American tourist, you are supporting Castro's terrorist reign and only hurting those civilians living there. One needs only to talk to anyone who knew Cuba before Castro, or has family there now, to know the true sadness of their plight. I hope in the future, John Horn can find an alternative choice in cigars.