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Bridal magazine touts travel to Cuba, “it’s hot!”

Bridal magazine touts travel to Cuba, “it’s hot!”

You can witness oppression “before there’s a Starbucks on every corner”

Brides take note: apparently the cool thing to do right now is choose a honeymoon destination like Cuba where you can witness oppression “before there’s a Starbucks on every corner” and you can see all its “sexy, vintage style intact.”

At least, according to the free magazine Bloomgingdale’s is handing out to brides who register with them.

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons touts Cuba in their December 2013 “What’s Hot in 2014” issue as on the “Honeymoon Hot List.” The description appallingly glosses over the suffering of those living in Cuba by encouraging brides to purchase artwork while there so “you’ll have proof that you visited Cuba before it was legal”:

What’s Hot – It’s only a matter of time before the embargo ends and there’s a Starbucks on every corner. With more operators receiving “people to people” licenses, access to this forbidden country is slowly loosening up. If you want to see Cuba before there are vent Frappucinos all over Old Havana (i.e., with its sexy, vintage style intact), Insight Cuba offers package tours that include visits to live-music venues, bicycle-taxi tours and an antique-steam-train ride to nearby towns. Don’t forget to pick up some artwork while you’re there: You’ll have proof that you visited Cuba before it was legal. Now that’s something you can brag to your grandkids about.

Cuba is one of four countries designated by the State Department as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism.” We do not have formal diplomatic relations with the country. The people continue to live under horrific oppression and despite President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s previous overtures to ease travel, you are not supposed to travel unless you are there for a distinct purpose –essentially for educational or religious reasons — through what is called a “people to people” license. You can’t take part in “tourist activities,” for example. Odd choice for a honeymoon.

Friends of mine told me about a trip their synagogue took to Cuba where they showed up at the airport, representatives from the travel company gave them a small package to put in their bag, and when they arrived in Cuba they gave the package back. In this way they “checked the box” for traveling there and went on to view what they described as the “quaint cars” and “wonderful people.”

Sure the cars are cool and the people may have resilience even under the harshest of conditions, but let’s not go to gawk at their misery and call it “quaint.” Or as this magazine does, “sexy, vintage style.”

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, and all these travel outfits encouraging misery tourism, celebrates flouting the law, encourages viewing people oppressed as “sexy, vintage style,” and presents Starbucks (and one assumes our dirty American capitalism) as something that will destroy your tourist experience.

Does editor Erike Hueneke think this is an appropriate way for brides to view their honeymoons–and does Bloomingdale’s really want to endorse this cavalier attitude toward suffering in their wedding gift bags?

This isn’t about your opinion about the effectiveness of the embargo; it’s about an American magazine encouraging breaking the law and making sure you get to view a suffering people before they become emancipated. Under the headline “What’s Hot.”

Not hot.


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Not too many years ago at a wedding I met a couple with whom I chatted. When they found out I had lived in Israel for a couple of years they told me about how they wanted to go for a visit but would not step foot inside the country because of the settlements. Note, they didn’t say they wouldn’t go to the disputed territories (both lawyers but they wrongly described the areas as “occupied”) but until the settlements were dismantled they weren’t going to go to the country at all.

As our conversation progressed it came up that I’m a serious baseball fan, at which they enthusiastically told me that they had really enjoyed the ball game they went to during their trip to Cuba and I’d certainly enjoy one there, too.

A few weeks ago the fine pianist, Simone Dinnerstein, was in town for a concert with the local (Detroit) orchestra and was interviewed on our local classical/jazz station. She waxed enthusiastically about her trip to Cuba–no ads on buildings, free education, nice concert hall, etc.

In Dinnerstein’s case I’m willing to accept the possibility that she’s just very naive. My wedding friends are not. (They are Canadian.) How typical of progressives–a prison camp called Cuba is OK, Israel is not.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Alex Bensky. | February 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Next time you meet folks like that, rag on them. Blather on about the great time you had in Gaza and the marvelous anti-Jewish propaganda kindergarteners there are subjected to. Wax rhapsodic then stand back and note their reactions.

Sammy Finkelman | February 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

>> Odd choice for a honeymoon.

That’s where New York’s new mayor Bill de Blasio went in 1994. They didn’t tell their children the truth, at first, bit said they went to Canada (which was their cover story, and the place they took off for Cuba)

Now, in their case, there may have been something more too it – at least, getting a propaganda tour.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | February 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Were the children even born in 1994.? The girl is a 19 year old alcoholic & the boy looks younger .

    But a bit of respect there Sammy ! Bill had to go learn some vintage cool moves to tour his lesbian bride. Where is he gonna do that , New Jersey?

Cuba has “sexy, vintage style” cuz it’s Communist and the morons at the magazine are simpatico. They should read Pico Iyer’s Cuba and the Night. It would be great to get a feminist take on the condition of women under Communist regimes. Not holding my breath though.

Humanity means nothing to lefties. Keep people in squalid conditions, with little or no human rights, and let the tourists show up at the zoo to “oooooh” and “aaaaah” over them and their quaint culture. Quaint, indeed.

Cuba is a “Bring Your Own Toilet Paper” country

Fashionistas are the kind of people who think a woman’s business suit includes 4-inch spike heels and no shirt. Oh, and noisy bracelets, rings so big you can’t wear them to type, and “statement jewelry.”

They are a mine of nonessential information.

9thDistrictNeighbor | February 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

When I was in college, a professor arranged a trip to Cuba for a group of kids…1981 or ’82. I knew someone who went along…he was a fool, but interestingly he hardly ever spoke about the trip. At the time, they all thought it was très chic. The professor lists the trip next-to-last on his college CV travel category between Jamaica and Puerto Rico. He also was proud of having met Moammar Gadhafi in Grenada. Gadhafi gave him a green briefcase and a T-shirt. Thankfully he is retired now.

The article isn’t clear. Was this a gay wedding magazine? Is Cuba big on gay marriage?


Well it is close to the equator so hot is an appropriate adjective