A Cuba "fan" - U.S. tourists rush to Cuba as White House tightens travel
*** HAVANA -- Sure, she knew the tour was a bit skewed, perhaps too rah-rah. Nevertheless, Margo McAuliffe came away from her 10-day trip through Cuba "a fan." "I'm the reason they want the travel ban kept," said the California retiree, referring to the Bush administration. "I came here somewhat under the influence that Castro is a bad guy," said McAuliffe, sitting in a Havana hotel lobby. "I felt this was one place [about which] I wasn't hearing the truth. I feel our government has an ax to grind."
With a packed itinerary focused on sustainable development, McAuliffe's group, organized by San Francisco-based Global Exchange, learned about Cuba's organic gardens and herbal healing. They visited a rehabilitation center for disabled children and talked with a family physician. In total they logged more than 1,000 miles from Havana to the eastern port city of Santiago and back.***
NAACP hit for policy on Cuba
*** MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Cuban dissidents yesterday accused the NAACP of a double standard in its promotion of human rights, defending those of blacks in South Africa while embracing - rather than condemning - the treatment of blacks in Cuba. "I have never heard of a chapter of the NAACP taking an interest in the Cuban Negro," said Eusebio Penalver Mazorra, a black Cuban who spent 28 of his 69 years as a jailed dissident in the communist nation. "While they moved in a precise way for solidarity to get rid of apartheid in South Africa, we have never received their support, even though we have asked for it." ***
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