American tourists want to see a Cuba that Cubans would rather leave behind

*Isn’t this what we come against, tourists who want to see their narrative of who we are? They’re not invested in our community, know little about us, and choose to see only what they want. Gaining control of the narrative is the first step in moving forward. There is a connection, between Cubans wanting to move forward and the tourist’s idea that wants Cuba to remain the same, and U.S. Latinos wanting to break free of old stereotype-stories, told many times by people who tell us they have our own best interest at heart. Cuba is changing, and so os the U.S.  VL

washingtonpostBy Albert Laguna, The Washington Post (4 minute read)

President Obama’s trip to Cuba later this week, the first by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years, marks a new chapter in U.S.-Cuba relations. This event, in conjunction with the recent announcement that commercial flights to the island will begin this year, has generated a surge of interest in travel to the island among Americans. Much of the excitement around traveling to Cuba can be best captured in a phrase I have been hearing with increasing regularity since relations began to warm: “I want to see Cuba before it changes.”

What “changes,” exactly, do people want to avoid seeing when they visit Cuba? The arrival of U.S.-style capitalism? A post-Castro political era? Whatever those changes travelers wish to avoid may be, they stand in stark contrast with the will of the Cuban people, who are very much invested in any change that would bring a brighter future to the island.

Cuba has long served as a canvas for the projection of American fantasies. This reality has resulted in a lack of appreciation for the complexities of life on the ground for most Cubans and the role of the United States in producing them.

Click HERE to read the full story.

Albert Laguna is an assistant professor in American studies at Yale University.

[Photo by neiljs/Flickr]

Suggested Reading

Nicolás Kanellos
Nicolás Kanellos
En otra voz is the first Spanish-language anthology to bring together literature from the entire history of Hispanic writing in the United States, from the age of exploration to the present. The product of hundreds of scholars working with the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage program over ten years, the anthology has compiled for the first time scores of previously unknown works in the Spanish language written by Hispanics of diverse ethnic backgrounds and classes. It is the most comprehensive literary collection available in Spanish, spanning more than three centuries and including a broad range of genres.
Organized chronologically into three sections which represent the three major manifestations of Hispanic culture in the United States—Native, Exile and Immigration—the anthology goes beyond the written tradition to also include oral literature: folk songs, tales, personal experience narratives and even rhymes.
[cc_product sku=”978-1-55885-346-1″ display=”inline” quantity=”true” price=”true”]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]