[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: March 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fariñas Ends Hunger Strike

I just got home after a long day at work and on the road...and I read that Guillermo Fariñas has ended his hunger strike.

Please check out Marc's post over at Uncommon Sense.

Here's wishing for Coco's speedy recovery, and a hope that his sacrifice wasn't in vain.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One Year

It's hard to believe, but this humble blog turns 1 today.

I still remember wracking my brain trying to come up with a name for the blog: Straddling the Hyphen (no cute jokes Manola), On the Hyphen, Cuban-American connoisseur (just kidding), and countless others that I have forgotten. Thank goodness I came to my senses and "26th Parallel" fell on my lap.

I think I've pretty much stuck to my original focus, with a few deviations and inactivity mixed in. Thanks to all of you who read this blog, it's still hard to believe that anyone out there is interested in reading my thoughts. Strange thing, this blogging stuff can be. I just wish I had more time for it.

Thanks to all the fine blogs listed in my blogroll, for your inspiration and support. Thanks to all the blogs which I frequently visit but haven't had the chance to add to my blogroll yet.

I must, of course, give special thanks to my blogdad Val for lighting the blogging fire inside of me.

Here's a look back at an early post on Spring in South Florida which is once again upon us (too bad most of the yellow tabs got blown down by Katrina and Wilma).

Gracias. Merci. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

No Immigrant Backlash Here (UPDATED)

(UPDATE 9:45 PM: I have provided some links containing photos of some of the protests I refer to below. My bad for not putting these up originally).

Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm wrote an interesting and thought-provoking column on why South Florida immigrants didn't protest in large numbers this past weekend, as opposed to the throngs of people in other immigrant-heavy cities.

Grimm suggests the reason may be because many immigrants here are content with their special status, particularly Cubans and Central Americans. He has a point, although I wouldn't say all Cubans are content with the wet foot/dry foot policy. Haitians certainly aren't happy with their status, but you still didn't see them protest en masse.

It's certainly not because there are a lack of illegals here.

I suspect the main reason is something Grimm didn't address: lack of resentment for the United States of America.

Many (not most, but quite a few) of the protesters in the other cities had anti-American signs, chanted anti-American slogans and in an isolated case even burned an American flag. You will be hard-pressed to find an hardcore anti-American immigrant in South Florida. They don't have the "history" factor that many Mexicans in California and Texas have, for example. They just want to come here for a better life and hold no grudges. They work hard and are grateful for what they have. Sure, they complain occasionally, but I have never seen blatant anti-Americanism.

Everyone remembers the reaction to the Elian fiasco. Cubans didn't protest against Americans and America, only against those in charge. It is totally different to the reasons behind some of the protests I saw in other cities.

I'm not saying that all the protesters are anti-American. Those who love this country and have a legitimate beef have my respect. But the anti-American factor is definitely present.

More Roots Spreading Out There

Last June I posted on a group called Raices De Esperanza, comprised of college students who want to make a difference in Cuba.

There is a nice post over at Oscar Corral's Cuban Connection blog about 2 young women members of the above group. It's always encouraging to see the younger generation getting involved in a worthy cause.

I wish Diane and Veronica the best of luck.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blogging for Coco

What are you doing right now? Pretty obvious answer, right?

Unfortunately, the man pictured below has been starving himself for almost 2 months now for not being able to do what we are doing this very moment. For something that bloggers and journalists routinely do.

Tomorrow. March 27th, 2006, is the "blogburst" for Guillermo "Coco" Fariñas. Read this for a little more background information.

I ask all of you to consider Fariñas' case, and to do whatever you can to help. If you're a blogger, a quick post would be great. Perhaps a letter to the editor of your hometown paper would be helpful. Anything to raise awareness of this extreme injustice by the Cuban regime.

Hopefully it won't be too late to save Mr. Fariñas' life.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Wait and See

The Miami Herald, as well as Herald writer Oscar Corral's blog Miami's Cuban Connection, have reported on the U.S. decision to allow the group of Cubans who landed on the wrong bridge near the Florida Keys back in January to return to the United States.

It's now up to fidel to decide whether they will actually be coming back. Although he has supposedly granted passports to the individuals, the exit visas have yet to be issued.

Seems like a mere formality, but history has proven that fidel doesn't grant these easily.

I'm not optimistic, but I've been surprised before.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Charitable Miami

You see, we Miamians aren't so bad after all.

From Burnett's Urban Etiquette:

(Kudos to) Miami for making the Men's Health Magazine most charitable city list. According to the mag, in 2005 Americans donated $273 billion to charitable causes domestically - due in large part to Hurricane Katrina. And of 100 cities given grades ranging from "F" to "A+," Miami ranked 21st and got a grade of "B."

And here's a list of 25 major cities and their 2005 charity ranking. Miami ranked 15th. Not great, but not bottom of the barrel either.

Considering that Miami is one of the poorest cities in the U.S., and Miami-Dade County among the poorest urban counties, the fact that we rank anywhere above the bottom third is a sign that we are a giving community.

Honestly, this doesn't surprise me at all. I still remember vividly after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 how the community responded by coming together during a time of great need. I remember all the times we've offered help to other disaster-stricken communities around the world. After Katrina last summer, I posted stories about Good Samaritan Miamians who have donated their time and money to help others.

All this goes to prove something I have always thought: inside that tough exterior that Miamians can often exhibit, primarily when we get behind the wheel of a car, van, SUV or truck, we can be quite generous people.

Another Fariñas Update

Via NetForCuba:

Information Bridge Cuba Miami and Net For Cuba
International send this alert stating that:

Psychologist and Director of Cubanacán Press Guillermo
Fariñas Hernandez began a hunger strike without fluids, in
the city of Santa Clara, Cuba, last January 31st, demanding
that the Cuban Government provide him with free access to
the Internet from his home. Up to now, the regime has
denied Dr. Fariñas' petition and he is about to die. We
appeal to the conscience of all people of goodwill who
receive this urgent call, so that a demand is addressed to
Fidel Castro to allow Dr. Fariñas to have free access to
the Internet. We don’t want another martyr for the liberty
and justice in Cuba! They add up to hundreds of thousands!
Enough is enough!

For the life of Dr. Guillermo Fariñas and his just claim,
address your communication to:

Fidel Castro Ruz
President of the Councils of State and Ministries
Havana, Cuba.
Fax: + 53 7 8333085(through the Ministry of the Exterior)
E-mail: f_castro@cuba.gov.cu

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Winning and Losing

The World Baseball Classic is finally over, and Japan beat Cuba for the title.

A lot of the talk leading up to the tournament involved the Cuban team. Not only how they would compete against established pros, but how many, if any, of the players would defect.

Cuba defied expectations on both counts. Second place in the tournament, and no defections that we know of. A victory for fidel, some say.

Not so fast.

Despite the pronouncements from the regime at today's celebration of the players' return to Cuba that the revolution proved it's success by beating teams composed of Major League baseball players, who are the real winners and losers here?

Well, I can't really tell you who won, but it's easy to see who's losing. No matter how many games Cuba won or lost at the WBC, nothing changes inside Cuba. The people continue to lose out on real freedom, on opportunity. I wanted Cuba to lose in the WBC just so that fidel and his cronies would have nothing to celebrate.

That was selfish on my part. fidel has nothing to lose. I should have been happy for the players who do have a lot more at stake. This brings me to the subject of the defections (or lack thereof). Does the fact that no one defected mean that the players are happy in Cuba? Maybe. But I would be willing to bet a hefty amount that internal pressures and the thought of leaving behind family outweighed any reasons for the Cubans to defect.

Those thoughts came to my mind when I read today's Miami Herald story on ex-major league pitcher Eddie Oropesa, a pitcher for the Cuban National Team who defected back in 1993. Oropesa left his pregnant wife and parents back in Cuba. He didn't see them again until 3 years later.

Please click here to read the article. Afterwards, you should be able to figure out the real winners and losers.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hypocrisy: Thy Name is...

Imagine the following scene, if you will:

I am sitting outside on my deck on another beautiful South Florida Sunday morning with my coffee and my Sunday Miami Herald. Birds flying around, the rush of water from my miniature pool waterfall hitting the pool surface.

I open the paper to my favorite section - Letters To The Editor - and I read letters about the war in Iraq, schools in Morninside, etc. Then I get to a letter titled "Mas Canosa School".

Re the March 16 article School named for exile Mas Canosa: Kudos to the Miami-Dade School Board for unanimously voting to name a new middle school after the late Jorge Mas Canosa.

Perhaps next door the district could build Luis Posada Carriles Elementary School: It is Posada through whom Mas Canosa is suspected to have financed terrorism inside Cuba.

Or how about Orlando Bosch Preschool? Bosch is, after all, a pediatrician who alongside Posada, has been implicated in the blowing up of a jet plane midair that killed more than 170 young athletes.

When Mas Canosa was at odds with The Miami Herald's news coverage of his business dealings and editorials that he deemed were not supportive of Cuban exile causes, the children of then-Publisher David Lawrence Jr. had to attend school surrounded by bodyguards. Feces were smeared on Lawrence's car.

School Board member Ana Rivas Logan succinctly stated in the article that Mas Canosa ``was many things to many people, not only in our community, but internationally.''


So much for a pleasant Sunday morning next to the pool. You can agree or disagree with the late Jorge Mas Canosa's opinions, but accusing him of "financing terrorism"? The lengths that some people will go to in order to smear those who disagree with them and promote their own agenda never ceases to amaze me.

Now comes the good part. The letter writer, Magda Montiel Davis, isn't just some ordinary anonymous citizen living in Miami and expressing her opinion. She is an open pro-Castro supporter who works as an immigration attorney. Living in Miami, the intolerance capital of the USA.

The irony is striking.

Don't believe me? Then read this investigative notice regarding a press conference from back in 1994.

Still don't believe me? Check out Granma's account of Montiel's warm meeting with fidel himself back in 1994, and her subsequent harrassment by "intolerant exiles" in Miami.

I don't condone any violence or similar harrassment directed at anyone, regardless of how despicable their opinions may be. However, I can't help but put in serious doubt the level of seriousness of the alleged actions against Montiel. Here's a person who is open about her pro-Castro leanings in a community filled to the brim with people who have literally suffered
mentally and physically at the hands of the Tyrant of the Caribbean. Imagine walking into a Jewish neighborhood and praising Hitler.

Not the same thing, you say? Tell that to castro's victims.

Yet, Montiel lives in this same community, and whose law practice is openly listed in online litigation records. Apparently, she's alive and well and freely expressing her views, as the unfortunate editorial clearly illustrates.

Hypocrite doesn't begin to describe Montiel, but it's a start.

Now...what was I doing this morning?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The World Baseball Classic game between Cuba and Puerto Rico wasn't on TV last night, so I had to follow it "live" on the internet. It's kind of strange to follow a game that way, watching dots and names move around on the screen with a text description of each pitch.

It was a good thing I didn't watch it on TV, because I think I would have had a fit. Cuba won 4-3 to advance to the semifinals in San Diego where they will face the Dominican Republic.

I have to give the Cuban players credit, they held their own against pros and they deserve to move on in the tournament. I didn't think they would get this far, but they surprised me and a lot of "experts" out there.

A side issue during the tournament has been the anti-castro protests at several of the Cuba games. Many people have openly wondered why politics and sports should mix. Baseball is baseball, and politics is politics, they say. In an ideal world, they would be correct.

However, we don't live in that world. Politics and sports co-exist and often mix.

Want proof?

Look no further than this quote by Cuba manager Higinio Velez after the game yesterday (I guess he was in a mood to talk last night as opposed to when his team loses):
"They're (Cuban players) not interested in millions,'' Velez said. "We don't have prisoners. Simply, our athletes are besieged because people want to turn them into merchandise, but they want to play for their country.''
It doesn't get much clearer than that, folks.

Read the rest of the Miami Herald article here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Photo courtesy Miami Herald

OK, we're not talking about Dan Marino here, but for a second-round draft pick I'd say getting Culpepper was a steal.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Herald on Fariñas

It's about time the MSM jumps on the Guillermo Fariñas story. It's been well over a month now since he's been on a hunger strike.

Here's an admittedly excellent editorial by the Herald concerning Mr. Fariñas and the state of Cuba's information censorship.
Desperate For Freedom


The Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas is hungry to inform. To protest Cuba's cutting off his e-mail access, he has taken no food or water since Jan. 31. He has vowed not to resume eating until his e-mail is unblocked. The regime, meanwhile, shows no sign of easing up.

A psychologist turned independent journalist in a dictatorship that allows no free press, Mr. Fariñas directed the Cubanacán news agency from the city of Santa Clara. He sent uncensored accounts of human-rights abuses and other news via e-mail from an Internet café. That ended after he described to The Miami Herald a government-organized mob attack typical of the tightening squeeze on Cuban dissidents.

''I got on my knees and said, 'Down With Fidel!','' Mr. Fariñas was quoted in the front page of the newspaper. "They started kicking and beating me, bruising my back, arm and head. They stopped when they saw I would not lose my dignity and say things I didn't feel.''

The next day, his e-mail was blocked, and his hunger strike soon followed. Now he is being fed intravenously in a hospital and has lost more than 60 pounds.

Many people protest the Chinese government's Internet censorship, and with good reason. Freedom of information is a fundamental right. Cuba has been controlling Internet access and blocking websites for years and should be condemned, too. Indeed, Cuba's information blockade has allowed it to misinform the Cuban people, promote its image abroad and sustain its dictator in power for nearly five decades.

We do not condone Mr. Fariñas' hunger strike and hope he ends it before his health is damaged even more. But his voice should not be silenced by any government.

His courage under repression is admirable. Mr. Fariñas' desperation for freedom is yet another measure of Cuba's brutality.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rudeness in South Florida - An Essay

It's official. Based on feedback received at the Miami Herald after their South Florida rudeness story last week, we're #1. In rudeness. It looks like a consensus of South Floridians feel that Miami, and South Florida in general, is the rudest and most uncivilized place in the United States, and probably the entire western world.

I'm not going to sweep this under the rug and say that there isn't an impression of rudeness here, because there is, without a doubt. What I will stop short of saying is that Miamians are some sort of sub-human species not capable or interested in being nice, normal human beings. On a normal day, I run into people being nice and considerate: drivers stopping to let me cross the street to enter the insanely crowded Home Depot next to my house, the cashier at Publix wishing me a nice day after bagging my groceries, the driver at the 4-way stop down the street from my house waving at me to go first even though it's actually her turn. Yes, these things happen to me pretty much daily, believe it or not.

One curious thing I've noticed: everyone complains about how rude their fellow Miamians are. No one admits to being rude themselves from time to time. There are few things more obnoxious and dishonest than those who complain about others' actions when they aren't perfect themselves.

Before I get to some of the reasons for the rudeness we experience here, let me make a point about something that a lot of people in Miami complain about. Language and the barriers they create. Many non-Spanish speakers who responded to the Herald story complained about being excluded from a conversation because the other people in the room were speaking Spanish. Before I continue, let me say that I ALWAYS make a point to speak a common language whenever there is mixed company. However, that isn't always possible in South Florida. There's nothing rude with someone speaking Spanish to a non-English speaking friend or relative in front or near someone who doesn't speak Spanish.

In the case where the allegedly rude are bilingual, it gets a little trickier. If a bilingual is having a conversation with a monolingual, then switches over to Spanish without apologizing when his buddy pops into the room, that's rude. If the two bilinguals are in a room speaking Spanish and someone else then walks into the room who is not involved in the conversation, then I don't see a huge problem. I personally would switch back over to English, but I don't think it's rude behavior to not do so. Perhaps the two are having a personal conversation which they don't want anyone else to hear. Anyway you look at it, no one has a right to listen in on a conversation that doesn't involve them. That leads to another point. I would venture to say that 98% of the time when two people are having a conversation in a language that a third bystander doesn't understand, the topic of the conversation has NOTHING to do with the third person. Therefore, the third person has no business knowing what the other two are saying just for "the sake of politeness". It's rude to eavesdrop, right?

Now that I got that out of the way, let's address some of the reasons for rude behavior in South Florida. Rick and Alesh made some good posts about the level of rudeness last week, with Alesh tackling some of the reasons for this behavior. I agree with many of Alesh's points, and I'm glad that he actually attempted to reason this out instead of just making a statement without any foundation. Our cultural differences (yes we DO have them), play a huge role in the perception of rudeness. While there is a standard set of appropriate behaviors, there is plenty of gray area in some of the individual characteristics and habits of our different cultures (Hispanics cannot and should not be lumped into a single category. Each Hispanic sub-group has its significant differences). Lateness (being on "Cuban time") is one of these. Informality is another. Just because people don't sometimes greet strangers with "sir" or "ma'm" doesn't mean they're being rude, but a reflection of different cultural attitudes. Similarly, lateness may not be a person's way of showing rudeness, they just weren't brought up to be exactly on time for everything.

Alesh makes an excellent point by stating that areas that have diverse cultures tend to have a rudeness problem simply because of the mixing and misunderstanding of the cultural and social habits. I don't agree with him in that we tend to be impolite to those who are different from us, it's mainly when differences in cultural values and habits are concerned that we tend to react with uncertainty or even downright hostility.

Another big factor in South Florida is the fast-paced lifestyle and the overcrowded environment. I love South Florida as much as anyone, but there is a price to pay for living in subtropical paradise. Nothing can frustrate even the nicest person than a hard day at the office followed by a hour-long drive home in choking traffic. Stress is a big instigator of rudeness. How do you react when faced with a stressful situation? Normally, it's by thinking about yourself and how to get out of that situation. The last thing on our minds at this point is to think about the guy in the car next to us, it's all about ME. It's a normal human defense mechanism. Without it, we'd die. So my point here is, put anyone in a stressful situation, such as what we typically face in South Florida on a daily basis, and they'll likely do something selfish and rude.

OK, so I've explained why we're rude. Now, what do we do about it? The first thing to do is to set the example, as Alesh stated. The next thing to do (or not do) is to not sit back and judge those who we deem as less civil just because we're such great citizens. We need to encourage human contact, not smugness. Personal relationships break down barriers and make for a united community. This of course, takes time, which we don't have a lot of in South Florida because of the transient nature of our population. Still, the effort must be undertaken if we really do care about being more civil.

A key element that is missing in South Florida is pride in community. Our transient nature and lack of roots play a big role, obviously, but I know people who have lived here 20+ years who moved down from some Northeastern state that shall remain nameless who still call that old place home. I'll never understand that attitude as long as I live. If you don't consider where you live as "home", you are less likely to invest your time and effort in making it a better place, which eventually results in not caring about others. If you like where you live, you reflect it in your actions.

Above all, it takes lots of patience and understanding to live in South Florida and to cope with all the good and bad we have to deal with. Patience, and a good bit of thick skin, with those who insist on being jerks; understanding of those who are different than us.

We've already complained enough, now let's show how it's done.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

¿Qué Pasa, USA?

I'll be out of town the rest of the week, so I figured I should leave you all with a nice long post to chew on. It's one that I've been thinking of posting for a long time. I hope you enjoy it.

One of my favorite TV series of all time is ¿Qué Pasa, USA?. For those of you who may not be familiar with the show, it was a bilingual sitcom which ran on PBS in the late 1970's and chronicled the life of a Cuban-American family in Miami.

Mainly a comedy, each of the 39 episodes captured the essence of late 70's Miami, as well as the dynamics of a three-generation Cuban-American family living under the same roof. Although the situations in the episodes were frequently over-the-top and very exaggerated, every Cuban-American young and old, first-generation or third-generation, can relate to them and can relate a similar experience in their lives. Think of the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, make it hyper-Cuban, and you have an idea of what the show was about. Granted, it did had limited appeal (face it, if you weren't Cuban or Hispanic in general, you probably weren't going to get any of it).

As alluded to above, the show harkens back to the days when Miami basically consisted of four main groups: the established white Non-Hispanics or "Anglos", African-Americans, Jewish-Americans (otherwise lumped under the first group but mentioned separately here to distinguish from the other non-Hispanics), and Cubans. The executive producers were the Cuban-American/Jewish combo of Jose Bahamonde and Bernard Lechowick, typical late 70's Miami. Bahamonde and Luis Santeiro were the main writers. They captured lightning in a bottle, a stroke of genius never to be repeated.

The main characters were the Peña family, a three-generation Cuban-American blue-collar family living in Little Havana. Pepe, the father, was a construction worker. Juana, the mother, worked in the "factoria". The kids, Carmencita and Joe, were typical teenagers stuck in the cultural vise between their exiled parents and their American home, all presided over by the typically Cuban old-fashioned grandparents, Abuela Adela and Abuelo Antonio. All so quintessentially Cuban. The series even spawned the careers of Steven Bauer (Joe) née Esteban Echevarria, and Andy Garcia (who played Carmen's fiancé in one episode).

¿Qué Pasa, USA? was not only groundbreaking because of its bilingual dialogue, but because of the issues covered in its episodes. In many ways it was well ahead of its time. Topics ranged from homosexuality, to drugs, to ethnic/racial relations, to religion and everything else in between.

One thing it never dealt with too much was, believe it or not, politics. In fact, the "f" word was never uttered EVEN ONCE in any of the episodes! I'm not talking about the four-letter word that rhymes with puck, but the five-letter one that ends in L and is never capitalized by many Cuban-American bloggers. That is (was) an amazing feat, and part of the magic of the show.

I have seen every one of the 39 episodes many times over, thanks to the miracle of reruns. I was in grade school during its original run, therefore I didn't fully appreciate it until I got a little older and saw the reruns every afternoon on Channel 2 after getting home from school. Each of those 39 episodes contains at least one nugget, one gem that can and never will be duplicated.

Let's go over some of the show's classic lines and sayings:

"Yo soy Pepe Peña!" - Pepe in full Cuban macho mode, particularly when feeling threatened.

"Carmencita, go to you roon" (Carmencita, go to your room) - Parents and abuelos in unison whenever they wanted to shelter poor Carmen from reality.

"Estoy nunca hubiera pasado en Cuba" (This would have never happened in Cuba) - Abuelos (and sometimes parents) criticizing modern life in the USA.

"Good morning, good afternoon" - Marta la chismosa (Marta the nosy neighbor).

"Aquí se formó el show cubano" - Carmen's best friend and ultra-cubanasa Violetica.

"I'm sick of you Cubans parking on my lawn" - "Anglo" neighbor Mrs. Allen.

Here are my top 6 episodes, some with samples:

1. Limpieza General: Catholic priest and santera bump into each other at Peña house.
2. Citizenship: Who would have thought that Abuela Adela was a prostitute?
3. Joe Goes to Heaven: Joe explores homosexuality by writing a research paper on the subject.
4. Mi Abuela Driving School: "Ok you can bring your little friend along" - Driving instructor to Abuela after she insists on placing a small statue of St. Christopher on the car's dashboard during Carmen's driving test.
5. Joe Goes to the Hospital: Joe has an appendectomy, Peñas act as if he's dying.
6. We Speak Spanish: Kids ordered to speak only Spanish in the house, chaos ensues.

Honorable Mention (in no paticular order):

Super Chaperone
Here Comes the Bride (featuring Andy Garcia in his debut acting role).
TV Interview
Bad News (Cuban funeral scene is hilarious)
Malas Compañias

Okay all you loyal readers...which is your favorite episode(s)?

Make sure you visit the "official" ¿Qué Pasa? website here. It's full of goodies, including photos, a Cuban-American dictionary, clips of several episodes, and a bio.

Rumor has it that filming is underway for a ¿Qué Pasa? documentary. Let's hope it comes out soon.

Hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pork...The Other White Meat

Photo courtesy of El Confeti

The staff at 26th Parallel is not responsible for any damage this post may have incurred in your stomach lining or mental health.

NOT Brought To You By the MSM

Guillermo Fariñas is currently in the 29th day of his hunger strike.

Please sign the petition if you haven't done so already.


Educational Trips to Cuba

Florida State Representative and Miami cubanito David Rivera is trying to pass legislation to ban state colleges and universities from going to Cuba even for "legitimate research" trips.

I think Rep. Rivera is trying a little too hard to please his constituents here. His heart's in the right place, but what's wrong with a state university going to Cuba solely for the purpose of education and research?

Folks...I was THIS close to hitting the "publish" button after that second paragraph. I really was.

What happened?

I remembered this picture.

Students Eating Lobster On a Cuban Beach

The above picture came from a post on Babalu Blog a while back, a long while back. I searched the Babalu vaults, and I managed to dig it out. The post was about a group of students from the University of Florida Virology Club (yes folks there IS such a thing) and their education trip to Cuba, complete with pictures.

Here it is.

After reading and seeing the pictures again, perhaps Rivera has a point. Kind of makes you wonder what kind of education those kids are really getting, when the average Cuban can only dream of doing what those kids did in Cuba.