Cuban-American lawmakers decry State Department aiding 'propaganda show'

Some Cuban lawmakers are asking the State Department not to grant visas to several Cuban performers scheduled to appear at the Kennedy Center early next month.

Washington Free Beacon:

Many of the artists who are scheduled to appear at the festival, "Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World," are apologists for the Castro regime, making the show an extension of the Cuban government;s [sic] propaganda machine, the lawmakers argue.

The lawmakers also criticized the Kennedy Center's decision to showcase Cuban-government backed films during the festival because the island's repressive Communist government has spent decades brutally suppressing independent expression.

"It is a disgrace that despite the abundance of Cuban ingenuity and creativity in the arts, that so many resources would be devoted to highlighting the works generated by a brutal, repressive regime that has no respect for free and independent expression," they wrote.

Florida GOP Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo, as well as Democratic New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires signed a letter to Pompeo late last week, asking him to "carefully and judiciously consider whether each of these Cuban nationals is worthy of the extraordinary privilege of U.S. entry." ...

Meanwhile, the event includes Omar Portuondo, Yissy Garcia, and Milanes, who [sic] the lawmakers labeled "apologists for the Castro regime."

Portuondo, they point out, has publicly supported the "unjust execution" by firing squad of three Afro-Cubans whose crime was attempting to escape the Castro regime, the lawmakers said.

The state department loves these "cultural exchanges," believing they can modify the behavior of ruthless dictators by allowing their prisoners to perform on stage, or the athletic field, or other venues where leftists are eager to show how tolerant and open-minded they are.

The Castros may be out of power (Raúl just stepped down as president but is thought to maintain his grip on power), but the nature of the Cuban communist regime has not changed.  The government will still brook no dissent, and the opposition is legally banned.  Why should the U.S. State Department facilitate this oppression?

Some Cuban lawmakers are asking the State Department not to grant visas to several Cuban performers scheduled to appear at the Kennedy Center early next month.

Washington Free Beacon:

Many of the artists who are scheduled to appear at the festival, "Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World," are apologists for the Castro regime, making the show an extension of the Cuban government;s [sic] propaganda machine, the lawmakers argue.

The lawmakers also criticized the Kennedy Center's decision to showcase Cuban-government backed films during the festival because the island's repressive Communist government has spent decades brutally suppressing independent expression.

"It is a disgrace that despite the abundance of Cuban ingenuity and creativity in the arts, that so many resources would be devoted to highlighting the works generated by a brutal, repressive regime that has no respect for free and independent expression," they wrote.

Florida GOP Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo, as well as Democratic New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires signed a letter to Pompeo late last week, asking him to "carefully and judiciously consider whether each of these Cuban nationals is worthy of the extraordinary privilege of U.S. entry." ...

Meanwhile, the event includes Omar Portuondo, Yissy Garcia, and Milanes, who [sic] the lawmakers labeled "apologists for the Castro regime."

Portuondo, they point out, has publicly supported the "unjust execution" by firing squad of three Afro-Cubans whose crime was attempting to escape the Castro regime, the lawmakers said.

The state department loves these "cultural exchanges," believing they can modify the behavior of ruthless dictators by allowing their prisoners to perform on stage, or the athletic field, or other venues where leftists are eager to show how tolerant and open-minded they are.

The Castros may be out of power (Raúl just stepped down as president but is thought to maintain his grip on power), but the nature of the Cuban communist regime has not changed.  The government will still brook no dissent, and the opposition is legally banned.  Why should the U.S. State Department facilitate this oppression?