Saturday, March 07, 2015

Conan, traveling to Cuba and being apolitical

"You can’t go to Cuba and be apolitical. Traveling there is a political act alone. The brands [Conan O'Brien] joked about at the grocery store were all companies that were appropriated by the Cuban government. That cigar factory he visited was taken from a Cuban family of cigar makers. Cubans cannot afford to eat at paladares because the average Cuban only makes $20 a month, creating an unofficial tourist apartheid where foreigners enjoy Cuba while Cubans endure the regime. The “ruins” that took Conan’s breath away are dilapidated buildings that thousands of people have to live in because they are not free to move out of them without government permission."

-- Carmen Pelaez, Cuban-American filmmaker, "Conan’s TV Show Avoided Politics, But For Cubans It’s Not That Easy," Remezcla, 3/6/14