When associate news editor John Kennedy was returning from Cuba, he discovered that his seatmate's experience was an interesting contrast to his own. John was traveling as part of a team of religious journalists sponsored by the Center for International Policy, a Washington think tank interested in promoting democracy abroad. His seatmate's official task had been to deliver $100 worth of medical supplies to Cuba, which he did.
John went in order to assess the state of the Cuban church. He interviewed leaders and heard their stories of persecution and their plans for the future "after Castro." (See his report, "Cuba's Next Revolution," beginning on p. 18.)
His seatmate, on the other hand, went to have a good time. By bringing in medical supplies, he slipped through the humanitarian loophole in the U.S. prohibition against visiting Cuba. (There is another exception for the press.)
Once inside Cuba, the willing hedonist gets low rates for room, board, and sex; prostitution has become a major growth industry for women hard pressed for hard currency, and many men are "vacationing" in Cuba in order to engage their services.
Which raises the interesting question: How should we pray for Cuba? After the obvious first petition for the passing of the Castro regime, the rest is not so clear. Before Castro, Cuba was a hedonic paradise where gambling and prostitution flourished. When the Cold War was hot, American Christians passionately supported our government's anti-Communist efforts in the name of freedom. We understood this to mean freedom to worship. But others saw it as the freedom to pursue any pleasure they wanted. If the U.S.'s long-sought dreams come true and Castro falls, should we be thrilled that Cuba will open to satellite ...1
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