British royals make historic visit to Cuba, but why now?

BY FRANK CALZON

MARCH 26, 2019

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The timing of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s historic journey to Cuba could not have been less auspicious.

While Britain has, like other countries, declared Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela illegitimate, the royals are guests of a Cuban regime whose soldiers are helping prop up Maduro. The fact is that the Cuban government is no more legitimate than Maduro’s.

The visit, the first ever from members of the royal family, makes little political sense.

And as efforts by the United States and others intensify to force Maduro out, recent press reports indicate Russian military leaders currently are in Caracas promising Maduro their support.

After the royal trip was announced in a column published by the British daily newspaper The Independent, a member of the British Parliament said that, “A foreign military intervention in Venezuela has taken place, and Prince Charles could help to stop it.”

Here’s how: The Prince should ask the Cuban government to withdraw its soldiers and security agents from Venezuela.

In addition to visiting the carefully selected sites catering to foreign dignitaries, drinking mojitos with their genial hosts and other popular activities on the island, Charles and Camilla should meet with the Ladies in White — mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of political prisoners who have been recognized by the European Parliament for their courage and human-rights advocacy.

They could also ask to talk with independent journalists and pro-democracy activists.

To visit Cuba without seeing them would be a disservice to the United Kingdom and the people of Cuba; meeting with them would provide them an opportunity to inform the prince about the atrocities being committed by Raúl Castro’s political police.

Cuba is not a geographical expression; it is not simply the regime that represses its people. Cuba is 11 million souls.

The Cuban people would like to have the same rights of speech, assembly, due process and self-determination that the British enjoy.

It is difficult to understand how the British foreign ministry would send the prince to Cuba at this time.

Perhaps they think that Cuba is, as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said of Czechoslovakia in 1939, “a small far away country about which we know nothing.”

History has not been kind to Mr. Chamberlain.

The prince means well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.