TOURIST NEWS – AT 10:30 A.M. ET: We thought you'd want to know this so you can make last-minute reservations. From ABC News:
Cuba kicks off a crucial Communist Party congress Saturday with a massive military and civilian parade to mark 50 years since the defeat of CIA-backed exiles at the Bay of Pigs, still celebrated here as a landmark triumph over the island's powerful neighbor to the north.
Officials have draped huge Cuban flags from government and other buildings; tanks practicing for the big event have been rumbling down city streets and military planes have roared through the skies. Cannon fire from Havana's seaside ramparts has echoed periodically across the city.
Hundreds of thousands of people — from aging generals to factory workers — are expected to march through the capital. Such shows of nationalism are one of the things Cuba does best, with participants given the day off and a fleet of Soviet-era buses mobilized to ferry them in from across the island.
The festivities on Saturday culminate at Revolution Plaza, a vast concrete expanse where an iconic sculpture of Ernesto "Che" Guevara gazes down from the side of the Interior Ministry building.
COMMENT: For anyone who thought the Castro regime was softening, or was susceptible to Obama's "outreach," think again. This is still a hardline Communist state, a reactionary throwback to Stalinism, and no friend of ours. It is, of course, a curse on the Cuban people, some of whom have come here and become one of our most spirited and hardest-working communities.
I'm sure the festivities in Cuba will be colorful. If you go, don't criticize too loudly.
April 16, 2011