MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry is worried about the potential opening of relations between U.S. and Cuba but not for the necessarily expected reasons.
Rather, she expressed concerns Saturday that the subsequent rise of American tourism there will cause a "downside" for Cuba, adding American tourists "can sometimes be a plague on the rest of the world."
"On the one hand, it is great to reopen these relationships," she said. "On the other hand, I worry about American tourists and the ways that we can sometimes be a plague on the rest of the world, particularly in these nations that become high-tourist economies. And I’m wondering if there’s a downside to our economic ties opening up with Cuba, for Cuba."
Heaven forbid American dollars infect the nation of Cuba, where, according to NewsBusters, its citizens scrape by on $20 a month in a wretched, centrally-planned economy. Professor John Gutierrez provided some pushback, however, on Harris-Perry's rather misplaced concerns, saying "we have to stop fetishizing" the idea of Cuba as some unspoiled paradise.
"Cubans are entitled to a good standard of living," he said. "That may mean having a Home Depot in Cuba, right? And I think we need to respect that. So before we worry so much about whether or not the arrival of American capitalism changes something in Cuba, I think we need to recognize that Cubans have for 50 years been denied many of the basics of modern life."
HotAir‘s Ed Morrissey humorously pointed out in his write-up of the exchange that "MSNBC’s slogan is "Lean Forward," but the oppressed in dictatorships apparently need not apply." Also, Town Hall‘s Katie Pavlich wrote that American tourists contribute around $80 billion a year to "tourism economies" annually, aiding the local communities who rely on such business.