Ros-Lehtinen says Smithsonian trips to Cuba a cash gift to Castro

Supporters of tough travel rules related to Cuba have argued for decades that easing travel to the island will only encourage Americans to spent money in Cuba that will mostly end up in the hands of the government, given the amount of control the government has over economic activity.

ADVERTISEMENT
Ros-Lehtinen stopped short of saying she would move to block the Smithsonian trips but said the visits would do nothing to help Americans to see the brutality of the Cuban regime. "Instead, these tourists will experience a false depiction of Cuba through a biased and censored ‘tour’ of the island," she said.

"The Smithsonian's 10-day trips to Cuba will amount to little more than a tropical vacation," she said. "Americans participating in these trips will not see the brutal reality of the Castro dictatorship."

The Smithsonian is offering several trips to Cuba this year under a license issued by the Treasury Department. According to the Smithsonian, the trips start at $5,450 and will run from May 4-13, May 11-20, Nov. 9-18, and Nov. 30 to Dec. 9.