Is Cuba in Her Universe?

By Circles Robinson

Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, Photo: Wikicommons
Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, Photo: Wikimedia Commons

HAVANA TIMES, March 31 — Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza, is back home from the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and she says she “had a wonderful time” visiting several days with the soldiers as part of the U.S.O. Armed Forces Entertainment Tour.

Occupied territories and prison camps must be a lot of fun when you don’t have to meet the people whose land was taken or the inmates who have faced years of abuse and mistreatment.

One of the highlights according to Dayana’s blog was the military dogs who gave her “a very nice demonstration of their skills.” Something tells me her visit with the cute dogs was a little different than the canine-human encounters inside the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, established in 2002.

However, don’t get me wrong, Mendoza who traveled with Miss USA Crystle Stewart, did get a glimpse of the prisoner conditions: “We visited the detainee camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting,” said Mendoza.

After Miss Universe got a big welcoming lunch it was off to “one of the bars they have here on the base.” There, Dayana and Crystle heard first hand from the soldiers about life on Gitmo.

Prison Camp at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo, Cuba, Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Prison Camp at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo, Cuba, Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“We had a wonderful time, this truly was a memorable trip! We hung out with the guys from the East Coast [of the base] and they showed us the boat inside and out, how they work and what they do… it was a loooot of fun!”

One of the highlights for Miss Universe was: “We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they informed us with a little bit of history.” She didn’t elaborate on the content of the lessons.

The US military has held Guantanamo Bay since 1903 on what Cuba considers a totally illegitimate perpetual lease.

“I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful,” said Mendoza who grew up in Venezuela but has lived in the US as a model for several years.

Miss Universe did not express any interest in visiting the part of Cuba governed by the Cubans. Perhaps because that part of the Caribbean island nation doesn’t participate in the contest that made her famous, or could it be that Cuba and Dayana are not really in the same universe?

4 thoughts on “Is Cuba in Her Universe?

  • There’s only one reason “Miss Venezuela”/”Universe” made a high-profile visit to an imperialist U.S. military base located in occupied Cuba: to make timely propaganda for the Imperium. But then, as was alluded-to: in all likelihood, “Miss Venezuela”/”Universe” would be on the side of the “piti-yanqui” Opposition, in Venezuela — that’s if she bothers to have anything to do with politics at all.

    However she’s probably too busy polishing her nails for any of that guff, in all likelihood.

  • Julianne: You seem to have prejudged what HT will and will not print. I, for one, am amazed and gladdened by the fact that HT will print “comments that question their premises,” etc. And they print in English, which opens a new avenue of dialogue between North Americans and Cubans. The premises on which you base your beliefs are fairly obvious, and it’s probably of little use to butt heads with you, but I would like to say a couple of words. If and when Cuba “works out the bugs” of its socialist system, even persons like you will be astonished at how productive and open that new Cuba will be. Moreover, you will be astonished at how such a “perfected” Cuban socialism will affect the people of the United States. And that’s the big prize: socialist consciousness in a majority of our people. My recommendation to the Cubans for reform is for a modern form of cooperative socialism, and I hope to get a hearing. May I ask if you have any specific and sincere recommendations? Best…

  • How Could You Dayana?

    I read with astonishment the statements of Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza on March 30th about her visit to the Guantanamo Naval Base in far eastern Cuba, still occupied by the United States.

    Miss Universe said that her visit to the Naval Base was unforgettable, calling the Base “a pleasant, healthy and welcoming” place, as if inviting other people to visit a tourist site.

    I am not well versed on whether other Miss Universes have visited the military facility while carrying out their reigns, I also don’t know if any of her predecessors made similar statements.

    It’s worth mentioning that Dayana Mendoza is from Venezuela, a South American country immersed in an authentic social revolution, a process that perhaps she hasn’t bothered to explore.

    There having been other Venezuelan winners of Miss Universe but none have made such declarations as she did, which shows the high level of manipulation she has probably been submitted to.

    It’s as if they were telling her what to say independent of what she was seeing.

    Frankly, I don’t know how she comes to the conclusion that the Naval Base is a pleasant place, when it is a military enclave, with soldiers ready to attack, to make war, to risk their lives.

    I also don’t know where she gets the idea that the Base is a healthy place, when there exists the possibility of soldiers suffering nervous syndromes, alienation and perhaps some drug use without their superiors knowing.

    I also wonder how she could call the Base a healthy place if it’s a place where humans have been tortured and that still holds prisoners under the charge, in many cases unjustly, of being terrorists.

    If Dayana had read up a little on the Guantanamo Naval Base and on Cuba before going I don’t think she would have made such statements.

  • “Occupied territories and prison camps must be a lot of fun when you don’t have to meet the people whose land was taken or the inmates who have faced years of abuse and mistreatment.”
    While I may agree that Guantanamo is an occupied territory, I find it highly “ironic” that this sentence questions the fun in visiting a place (for example the rest of Cuba) when you don’t have to meet the people whose land was taken (as was the land of many Cubans that today are living in exile and who off course you wouldn’t meet on a visit to the island). The comments continue as to how a visitor of Guantanamo is also not be able to meet the inmates who have faced years of abuse and mistreatment (much in the same way that a visitor to Cuba is not able to meet with the political prisoners of conscience being held in Cuban prisons). I confess that for a minute, I was actually confused and unable to discern whether you were talking about Guantanamo or the other Cuba “governed by Cubans” whose policies don’t seem to be any less deplorable than what has been practiced at Guantanamo. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the expression “the pot calling the kettle black” but I think it suits of the writer’s self-righteous tone rather well. What I think however doesn’t really matter since it seems that this is not the type of blog that is interested in publishing comments that question their premises… God forbid it should question the policies of Cuban leaders… for it would find itself out of luck, our of cyberspace, and in a flash… part of another universe! and I truly wonder if it that universe would also not resemble Guantanamo? But won’t it be on the other side of the island? “Ironic” indeed….

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