And speaking of weird U.S. visa rules for Cubans (I SWEAR I am NOT making this UP!)
In the 1950's Celia Cruz was repeatedly denied U.S. visas because our crackerjack intelligence services of the time considered her: "a well-known COMMUNIST singer and stage star.''
On left, Vilma Espin, waved into the U.S. with a valid visa while Cruz was blocked. A few years later Espin became a trusted and valued CIA source (on the total lack) of Communists within the July 26th movement.
Manuel "Barbaroja" Pineiro, waved into the U.S. with a valid visa while Celia Cruz blocked.
Around the same time Celia Cruz was banned, Vilma Espin was granted a U.S. visa to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Manuel Pineiro was granted one to study at Columbia Univ. Both Cubans were already Communists. Espin became Stalinist Cuba's "First Lady. "Pineiro, later known as "Barbaroja," became the first head of Castro's KGB-tutored Intelligence services.
Even better, when CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick visited Cuba in 1957 to investigate the hysterical Batistiano rumors of Communists within the Julio 26 Movement, the good folks at Bacardi provided him a pretty and eloquent English-speaking young lady as his chief escort. This guide and educator on all things Julio 26 was Vilma Espin, daughter of a Bacardi executive. (Manuel Pineiro was the son of another Bacardi executive.)
Espin laughed away all the blockheaded Batistiano rumors mentioned by Kirkpatrick, who returned to the U.S. smugly satisfied with the fruits of his crackerjack intelligence mission. These Bacardi people, after all, were so obviously refined, educated and white. Many of those Batista people, on the other hand, had rough edges, crude manners and dark skin. Who was an Ivy Leaguer like Kirkpatrick to trust?
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