Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Baronets and peers

Here is something of a twist on the usual story about rich Europeans visiting Cuba to experience the “revolution” first hand.

A British travel agent has just announced a new tour of the island to be guided by a peer of the Realm.

OK, so it’s not a hereditary Lord with a coronet and mink cape like the ones you see at the movies but close enough.

Our guide will be none other than Lord Hattersley, a life peer who used to be known as plain old Roy Hattersley back in the 1980s when he was Deputy Leader of the British Labour Party – and a regular target of satirical magazines such as Punch and Private Eye.

Now retired, author of several books and a regular columnist for papers such as The Guardian, the very well-read Lord Hattersley is leading what is described as “A Journey Through Cuba”, combining a visit to “the grand cities of Havana and Trinidad” with a stay in the countryside.

Among the “historic” places to be visited are the Bay of Pigs (“areas of 20th century Cuba that have shaped history”), cigar plantations and predictably, the Ernesto Che Guevara monument in Santa Clara.

But the highlight of the tour, it seems, is a promise by the travel agent that the lucky tourists and their Lord will be joined in Santa Clara for a chat and a cup of coffee by one of Guevara’s sons, Camilo.


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