Illinois cracker: I canceled my S.F. vacation and am going to Arizona instead
Terry Leonard, of Rockford Ill.,, for example, sent a letter April
28 saying "I just canceled my family's summer vacation to San Francisco
as a result of your boycott of AZ. Now we are going to Arizona to show
support of their actions to curb the illegal immigration problem."
Speaking for myself, I'll spend my vacation in San Francisco to show support for this city's actions to curb its out-of-town cracker problem.
The Convention and Visitor's Bureau's Laurie Armstrong said she's so far forwarded 200 e-mails to the mayor and Board of Supervisors, in support of the Bureau's anti-boycott stance.
The correspondents are "either canceling trips, threatening to cancel trips, or threatening not to ever return to San Francisco," she said, and pointed me to an item Bureau CEO Joe D'Allessandro wrote for San Francisco Chronicle's website May 3.
"There are other ways to protest actions by governments, and travel
boycotts rarely work," D'Allessandro wrote. "What worked in South Africa was global isolation
and divestiture, not a travel boycott. The U.S. travel boycott of Cuba
has not changed the government in 40 years; it has only hurt Cuba's
The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 ended South African landing rights at U.S. airports, in essence a travel boycott. U.S. policy has been to subject Cuba to global isolation and divestiture. Notwithstanding these apparent points of confusion, D'Allessandro is correct in comparing Cuba sanctions to San Francisco's proposed Arizona boycott.
For all the material deprivation and lack of basic freedoms suffered by Cubans, they do enjoy one benefit Americans do not: a near complete absence of "gusanos" the right-wing supporters of the old Batista dictatorship who fled to south Florida and, for a half century, have dominated that region's politics. If San Francisco's proposed Arizona boycott prevents a few hundred Mexican-hating crackers from visiting San Francisco, the benefits may outweigh the cost.