International News

Thanks to the Crotch Bomber, Cubans Now Get the Full-Body Airport Pat-Down

Last week, the U.S. narrowly avoided a terror attack from a Nigerian man flying from Holland and acting on orders from Yemen-based terrorists.

For counterterrorism experts, there was only one logical response: ironclad new security rules for Cuban travelers.

Say whaaaaaa?

OK, geography might not be a strong suit at TSA headquarters.

But rest assured: The new rules announced this morning will make MIA even more of a clusterf**k. They will also make life really fun for the Calle Ocho set returning from back home.

The TSA's new rules make intense airport pat-downs and bag checks mandatory for citizens of 14 nations deemed "state sponsors of terrorism" -- a list that includes Cuba, right alongside Iran, Sudan, and Syria.

Travelers flying back to the United States from Havana -- even if they're U.S. citizens -- will face the same routine.

Critics are already lambasting the rules. "This is extreme and very dangerous," Nawar Shora, the legal director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, tells the New York Times. "All of a sudden people are labeled as being related to terrorism just because of the nation they are from."

Riptide called the Cuban American National Foundation to see what it thinks of the new restrictions. We'll update the post when we hear back.

But maybe there's an upside to the TSA crackdown. Fifty years of antagonism, economic sanctions, and assassination attempts haven't been able to budge the Castro brothers.

Maybe the indignities of regular airport molestations for his citizens and their families can do the trick?

Yeah, maybe not.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink