Prince Charles and his wife Camilla made history by becoming the first members of the royal family to visit Cuba in an official capacity on Sunday.
The controversial trip has been criticized by everyone from British and American lawmakers to Cuban democracy activists for offering succor to the regime.
The country is now run by President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was hand-picked by former President Raúl Castro as the first non-family member to hold the post since 1976.
Royal flunkies have gone to great pains to ensure Charles and Camilla do not come face to face with Castro, who took over from his brother Fidel in 2011, but there are fears he could show up at any moment over the three-day trip.
The British government’s decision to ask Charles and Camilla to visit Cuba has gone down badly in America, where Donald Trump has sought to significantly unwind measures taken by Barack Obama to normalize economic and cultural relations with the country.
Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida last month asked Charles to cancel his trip based on Cuba’s support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the island's “decades-long history of persecuting and imprisoning its defectors and repressing its people.”
In reply, a British minister wrote to Scott saying, “like a number of other countries, we believe that the best way to promote human rights and encourage a Cuba that fully respects fundamental freedoms is through practical diplomacy, such as with this visit.”
Cuban democracy movements have adopted the hashtag #RoyalShame and accused the royals of “playing into a propaganda schedule carefully staged to enhance the image of the criminal Communist Regime.”
British lawmaker Julian Lewis, chairman of the defense committee, said: “How can it be right to send senior royals to suck up to the Cuban communists on whom Maduro depends?”
The trip does not include visits with political dissidents or other critics of Cuba’s single-party system, a decision prompting criticism from Cuban democracy activist and exile groups who point to the country’s appalling record on human rights.
Instead, the prince and his wife will engage on traditional tourist activities such as meeting members of the group the Buena Vista Social Club at a recording studio in Havana.