Saturday, August 27, 2005
Many of my friends (and my mother recently) go to Cuba for winter vacations - it's perfect. Canada cold in winter - even in BC...Cuba warm always = vacation. In addition, it's reasonably inexpensive and the people are friendly, well-educated, articulate and seem to enjoy Canadians. Good health care too. One of my friends stays in the Trinidad regularly and has a circle of friends.
I smoke a nice Habana cigar with a pal every so often as well (goes well with a smooth single malt). These tobacco gems are brought back from Cuba vacationers or purchased locally here in Nelson.
Our government talks to their government - there are investments, development opportunities, cultural exchanges. Hey, Prime Minsister Trudeau and Fidel were pals (see above).
Okay now - I know the US/Cuba history thing... even lived in Miami for two years, so know the Cuban American vote thing too. I also work on behalf of some Cuban prisoners of conscience through Amnesty. It's not perfect there (although US rented Gitmo has even more illegal prisoners than Fidel does).
So what's with the cold war, the embargo, the propaganda, the imposed hardship on Cubans, the military threats? Why not thaw things out, normalize it? How long do you think it would take for people power, trade and investment to bring down the cafe-leche wall?
I fear for the Cubans when fast food, bullshit entertainment, free market etc. arrive, but something must change. Put President Carter on the job and things would change in a few years. I think he gets it.
Meanwhile, those Canadian winters will continue to be moderated with Cuban beaches, nasty big lovely cigars, rum and good food.
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