Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cuba Closer

At last things are changing between the US and Cuba. The death grip of the Miami Cubans on the ridiculously outdated embargo seems, after 55 long pointless years, to be superseded by a new outlook from the younger generation. The announcement today that the two countries will be exchanging Ambassadors looks as though it may well lead to an end to all the restrictions which never did overthrow the Cuban government and brought hardship to many, all to pacify the egos of Cubans in Miami unable to bring themselves to get up and go fight for their country from the comfort of the good lives they made in this great nation. Give Fidel Castro credit: he did just that.
My interest in ending the embargo is purely selfish: I think life in the Keys would be enhanced by a high speed ferry service as proposed between Stock Island and Mariel. A few years ago I crossed the Adriatic Sea from Italy to Croatia with a rental car on a ferry with room for 800 people and two hundred vehicles at a speed of 35 miles an hour.
Imagine the trade that will pick up between the US and Cuba for those interested in such things. I see room for powered two wheelers here among the trucks. My interest is in motorcycle tourism close to home. This would put Cuba closer than Daytona Beach:
Tell me this isn't enticing especially if one could take an 8 o'clock ferry and be in Havana for lunch improving the lives of working Cubans by spreading around US dollars and the message of freedom. And after years of having flat straight roads nearby the twisties would be welcome.
But before my riding fantasies can come true there's tons of propaganda everywhere to get past, on both sides of the Straits of Florida. Americans can go to Cuba even now and charter flights leave daily from Miami. Quite aside from the dubious legal grounds of these over priced monopoly flights, restricted to benefit the operators ( émigrés of course), I have no desire to visit a country that is repressed and impoverished by politics. I traveled the Soviet Union and that was enough repression for me to see up close. Oppression is everywhere but in Cuba the US role in abetting it, perhaps unwittingly if I'm to be generous, makes me queasy. I'll wait till travel is legal and open and mainstream even if that means I'll see McDonalds outside the US Navy Base.
One day I keep hoping, lunch in Havana. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask.


Orin said...

Hear, hear! It's about friggin' time this nonsense came to an end. Definitely, being able to travel freely to Cuba (as my Canadian friends have been able to do all along) and spend my greenback dollars will benefit the Cuban people far more than a silly political standoff that began, as President Obama points out, before most Americans were born. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing and expecting a different result. This has been a perfect example.

Could we dare hope for an end to the War on Drugs?

Scootin' Old Skool

Richard M said...

I agree!

Conchscooter said...

The war on drugs is folding slowly. The embargo is till seen as a vote winner by the Republicans trying to hold on to Florida's electoral college votes. (And the electoral college can join the grand jury in being declared surplus to requirements while we're at it).

Anonymous said...

End the war on drugs, Really !

Maybe because it is "folding slowly" this is where we are at.

Cody Goldman said...

Yes, its about time and we have bigger fish to fry, like North Korea

Bryce Lee said...

And it was the Canadian diplomatic service that was the go-between in this particular new arrangement. We in Canada have been able to go to Cuba for years; and to be quite honest like you am not interested in doing so.

Kirsty said...

This is the first bit of really good news I can remember for a good long while! It was (still is) frustrating to sit here looking out across Cudjoe Bay to Havana, where English friends and family can travel, but I can't. Well, not unless I fly to Mexico or similar, switch passports, change planes...

Robert Wilson said...

I have to be honest, it never made sense to me. "Lets hurt a political philosophy we don't like by denying the people that live there goods and money. Yes, that will show that evil corrupt govt!"

One would think that the best thing to do to bring about change is to pump money into the hands of the people, so they want more of what Democracy offers. It worked for China.