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17 April 2009

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F

Mon Colonel:
No need for "detente" to enjoy some Partagas, Serie D (numer 4 & 5), with a glass of Havana Club (San Cristobal) ... Just cross the bridge from Virginia. ... but detente is good.

Z9 'wannabe'

Starbuck

I've long since believed that the most patriotic thing one can do is to purchase Cuban cigars and force American dollars down the throats of the Castro regime.

That may not be the most well-thought-out economic plan, but at least it makes me feel better when I go to Canada or Latin America...

doug

That's all well and good Colonel but the real question remains.

How will this affect the Florida vote? :)

BTW, I too have long believed our actions have supported Cuban dictatorship/communism by providing the excuse for their abysmal system. Ths is a change I can believe in.

Jose

Colonel, you right on the money when you wrote:

IMO the Castroite state will go down quickly when swamped by Cuban Americans, (some of the best capitalistas in the world), American money for investment and tourists everywhere. How great that would be!

This will probably hurt Miami's economy very much, but this is better for America in the long-run.

I urge you to visit, enjoy the sun, lifestyle, and Senoritas...lol

arbogast

"Our Man In Havana" easily one of the best movies ever made. Easily. Give yourself a real treat and try to see it. The cast? Try Alec Guinness, Ralph Richardson, Ernie Kovacs, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara. God, what a fantastic movie!

William R. Cumming

Only two really important questions about Cuban re-emergence into a relationship with the US! First and the most important is who will own the Havana MLB franchise? Second, how soon will Cuba go on the dollar?

Watcher

Hope we get there before the Russians and especially the Chinese.

mlaw230

What will the Bacardi family do and say? Would they be for it or against it?

Mongoose

I need some really good stogies. Reason enough to end the embargo!!! Imho, of course.

Fred

The hospital ERs in Little Havana must be filling up with heart attack patients now! I'm sure the Miami millionaires will make everyone happy in Havana. They must be drooling over the profits they'll make when they pay even less for labor than they do in Florida. The Florida vote? Far less Republican than it used to be when the 'cause' is over.

MRW.

It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to me that ultra-right Cuban activists would object to opening relations with Cuba and lifting the embargo. I mean, where is the logic in that?

Why would these activists want to punish a country and the countrymen they claim to love?

Makes no sense to me unless they are making a boatload of money off it somehow, or have lucrative careers that will go poof.

Ted

Col. Lang,

Why have you lost all taste for travel?

anna missed

Our Man in Havana - saw it many years ago on late night TV, and was riveted. Have tried to find it in video stores and their video books for decades with so little luck I thought it must have been a figment of my imagination or a fever dream.

So you've seen it as well?

arbogast

I want to emphasize Watcher's point about the Chinese.

The Chinese are in Algeria in large numbers, and I assure you they are not there for the culture or to support human rights.

On this one, Obama's capacity for "moral hazard" is on the money...so to speak.

Green Zone Cafe

Could be nice trade in five year old Toyotas to Cuba in return for fifty year old Plymouths.

confusedponderer

Years ago I met an American who boasted that America was the freest country in the world - with freedom of speech, liberty to do and go where they please - the entire litany. I asked him, if that is so, why the citizens of the Freest Country in the Worldâ„¢ (generally) are not allowed to travel to Cuba, whereas we oppressed, unfree Germans are? That gave him pause, but not for long.

Thinking of the Florida vote, if detenté with Cuba indeed causes the Cubans to go down the way of Glasnost and Perestroika that could indeed remove the "Cuba issue electorate" factor from Florida politics, to a considerable extent. Which would be for the better. Russia opening up to the West and vice versa has thoroughly discredited communism there. I believe that events in Cuba after a US opening would probably follow a similar trajectory.

While the result of a US opening might indeed be the end of Cuba as a Commie state, it is an open question whether that would again make Cuba the pliant vassal state it used to be before Castro came along. In the mind of the American Hegemonists in the US that must be a concern, but one on which they would get far less support from the Cuban exile community.

In that sense, normalising relations to Cuba would not only be a smart policy but responsible domestic politics as well. It find it disturbing when foreign policy is used primarily as a leverage in domestic politics as the Cuban issue has been. That approach is a guarantee for a dysfunctional policy. And that is exactly what we're looking at with the perpetuated embargo on Cuba.

I find it amusing that the hard liners in the US are in their stubborn persistence with which they cling to anti-communist ideology no less doctrinaire as the Kremlin's sclerotic old guard from Soviet times. Two sides of the same coin they are.

R Whitman

I have said for decades that if you ship vast quantities of Coca-Cola free to Cuba you would destroy the Communist regime in 18 months.

I still have fond memories of doing business with Cuba before the Revolution. Unfortunately I never got a chance to visit then. Maybe next New Years Eve in Havana.

steve

Whatever happens in Cuba post-Castro, I hope it is not a return to pre-Castro/Batista days, and I certainly hope, but doubt, that the US government maintains a hands-off policy towards Cuban affairs as the Cuban people move towards democracy.

Bill Wade, NH, USA

Anna Missed: "Our Man in Havana"

NetFlix has it and I highly recommend their service.

lina

Does anyone know when the Four Seasons Havana is scheduled to open?

Farmer Don

Like all the other posters to this blog, I think ending the embargo is a good thing.
But to think the Cubans will swoon over the US is a mistake Americans make about their influence.
The Cubans have had foreign tourists and visitors to their island for years. A lot of world businesses want to do more business with Cuba. They now are scared to do so because if they do, they break a US law, and if they have business in the US, can be charged and held.
The Cubans now have huge reserves of oil off their coast that will need opening up. My guess is they will not trust the Americans to do this.
Things will be better, but the Cubans will be wary.


optimax

The big news this morning is Obama shaking hands with Chavez. It's about time we we get along with our neighbors. Much better for us and them than supporting failed coups. The reactionaries are going ballistic today, I'm sure. Might even listen to Rush just to hear him whine.

Will

exposure to cuban healthcare would be salutory for US medicine

we could use some cuban doctors and nurses over here as the movie SICKO demonstrated.

listening to NPR recently, even though theoretically, commie and egalitarian, the cubanistas still have racial problems. One third African American and mulatto, only light skinned people are in the tourista industry and in leadership positions!

Paul Mulshine

SHould you go? Absolutely! I went there 15 years ago on an assignment and it was among the most enjoyable Laitin countries I have ever visited. The colonial architecture is preserved, the beaches are beautiful and the people are very friendly to Americans. And of course the landscape is mountainous and quite the opposite of Florida, which is a swamp covered with condos and shopping malls.

I can't name a single flaw - except of course that the commies tracked us down and nearly threw us in the jug.

But all in all, a tremendous experience. My co-conspirator met a Cuban girl to whom he is married to this day.

Frabjous

From sugar cane, one can economically produce sugar, and it's zymurgic derivative, C2H5OH which can be artfully crafted into delicious libations such as the aforementioned Bacardi and San Cristobal, or blended into gasoline to reduce the carbon footprint of our beloved saloons. 'Brazil' in the Caribbean, anyone (Exxon...Cargill...Domino...Bacardi...ADM...)?

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