Wednesday, December 17, 2014

¡Viva Cuba!

Last night, my little play on The Old Man and the Sea turned out to be so prescient! I had no idea the President would announce the first steps to normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba today. It's long overdue. Our little Western Hemisphere containment theory hasn't worked all that well, so let's open it up and let in the bright sun.

Cuba still has to reform and become democratic. That works best with international trade. My Brazilians friends, many of them conservatives, may challenge me on this but Presidente Dilma was pretty smart to get Brazil well situated with a new international port established in Cuba. It would be good for the US to get in on some of that economic action and anything at all is bound to help Cuba modernize and democratize (although I'm not sure free-market, capitalist swine have done so well with that in Russia. Just sayin'.)

Cuba and Me
There was also my experience on a Caribbean Cruise when we came that close to Cuban shores. I had been on the upper deck early enjoying the sunrise and running my laps with no one else around. By our relative route I figured the land mass off starboard must be Cuba. Yep, we spent the whole day cruising around the southern tip heading for the Caymans. We were on Holland America with our US passports and I wouldn't have minded if we had made a port of call.

I know they were all commies and the missile thing and all. But this is the best thing to do. We used to act like we owned the place - or at least the Mafia did - and the big money used that as their offshore pot of gold until la Revolución which we sort of supported at first because Bautista was a dictator and human-rights violator even if he was sorta our guy (or at least the Mafia's).

It will turn out OK. I recall back in 1978 when everybody on the Right was so incensed about us giving back the Panama Canal. ("By dang! We stole that canal fair and square, dagnabit!") Former President Gerald Ford came to speak at BYU. He was supporting President Carter in that diplomatic deal. He knew the crowd and was a bit defensive of his position. But he got thunderous applause from about 20 of us in the Marriott Center when he mentioned it. He looked a little surprised. And time has proven that not to be the end of the world either.

So I raise a Navidad toast to our neighbors down south, 90  miles from Florida! Oh, and the Pope, too! (My toast is with Diet Coke so we can send in our missionaries along with the Coke. The Havana Temple will be real nice).

¡Salud, amigos!

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