Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Friendly US/Cuba Relations

Any animosity between Cuban people and the United States lie solely with the two governments, not the ordinary, everyday people; at least not with Cubans.

When I visited Cuba, I never noticed any animosity from Cuban people when they realized I'm American. I remember people practicing their English with me, or simply shaking my hand saying, “nice to meet you!” In the worse case scenario, some would try to hustle me and get me to spend my money on them, considering their abysmal economy in relation to ours. This ridiculous trade embargo against Cuba only makes matters worse; not for the Castro government, but for every day people, including children who have no beef with the U.S.
Any animosity between Cuban people and the United States lies solely with the two governments.. Cubans love it when American visitors come to get to know their country, spend their money, and bring their t-shirts, CDs, and other American-style items they no longer need to give away. I was sorry that I didn’t bring more things to give away. A professional dancer gave me a free private salsa lesson because I gave him a jazz CD. The seven-year old child of a woman I developed a rapport with, high-fived me as though I gave him a $20 bill when I gave him a package of pencils, pens, and writing paper.
Almost everyone in this Spanish-speaking city of Havana wore English-speaking t-shirts like it’s a fad. I remember meeting a woman on the malecón (the waterfront) wearing a New York Knicks jersey, and I shouted to her in Spanish, HEY, THAT'S MY TEAM :-) She looked at me bewildered as it turned out that she did not know what she was wearing. I just hope that when this political riff-raff is over between the US and Cuban governments, that Cuban people do not become too Americanized. The island has much to offer in terms of culture, which attracts people, like me, from all over the world.


  1. I'm not so sure if it's even the American government, at least in the case of President Barack Obama. He has consistently spoken of his desire of easing travel restrictions for every-day Americans visiting Havana.

    The REAL obstruction is getting past the powerful Cuban exile community in Florida, as well as their representatives Senators Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Marcos Rubio (who is a possible choice for vice president with Mitt Romney), and Lincoln Diaz Balart, Republicans all and virulently opposed to any lifting of the embargo. For any politician to court and win the Cuban vote in Florida, one must "tow the line" and not DARE to even think about having touristic or economic relations with Cuba in any way that would introduce a flow of American dollars into the island. It's no secret: U.S.-Cuban relations are held hostage by exiles in Florida---and their "official mouthpieces" in Washington, D.C. God forbid if Romney wins the presidency---with Marcos Rubio as his VP. We will reenter the Cold War Years!

    1. Your point is well taken, John, especially when you said, “it's no secret: U.S.-Cuban relations are held hostage by exiles in Florida.”


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