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Opening Cuba - Keep Calm and have a Cigar

Updated on January 9, 2015
I am neither a commie or a fascist; liberal or conservative, tea-bagger or tree-hugger.  Please don't index card classify me as anything.  I put Che up here with a Cuban cigar for pure shock value, just to see what you would say.
I am neither a commie or a fascist; liberal or conservative, tea-bagger or tree-hugger. Please don't index card classify me as anything. I put Che up here with a Cuban cigar for pure shock value, just to see what you would say. | Source

Words of Wisdom from Unexpected Places

My oldest son and I are alike in a lot of ways. He inherited too many of my genes for his own good, both on the positive and the negative end of the chromosome spectrum. On the negative side of he DNA strand we are both incurable slobs and rather "indifferent," shall I say, about our personal appearance. On the positive side we both share a fascination for philosophy, history, and literature. Yes, we argue quite a bit about ideas and philosophy, but our arguments are mostly about petty semantic details, not about fundamental beliefs. All in all we think quite a lot alike even though we pretend not to, because when you get right down to it it's kind of embarrassing for a 21 year old to agree with his 50 year old Father.

About a year ago my son lent me a book called "The Illuminatus Trilogy" which he enjoyed quite a bit. It took me a long time to get around to reading the novel, but when I was finally able to unchain myself from my smart phone master and started reading it on my lunch break I found the story to be strange, at times hard to follow because it jumps around in time and perspective worse than a Tarentino movie, but ultimately fascinating and fulfilling because of the ideas it proposes.

What does this have to Cuba, you are wondering? Superficially nothing, I suppose, but the next to last appendix to the novel, which I read on the next to last day of 2014, deals entirely with dogma and its negative effect on human behavior. The subject of dogma is pertinent to the subject of Cuba because dogma has pretty much governed our relationship with the island nation over the course of the last 50 years. Here is what the Illuminatus Trilogy authors Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson so eloquently say on the subject.

"Every ideology is a mental murder, a reduction of dynamic living processes to static classifications, and every classification is a Damnation, just as every inclusion is an exclusion. In a busy, buzzing universe where no two snowflakes are identical, and no two trees are identical, and no two people are identical - and, indeed, the smallest sub-atomic particle, we are assured, is not even identical with itself from one microsecond to the next - every card-index system is a self-delusion."

The Illuminatus Trilogy

Dell Trade Paperback Edition - Page 791

The human race has been fighting wars over card-index systems for untold millennium, and we've been dickering over dogma with Cuba for the last 50 years. Isn't it time to chill out, make friends, sit down and have a cigar?


Weird, Disturbing, but ultimately Enlightening

For 50 years we have been missing out on some premium smokes.  Isn't it time to end the foolishness?
For 50 years we have been missing out on some premium smokes. Isn't it time to end the foolishness? | Source

The Smoking Gun Issue and the Reaction

On December 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the United States would begin a process to normalize relations with Cuba. This announcement was the outcome of secret meetings in Canada that were mediated by Pope Francis, an action which I am sure will get the anti-Vatican conspiracy theorists in an uproar, if it hasn't already. The normalization process will not mean the complete lifting of the US economic embargo that has been in effect against Cuba since 1960, but it will ease certain travel restrictions, facilitate financial transactions, and establish a US embassy in Havana. For you cigar aficionados out there the most interesting component of normalization is that Americans will be able to import up to $100 worth of Cuban cigars, which was probably the proposal's deciding selling point. One thing that politicians on the right and left wings of the political spectrum can agree upon is that a good Cuban cigar is second to none.

A strong reaction to the proposed thawing of diplomatic relations with Cuba by anti-Castro zealots in Congress was expected and immediate. The normalization process was said by the proposition's opponents to consist of "mindless concessions," which some even labeled as "appeasement." Criticism came from both parties. The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee said it would result in "...the hardening of the government's dictatorial hold on it's people" in Cuba. Senator Marco Rubio , perhaps the most prominent and vocal Cuban America to denounce the plan, called it "just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by President Obama to appease rogue regimes at all cost." Rubio cried out that the Cuban government has "...harassed, imprisoned and even killed its own people."

Using Marco Rubio's own criteria,therefore, let's take a look at pre-Castro Cuba, to see if human rights abuses in the from of the "harassment, imprisonment and killing" that the Florida Senator denounces really took a turn for the worse after Batista was deposed in 1959 and Fidel Castro came into power.

He may not have been fond of the thick stogies enjoyed by his successors, but Generalissimo Batista liked to stop and take a smoke too.
He may not have been fond of the thick stogies enjoyed by his successors, but Generalissimo Batista liked to stop and take a smoke too. | Source

Remember Batista? Fulgencio Who?

Despite unrelenting economic and political pressure from the US government, Castro has been in power so long now that even an old guy like me can't claim to remember the Batista years, which in Marco Rubio's point of view was a glorious golden age of enlightened democracy in Cuba. Perhaps democracy lovers look back to the days of Fulgencio Batista so fondly because he was relegated to the scrap heap of tired old tyrants so long ago that the memory of what happened in Cuba before Fidel took charge has conveniently faded. Despite Rubio's short, selective memory, human rights abuses in Cuba are not anything new and unprecedented.

The reign of Colonel Fulgencio Batista was less a government and more a criminal syndicate. Beginning in 1946 the American Mafia built an empire of casinos in Havana that Batista was a full partner in. Every night Batista's "bagman" went from club to club to collect the 10% tribute money that was his part of the take. During this era Havana became known known as the "Latin Las Vegas," not just because of its proliferation of casinos, but because the same mobsters ran the show in both places.

To reinforce his reign over the nightclub economy windfall, Batista employed heavy-handed repressive tactics that were equally as brutal as those used to keep the Castros in power for 50 odd years. Batista's secret police employed torture and public executions to quiet dissidents, and it is estimated that up to 20,000 people were killed by the Batista gang of thugs. Furthermore, these atrocities were carried out using financial, military and logistical support provided by the United States of America. Americans gave Batista our complete blessing, and then some.



There is always equal time for conservatives on these pages.  Here is Winston Churchill puffing away on one of the famous Cuban Romeo y Julieta cigars he favored.
There is always equal time for conservatives on these pages. Here is Winston Churchill puffing away on one of the famous Cuban Romeo y Julieta cigars he favored. | Source

Has the embargo worked? The Castros just keep puffing along

Widespread dissatisfaction with Batista and subsequent revolution brought the current communist regime of Fidel Castro into power. The United States embargo on Cuba began two years after this, on October 19, 1960. The economic embargo currently includes all exports except for food and medicine.

The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that the embargo costs the United States 1.2 billion dollars annually in lost exports, while the Cuban government estimates the island nation suffers to the tune 685 million per year.

The embargo has received mixed reviews. Outside of the United States most opinions on the subject are negative. No US ally other than israel supports the embargo's continuation or believes in its ultimate effectiveness. The economic stranglehold has done nothing to threaten the Castro regime's hold on power, and while Fidel, Raul, and their gang of pro-Castro cronies continue to live in health and comfort, the ordinary Cuban citizen suffers heavily under the embargo's burden. It has been linked to shortages of medical supplies and soap that have resulted in medical crises and increased levels of infectious diseases.

A further detrimental effect of the embargo is the negative attitude it has fostered in the minds of citizens of other countries, which is demonstrated in the quote below:

"The embargo is the perfect example used by anti-Americans everywhere to expose the hypocrisy of a superpower that punishes a small island while cozying to dictators elsewhere."

Moisés Naím, Newsweek

The hookah is the smoke of choice among some of our most staunch allies, where oil apparently buys you more friends than cigars.
The hookah is the smoke of choice among some of our most staunch allies, where oil apparently buys you more friends than cigars. | Source

Oil trumps Cigars - Human rights abuses by US allies

So who are these dictators we are cozying to? If the sins of one Castro & Company have been punished to the point of embargo, why were the equally onerous sins of Batista so completely overlooked? Furthermore, since the United States is friends with plenty of governments across the globe that get a little rough with the citizenry from time to time, can somebody explain why that which is perfectly fine for one set of dictators is grounds for sanctions and embargoes with others?

As an example, here is a partial list of nations the United States is now quite cozy and comfortable with, along with a brief summary of human rights abuses that they have committed.

  • Uzbekistan - dissidents are ordered to be shot on sight or boiled alive. But because Uzbekistan provides an alternative supply base to often fickle Pakistan, the US continues to support the brutal government of Islam Karimov.
  • Cambodia - political opponents to Prime Minister Hun Sen are routinely killed, but no human rights conditions are placed by the United States on the continuation of military ties or aid.
  • Mexico - President Enrique Pena Nieto looked the other way after 43 student protesters in Iguala, Guerrero, were sadistically and callously handed over to drug gangs to be murdered. Pena Nieto has recently been accused of corruption over his 7 million dollar private residence, which was allegedly paid for by a company that was awarded 3.7 billion in private contracts when Pena Nieto was the governor of the state of Mexico. No news on when the US intends to break off relations with Mexico or to impose Cuban style embargoes upon our southern neighbor over rampant corruption and flagrant violations of human rights.
  • Bahrain - The ruling Al Khalifa family uses lethal force, torture, and arbitrary detention to crush "Arab Spring" style protests. The presence of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet base in this small Arab nation guarantees a policy of "business as usual" between the United States and this repressive regime.
  • Saudi Arabia - The Saudi monarchy holds thousands of dissidents in detention and treats women as second class citizens, imposing severe, medieval-style restrictions upon their freedom. Since the oil must keep pumping, the United States remains mute on these issues. Perhaps if Cuba had oil as well as good cigars, the embargo would have been lifted decades ago.

With Fidel fretting away in Havana with a cigar in his trembling hand, his arch enemy JFK hides himself in a cloud of cigar smoke; one finger on the nuclear button and the other on the hotline to Nikita in Moscow.
With Fidel fretting away in Havana with a cigar in his trembling hand, his arch enemy JFK hides himself in a cloud of cigar smoke; one finger on the nuclear button and the other on the hotline to Nikita in Moscow. | Source

Is Marco Rubio Right or Just Blowing Smoke?

Even though Marco Rubio's memory doesn't go back any farther than fifty years, and he never proposes embargoes against the equally oppressive Saudis and Uzbeks, he still loudly and boldly denounces the normalization plan as if he is the sole voice of Florida's Cuban community. Polls show, however, that Rubio's opinion is not necessarily representative of his constituency. A survey conducted by HuffPollster revealed that 56% percent of Americans express support for opening up relations with Cuba, while 64% of Floridians favor it. Even Hispanic Americans in Florida, who are overwhelmingly Cuban in heritage, approved of normalizing relations with Cuba by the same 64% margin. Although Marco Rubio would have you believe otherwise, the Cuban community is by no wise monolithic in its assessment of opening relations with the current Havana government, and Rubio's personal long-standing grudge is, in fact, a minority viewpoint. Most Cuban Floridians welcome the opportunity to travel back to the homeland of their fathers and mothers and embrace relatives and friends that an insurmountable wall of dogmatic ideology has separated them from for decades.

Source

Conclusion - Tear down the Tobacco Curtain!

With all the stereotypical references I have made to Cuban cigars here, you are probably thinking that I am writing this article with a stogie firmly planted between my teeth. Perhaps you assume I am only interested in Cuban politics because I am anxiously awaiting my own shipment of Cohibas or Romeo y Julietas to be shipped in from Havana any day now. The truth is that I am not a smoker at all and never have been. I have decided that the only occasions upon which I will smoke a cigar are when I see my name on the cover of a printed book someday, or when my first grandchild is born. When either of these events happen I would prefer that the cigar be Cuban because I would like to think I am smoking the best, even though I wouldn't really know the difference. You could hand me a $1 Swisher Sweet, tell me it was the finest Cuban tobacco, and I would probably believe you.

Anyway, it's time to ease up folks. Is any mind-murdering ideology worth keeping people in perpetual poverty and blocking the flow of goods that a decimated Cuban economy desperately wants to sell; including but certainly not limited to cigars, and we certainly want to buy? Why don't we sit down, have a smoke and talk about it, and maybe we will discover that we can all be friends after all.

Look at the fun we're missing

Light up the polls!

Is the continuation of the economic embargo against Cuba desirable?

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    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 2 years ago from World Citizen

      Interesting read. Voted up. I have always failed to understand though on what mandate does the US carry out international policing. Furthering commercial interest is one thing, but that can be done peacefully as well. China is going about doing that, carefully.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed this hub immensely Mel. I have been puzzled for many years why the US still has embargos in place against Cuba. I know that there was speculation that JFK was assassinated after a failed attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro or something to that effect, but I can't recall hearing of any significant human rights abuses other than the people lacking some essential services mainly as a result of sanction. The examples you give of other countries who have worse human rights records that the US ignores and offers support to iss a good one. What about Israel as well? The travesty in Gaza is a prime example of turning a blind eye. Maybe the USA is just uncomfortable having a communist country in such close proximity. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      As always, a super job of fact finding and reporting. I find it interesting how the US can turn a blind eye to the human rights violations of other nations but have held the hard line with Cuba. It is almost as if a tiny but necessary piece of the puzzle is missing.

      I sometimes wonder what would happen if China suddenly refused to ship goods to the USA. The shelves of every Walmart store would be bare.

      I'm not sure that this change will make it better for the citizens of Cuba, but don't see that it could hurt anything. I might even try one of their famous cigars.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you for reading Dip Mtra. Policing the world is big business, and there are businessmen so completely avaricious that they want to create enemies where none exist no matter what it costs the American taxpayer.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Make no mistake that the Castros have been plenty bad Jodah, but if we embargoed everyone that was guilty of human rights violations we wouldn't do business with anyone, including ourselves. You are right about the fear of having a Communist country right off our shores, but Cuba aligned itself with the Soviet Union as a result of our failed Bay of Pigs invasion. And are we really afraid Cuba is going to invade us? I could go on forever. Thanks for reading!

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      That is an excellent point about China Old Poolman. It is a mystery how they have our, and Wal Mart's, complete seal of approval even after atrocities such as Tianamen square. Don't think I spelled that right but I'm sure you get the point. A piece of the puzzle is definitely missing. Thanks for reading!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Really, Mel, on the grand scale of things in this world, this is just a pimple on the butt and hardly worth concerning ourselves over. We've got bigger problems in this world than Cuba. If we are hurting anyone with the embargo it's the people who really have done nothing to us....it's time to put this one aside and move on to much bigger issues.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I don't pay much attention to such issues, however, you have created a very interesting insight to the problem. I don't like Communism!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I hate to admit this but half of the wars we have with other Countries I know nothing about except we are going to war for this or that. I guess in this sense I'm " such a girl " I wish we could all just chill-out and have a cigar. Life is too short.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Well done, Mel. You have presented the history and thinking on this issue that everyone needs to know. I agree it is well passed time to drop the embargo. No only was it not working, it was counterproductive. Castro could blame everything on the embargo. I wish Obama could be president forever. He bides his time, and when the time is right, he does what is right. voted up and shared

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for this thought provoking analysis, Mel. You've raised some great points in your article. I think it's time to drop the embargo and help the Cuban people in whatever way we can.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Yes Bill Cuba should have been a pimple on the butt, but it turned into a painful festering hemorrhoid that almost started WW III. The rank and file Cuban has done absolutely nothing to us, it's true, and even if Fidel has done some saber rattling in the past he does not post a significant threat. The Cubans as a whole are the ones that suffer. Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I don't like Communists either, DDE, but the US has diplomatic relations with a lot of Communist countries, so why not Cuba? Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Dana Tate if everyone shared your philosophy of life I think the world would be a happier place. Thanks for reading!

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Catherine Giordano. I just hope the next President, whoever that might be, doesn't undo what Obama has done here. Jimmy Carter eased up on Cuba during his administration and then when Reagan came into office he reinstated the embargo again. Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      AliciaC I think that if we ease up on the restrictions of the embargo it will do a lot more to gain the goodwill of the Cuban people than 50 years of fighting them and strangling their economy has done. Thanks for reading!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Mel, this is a fantastic article! Set aside the fact that I agree with you for a second. This is just damn good writing! As I was reading it I thought, "why the heck am I not reading this in a national magazine?!" Seriously, your talent is wasted here. You are too good not to be making money (real, actual paper money that is) on pieces like this.

      Not only am I going to share this (and of course I voted up, etc.) but I will now carry my laptop to my husband so that he can read this.

      Excellent writing. Excellent arguments.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      My husband enjoyed your article and then read this news article about the release of 36+ activists by the Cuban government.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-307551...

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Iris Draak your words are very encouraging and uplifting. I have been trying to break into magazine writing, and I did have an article accepted by Counterpunch Magazine recently. Outside of that it is not easy, but I intend to keep trying. By the way, Hub Pages does not agree with you. They just lowered my score to 89, and sent me a warning message saying that this hub "appears to be about tobacco" which is against the guidelines. Anyhow, thanks for the nice words and I will certainly read the article. Thanks to your husband too.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Obama is making some bold moves in his "lame duck years." I don't know much about this issue but appreciate learning more from your background writing here. Well done how you laid out your argument. I'm not a smoker though.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you FlourishAnyway. I'm not a smoker either, I just thought it would be fun to use cigars as a motif in this hub, since Cuba is famous for them. Unfortunately hub pages did not get the joke, and they fired me a warning shot saying that this hub appears to be about smoking, which is against the rules! This is what happens when machines read content instead of human beings, which is why we are not quite ready for the "singularity" just yet. Thank you for your great comment.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This article is spot on and worthy of further publication. I liked the cigar bent to the article and thought it added flavor. Your position here will stand the test of time and those on the Rubio side of this issue are off base and dogma corrupt.

      (really: a warning on this hub???? -- the "editors" here try my patience)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Eric for your nice words. I was surprised at the warning myself and I certainly hope it was computer generated, because I would hate to think the site's editors are completely lacking an imagination like that. Thanks for reading!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      What warning? I don't see one. I definitely want to see that.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Iris Draak only I could see the warning as the hub author. It basically said that the hub appeared to be about tobacco, which is against the rules. Clearly the hub was not about tobacco, I was only using tobacco as a motif. But I guess the hub-crawling robots they have in place are not too subtle in their thinking, they only look for key words. At any rate the hub is still published and featured and has ads on it so I guess the hub authorities are okay with it.

    • littlething profile image

      Jackie S 2 years ago

      Great hub! Very informational, and some wonderful writing! Myself, I've always wondered why we didn't go after some of the other countries you mentioned for much worse human rights violations. I don't think the embargoes were doing much against the Cuban cigar anyway. With some luck, however, this will help to improve the economies of both countries, even just a little.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Good, good. I thought you meant because if its political content. Whew. Yep, we still need humans to wade through the subtleties of thought and metaphor.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you littlething for reading. I think this could help both economies tremendously. Imagine Cuba as a tourist destination for the US. Thanks for reading!

    • DWDavisRSL profile image

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      We need to overwhelm the Castro Regime by flooding the island with Coca-Cola, Lays Chips, and As Seen On TV products. When they are knee deep in junk food and Ronco products, they will change their ways.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Absolutely right. The proletariat gets greedy...and hungry. Thanks for reading.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E. Franklin 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      In all the negative reactions by politicians, what I have yet to see is some reasoned argument why a policy that in 50 years has failed to achieve anything still has a chance to be successful and should stay in place. You'd think if there was such an argument, it would be widely articulated. That tells me that the opposition to easing the embargo is more dogma than reason.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I think RonElFran that I will quote fellow hubber Old Poolman, who said there is a missing piece to the puzzle. Even the dogma doesn't make sense. How monolithic and powerful a voting block are the Cuban Americans? I am not even a cospiracy theorist, but since the killing of the Kennedies and its Cuban connection someone is hiding something we need to know. Thanks for reading.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I would be interested to see what our government's rebuttal to this might be. Perhaps they don't have enough cigars to go around to make the 'elite' happy around here. But they will always want more on Capitol Hill, won't they? I vote you up on this due to the simple fact that every statement made here is true.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I would like to know the government's rebuttal too, Deb. It seems strange that they have continued to pick on this harmless little island nation while continuing to do business with most of the other communist countries, including Vietnam and China. Thanks for reading.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      I have thought for a long time that our policies towards Cuba were outdated and belong to another era. I don't think they serve us now and seems a tad hypocritical considering other nations that we gladly do business with. An enjoyable, thought provoking article!

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Mel, I absolutely agree, and even though I don't like the Castros or Che Guevara, whom I pictured here, you just can't stay at war forever on purely ideological grounds. Thanks for reading!

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      An interesting hub - and I love the opening. As an Australian, I know riduculously little about American-Cuban relations, so thanks for enlightening me. The quotw on ideology is totally on the mark. Voted up.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Anne Harrison. There would seem to be very little one would have to know about Cuban-American relations, it's such a tiny, poor country, and yet our policy towatds Cuba makes it seem like the Cuban Marines will be storming the beaches of Miami any day. Thanks for reading!

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 2 years ago from USA

      I have a vision of you relaxing on a beach in Cuba, sitting under a cabana, reading a stack of books. Cigars optional!

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      That sounds like an ideal vacation! So glad so many of my Bubblews boat people refugee friends are becoming active here again. Thanks for reading!

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Unique article.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Maren Morgan. I appreciate you dropping in.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful hub! I know things got awfully scary between us and Cuba for a bit, but I can't agree more. Time for peace. Folks with worse track records have made it work. Why can't we?

      I am optimistic we are heading in the right direction of late.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Larry. This hub got me in trouble a little bit, especially that picture of Che Guevara up there. There is still a lot of bad blood out there that is an obstacle to peace with Cuba, but at least we are working on it now. Thanks for reading!

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