So I'm sitting here and the hourly CNN "Emergency! It's an Update! Drop Everything!" pups up on my screen. This, by the way, popped up a good two hours before the pop up about the last American convoy leaving Iraq. I'm not sure if that speaks more of their priorites (legal Cuban cigars) or their rather plodding news coverage which plods because they won't put up anything until they've actually verified it as being true, unlike other news outlets (koffkoffFoxNewskoffkoff).
Obama is going to loosen travel restrictions to Cuba. Oh goody, I thought. Just want I want to do. Go to Cuba. Can't wait, you betch'a.
Then I thought, well, hey, there MUST be something to do in Cuba besides look for Elian Gonzalez who, I imagine, is probably making a tidy living charging people to have their picture taken with him. I mean, what else is there to DO in Cuba? And, lest we get into this, now that the years have gone by I actually think Clinton and Janet Reno were right in sending Gonzalez back, I've rather mellowed with age. I still, however, do not think it was necessary to sent the Green Berets or the Navy Seals or the World Wrestling Federation or whoever it was in with loaded weapons to drag a six year old out of a closet. He'd have come out soon enough. And the only thing that was accomplished was the world's greatest accidental Taco Bell ad...a whole lot of servicemen with bayonets drawn terrifying a small boy and in a word balloon: "Drop the Chalupa!"
It probably cost Al Gore the 2000 election too, because maybe if all those pissed off Cubans in Miami-Dade had voted for Gore it would have made up for the votes accidentally cast for Pat Robertson, the votes cast for Gore by the poor and elderly who didn't push the little punch thingy hard enough and the 20,000 voters illegally disenfranchised by Kathleen Harris because they were black and likely to vote Democratic. And then we wouldn't have been subjected to 8 years of that addlepated twit, who freaking shot his friend in the face because he couldn't tell the difference between a flying duck and a lawyer, and his sock puppet, the Connecticut born drugstore cowboy of a President. No, that's not fair. That's an insult to drugstore cowboys everywhere, and I apologize.
And, while I'm here, can you imagine what would have happened if CLINTON had shot a lawyer? I mean, come ON. Cheney (or his distant cousin because, frankly, I think Cheney died years ago. I read The President's Plane is Missing, and I saw "Dave", I know how this crap works) shoots someone and apologizes. Clinton manages, in one fell swoop, to get half the country to stop smoking cigars, thus improving the lives of not only the smokers but those who have to smell those things and he gets impeached. Let's face it, the only thing Clinton was guilty of was bad taste, if he'd been caught with Scarlett Johansson no one would have thought much of it. And all of this because of Elian Gonzalez.
Okay, so back to Cuba. Cuba in 1956? Oh HELL yes. Nightclubs, casinos, people dancing the rumba in the streets of Havana and Desi Arnaz headlining? In a heartbeat. Well, probably not from California, Vegas is cheaper but you get my drift here, I think. Sure, it was corrupt as all get out. But it was fun and they made a TON of money. Cuba today? Uh, yeah, not so much. I googled "What to see in Havana". There are about a dozen churches, a cemetery, a furniture museum, a couple of monuments to Jose Marti and Lenin Park. Lenin Park! I don't think they have one of those in Moscow anymore. And, with the exception of Lenin Park, I can find most of the same stuff in downtown Los Angeles and I won't need a passport. Six bucks for a bus pass and I'm good to go.
I sailed past Cuba once, on one of those really nice cruise ships. It was in the 70s and the cold war had yet to start thawing. There we all were, lined up on the port side, looking at the big island off in the distance, knowing it was Cuba. It was the closest any of us had even been to a real, live Communist. Ooooo, scary stuff. I saw Cuba! Closed up tight as a drum, probably building some atomic weapon which would be aimed at the Fontainebleau, Cuba. How cool was THAT?
Now, who knows? I think Castro may be dead too. But, unlike Cheney, they didn't get a look alike, they're just propping him up and moving his hand in a half wave by means of fishing line. Periodically something pops up on video, Castro making some rambling speech but then, so does Bin Laden so that doesn't prove anything.
No, I think Havana is more like "Week-end at Bernie's" right now. Without the luxury condos. And the money. And the private docks. Okay, it's probably not THAT much like "Week-end at Bernie's."
Except for the dead guy.