Cuba, Si!

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Forty-three of us came back from Cuba with impressions about their society, their economy and their way of life. Before we left, Rabbi Scolnic wrote “Think about the relationship between the United States and Cuba, and how it is changing at this very minute. Think about how we are going to Cuba at a fascinating moment in history. But then consider what the effects of the past policies of our government have been. To ask a hard question: If the U.S. has strong alliances with Arab dictators and monarchs, is it inconsistent that the U.S. has sought to isolate Cuba? I’m asking a question, not offering an opinion, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about.”

This morning NPR had the story Real Estate, Auto Markets Drive Reform in Cuba. Remember, we heard of Americans illegially investing in those properties and the cars.

Tomorrow, “Havana’s José Martí Plaza de la Revolución, the scene of many historical demonstrations of unity by the Cuban people, was ready at the close of this edition for the grand military and popular parade of April 16, when Cuba will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist nature of the Revolution and the victory at the Bay of Pigs, where the mercenary invasion supported by the government of the United States was defeated in less than 72 hours.” (Granma)

Remember, you were there three weeks ago and may have wondered about the fresh paving and markings. There is great expectation that new economic changes will be revealed.

I suggest that we do not simply file our memories of these peoples, but keep abreast with some of the news from their point of view by reading Granma in English or, if you are able, in the original Spanish version that is more comprehensive. As a great admirer of Jimmy Carter (sarcasm) at least he was right during the time of his TV interview, allegedly having Cuban airspace closed while we were vegetating at the Havana airport, it is time to lift the 51-year old embargo. Read Carter’s Trip Report on his visit.

George Alexander

April 15, 2011