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Friday, August 21, 2015

Sneaking into Cuba

You meet some characters in southern Florida. There's a reason it's known as a sunny place for shady people. Now that Cuban and US relations are in a thaw period things are changing. Cuba will change, of course, but so will Florida as it's right next door. There are still a lot of regulations limiting the regular tourist trade, but that will most likely change.

When it does the country better brace itself. Canadians and Europeans have always vacationed in Cuba. I'm told the beaches are fantastic -the way Florida was 50 years ago. Those who currently vacation in Cuba dread the day when Americans overrun the place.

My lovely wife and I spend a fair amount of time in the Florida Keys. We've seen Canadian flagged boats as they make their way north from Cuba. Then there was an American we met in Bahia Honda. The guy took his trawler to Cuba on a regular basis. He knows full well that it's illegal, but he wasn't going to let government politics keep him from where he wanted to go. In fact, he once was caught and threatened with treason charges for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. In the end he paid a $3500 fine. It wasn't enough of a deterrent to keep him from slipping away in the dark to go to Cuba again.

There's a nice little Cuban place in Marathon in the Keys that makes the best Cuban sandwiches. Right next to the restaurant is a tiny hand crafted boat. 6 young men crossed over from Cuba on that little boat. Communism is no fun at all. During our visit there were three Cubans who attempted the crossing on kite boards. One made it. The other two were in bad shape but rescued at sea. US policy lets the one who landed in the US stay. The other two were deported back to Cuba.

There are many Americans waiting to invade Cuba. Sure plenty of tourists want to visit. However, the same sort of people who did shady land deals and questional developments in Florida want to do the same in Cuba. If they aren't careful it'll be like the wild west down there.

I'm surprised the Cuban Communists are not resisting the lifting of embargos and the normalization of relationships. On an equal playing field Capitalism eats Communism. Sure Capitalism is exploitative and shallow, but Communism lacks cheap thrills and nifty toys. Then there's the whole blatant suppression of human rights thing. Who wants to put up with that? I hope Cuba opens up so us regular people can visit without pretending to be Canadians However, I've got hope that the Cuban people can retain their unique character -instead of Cuba becoming Disneyworld South.



  1. "Capitalism is exploitative and shallow, but Communism lacks cheap thrills and nifty toys"

    Absolute gold Mr Bearsinthewoods. I salute thee.