Monday, March 3, 2008

New Voices and the Same Questions

Predictably the "change" that occurred in Cuba over the weekend (which is no change at all because raul has been said to be governing for over a year and a half) has brought the fidelista apologists and anti-embargo blame the U.S. first crowd out of the woodwork.

But something else happened. A bunch of people also spoke out against the regime that don't normally talk about Cuba. The cartoons I posted below are a testament to the latent sentiments about castro that are out there among everyday Americans.

-Henry Gomez from "Am I Wrong" at Babalublog

No, Henry, you're right. Some of the voices emerging in media reports are those of Americans who spent an appreciable amount of time on the island in the preCastro era, cuando Cuba reia, so to speak. Last week I wrote about one woman's memories and impressions of Cuba, having lived there more than a decade. Then yesterday, I came across this one by Bill Gallo of the Daily News. He originally went to Cuba on his honeymoon. His stories of Cuba involving the stories of Jackie Robinson, Ernest Hemingway and others, are pretty interesting. But after the walk down memory lane, he turns to the present where he has a list of suggestions to raul. I have to reprint the whole thing because I got a kick out of some of them, Cuba in need of a paint job, and because of the last one:

I, along with many Cubans living in Florida, are starting to wonder what, if anything, is going to happen to Cuba now that Fidel has gone to milk the cows.

If I could get to see Raul Castro, Fidel's brother, the man who is supposed to run the country, I would sit him down and say this to him:

Raul, take a good look at Cuba and see how it's in dire need of a paint job. Give it back its beauty.

Tear down that veiled anti-American wall which has existed since 1958.

Let Sloppy Joe's reopen.

Polish the tables and chairs of places such as San Suisi and the Tropicana nightclubs.

Open the doors to Major League Baseball again.

Build gyms with all the necessary equipment so boxing can thrive and perhaps discover a hidden talent who can become a champion.

Give us back the Cuba with all its health, happiness and natural beauty. Give it back to us and the world. Give it a shine, Raul, and you can once again be proud of this land that can offer so much to a free people.

Read the whole column here.

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