It was a cringingly awkward moment. After their press conference, Cuban President Raul Castro clumsily grabbed Obama’s arm and attempted to lift it into the classic raised fist of revolutionary struggle. Embedded in the viral image is the difference between what each leader needed to get and convey from the historic visit.
With few concrete human rights improvements since he announced his embargo changes over a year ago, President Obama’s decision to travel to Cuba could be a surrender of U.S. principles or a master stroke of democratic diplomacy. It all depends how he plays it.
The reason why some want to “visit Cuba before it’s ruined,” is because they expect that the “charm” of crumbling facades, cheap rum and cigars, old American cars and low prices won’t survive a transition toward a more open economic system. Some fear that as Cuba attracts foreign investment and continues reforming its economy, development and economic growth will fundamentally change what makes Cuba alluring.
Si Cuba efectivamente fuera un país en el cual sus habitantes gozaran de beneficios sociales y buena calidad de vida, como muchos lo afirman, incluyendo el gobierno Cubano y muchos gobiernos en la region, ¿cuál sería entonces la razón por la cual sus ciudadanos desean emigrar?
Cuba is experiencing a wave of U.S. “unofficial” tourism. Even as the hidebound communist regimes claims it isn’t looking for U.S. investment, the contact with tourists and U.S. communications are changing Cuba from the bottom up.