A number of TWN readers have been emailing with pleas to tell them more about my Cuba travels, which were more educational and eye-opening than I had imagined they could be.
I will be doing so. The problem is that I don’t want to share some quick hit items right now.
I need to tell what I learned about Cuba’s current political climate, the impact of America’s embargo and travel ban, the lives of normal folks I met, and the business activity I saw beginning to hit a higher pitch. I have some thoughts on Hugo Chavez and Hemingway, on Martin Luther King’s followers in Havana and how America is screwing over some very good social work, and how Fidel’s master plan of forsaking military exports in favor of shipping out doctors to nations in need around the world was a stroke of genius that has outmaneuvered America’s over-militarized response to most problems.
Both former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson and I went to Cuba legally — under the license provisions that allow researchers to travel there — and even had my passport officially stamped, which I understand many do not do.
I got back into the U.S. with no problem. I actually had dinner with Ricardo Alarcon, the third most powerful political player in Cuba, on Thursday night just after he told many in the media that if Castro felt up to it, Allarcon would “nominate him” to serve as President of the National Assembly in the following year’s elections.
There is much to tell about this trip — and I will start posting tomorrow. I just need a bit more time to recover from a cough and cold from the travel stress that American Airlines subjected me to when they cancelled our flights on Friday.
— Steve Clemons