Cuba Diaries

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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.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

12 comments on “Cuba Diaries

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  2. Portia Charlton says:

    It is a good thing when you travel and can share a good experience with someone, keep having fun.
    My heart goes out to Mr. Fidel Castro and I wish him a healty long life. He has done many good things for people around the world.
    I am currently looking for a Cuban doctor. Can you send me some information on how to contact one or a list of them, thank you.

    Reply

  3. Rick B says:

    Hey, Steve
    First, thanks for the computer tweak that allows the comments window to open up to full size with a single mouse click.
    Second, You promised: “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.” I am really looking forward to those comments, especially the part on shipping doctors rather than soldiers.
    Please don’t forget.
    Thanks.
    Richard Brewer

    Reply

  4. Carroll says:

    karenk
    Thanks for the tip….I will do that if I ever have to have one again. And it was white stuff..with a BIG needle…ouch! But worth it, it knocked it out in no time.

    Reply

  5. bakho says:

    The Cuban Embargo: 45 years of policy failure.
    It is obvious that the embargo is not doing what it is supposed to do. How many centuries until we move on to Plan B?

    Reply

  6. karenk says:

    And Carroll, if you ever have to get that shot again, lie on your stomach and point your toes inward-lessens the pain.
    (sorry for going off topic, just trying to help where I can)
    -I’ve been against the US trade embargo on Cuba for a long time and would like to hear from Steve(when feeling better) about when/what will change our bad policy on this issue.

    Reply

  7. karenk says:

    Lots of fluids and rest Steve. Maybe a chest x ray to make sure its not pneumonia(depends on if you have a fever or not)–a bad viral upper respiratory flu like infection is going around. There’s also a GI version-probably better to have a cough than the other.
    Carroll if that shot was white it was most likely penicillin-yes a painful one indeed-like injecting 3cc of mayonnaise into someone-always hated giving those cause you KNEW it was gonna hurt, but I guess ya gotta be cruel to be kind!
    (I’m not so great on the politics and policy but this I know)

    Reply

  8. Robert says:

    Rick Steves just did a fabulous podcast on Cuba, well worth listening to. Available from Itunes
    Rob in Madrid

    Reply

  9. jf says:

    Did you have any spare time to spend in the company of Albula Vulpes?

    Reply

  10. ... says:

    thanks Steve.. looking forward to your comments.

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    As an alternative to your doctor, you might consult a Cuban doctor. If you picked it up in Cuba, they would most likely know what cures it. And I hear they’re pretty good. Get well soon!

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    Good, look forward to it, this is going to be interesting.
    BTW, I suggest you go to your doctor and ask for one of those very painful shots in the derriere to rid yourself of the cough. I don’t remember what the stuff was but your doctor should know. It worked for me when I picked up something on a plane trip that made me cough till I was too sore to move. Otherwise it will linger and linger and linger.

    Reply

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