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The Wrongologist

Geopolitics, Power and Political Economy

Friday Music Break – December 19, 2014

Today, a little more about Cuba. In January, while on a US government-sanctioned trip to Cuba, Wrongo met and became friendly with an award-winning author who also teaches at a local college in Havana. He is not a member of the Cuban Communist Party. Yesterday, I sent him a congratulatory email. Here is his reply:

What a great day for the future of this country, thanks to everyone´s support. We are starting a new path and I hope the future is prominent for all who genuinely dreamt of this great opportunity. Personally I will keep up the fight to bring both countries even closer. We all deserve it.

He is representative of many of the people I met during the week in Cuba. Many struggle to put food on the table, many are entrepreneurial, holding down 2 and sometimes 3 private sector jobs. And all were optimistic about the future, despite most being cash-poor.

A diplomatic thaw is a hopeful opening for both countries. Time will tell if the governments can match the willingness of their people to create an atmosphere of peace and cooperation.

Wrongo was a freshman in college when JFK gave what some call the “scariest speech ever”. We were playing cards in a dorm room, using a bed for a table as Kennedy spoke. Everyone in that room was frightened, and subsequently, all were drafted, or volunteered for military service after graduation.

Here is a short reminiscence about the times and the reactions in Washington and the Kremlin in 1962:

To help celebrate the end of belligerence between our two countries, here is Phil Ochs with “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” from 1965. It was about Vietnam, but it works for our 55-year disagreement with Cuba as well:

Sample lyric:
Now the labor leader’s screamin’
when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it “Peace” or call it “Treason,”
Call it “Love” or call it “Reason,”
But I ain’t marchin’ any more,

Phil, we could really use your voice now. The fight isn’t over.

See you Sunday.

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  • Terry McKenna says:

    Funny about this decision. Our embargo clearly failed, and the Cuba that we embargoes posed little threat to us. Funny too, we have related histories (they were part of the triangle trade) and our cultures both had to deal with horrible pasts – from slavery to the extermination of native cultures. And, their creative class has excellent links to ours, especially in jazz. So… our behavior was to all appearances like that of a parent to a petulant teen, but the dispute had gone on way too long.

    Yet conservative count any change as terrible. It is silly.

    December 19, 2014 at 8:06 am
  • terry mckenna says:

    A few years younger (freshman in college in 1969) I loved Phil Ochs. Sad how he ended things.

    December 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

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