With the warming of the US-Cuba relations and the death of Fidel Castro, new conversations are emerging about the tiny island that has thumbed its nose at its larger neighbor for decades. Despite its struggling economy, Cuba has a vibrancy and charm as a Caribbean destination that has great appeal to American tourists. To those Florida-based Cuban refugees and longer standing Cuban-Americans nothing has changed. To them the charm of antique US autos, cigars and rum are nothing in the face of the repression both economic and political that has been the foundation of the Castro Regime.

We take neither side here. It seems to us the isolation for the families and the economies has run its course. The US has always struggled with tolerating political systems that aren’t democratically elected, unless it served our interest to ignore that (e.g. Iran under the Shah, Guatemala in the 1954 coup d’etat.) Cuba is a very good illustration of “how we look at the problem is often part of the problem.” To tourists it’s a warm, undiscovered destination. To the Cuban American community it is still off limits until Raul Castro (Fidel’s brother) is out of power. To the US, the current administration saw reason to open the door – Trump seems disposed to roll back détente to continue to pressure the Castro regime to fold. (Hasn’t worked for 50 years but hey – maybe it will be different under Trump.)

When you look at Cuba what do you see? Do you see the future or are you still focused on the past?