What a tangled relationship Americans have with Cuba! Lefties cling to the socialist dream, tempted by its forbidden values and glamorous heroes, while the media frames stories within “the communist nation” rubric. Romantics of the lefty persuasion cherish charismatic images of Che Guevara and pass on their faded Che t-shirts to their grandchildren while hedonists want to travel to Cuba for its mojitos, rum, cigars and the Buena Vista Social Club. Americans feel curiously possessive about the Cuba that’s “so near and yet so far,” believing that it is they who the Cubans have been waiting for, that it is the Yanquis who will deliver the exotically suffering Cubans into the commerce, capitalism and, yes, freedom, they so richly deserve.
But caution! Everyone’s already there. While America was busy fretting over the nuances of embargo, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the UK were busy forging agreements to “do business in the Republic of Cuba” according to a document from the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council in New York. Currently, an estimated 4,500 non-US companies from more than 100 countries are, were or will be involved in import, export or investment activities with Cuba. So be prepared, amigos, Cubans are really not counting time until the American invasion!