Friday, February 19, 2016

Me and the Prez Are Heading to Cuba!

by Pa Rock
World Traveler

President Obama announced yesterday that he will be traveling to Cuba next month, the first sitting President to do so since Silent Cal Coolidge went there in 1928, and Harry Truman stopped by the U.S. military base at Guantanamo on the island in 1948.  Right on cue, certain members of D.C.’s politically entrenched class began wailing over Obama’s flouting of liberty and all that jazz by meeting with a totalitarian despot.  Obama countered that he is visiting the island nation in an effort to encourage Raul Castro and his government to make basic reforms in their treatment of the citizenry.

Obama is going to Cuba to seek reforms from within the nation.  He has replaced Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick with a big smile.   Obama is going to do what Pope Francis encouraged our politicians to do earlier this week – build bridges instead of walls.

The President’s sudden announcement of his Cuban trip provides me with a classy opening to announce my own upcoming visit to Cuba.  I will be traveling there on an educational tour with The Nation magazine from April 23-30.  Our group will spend six days in Havana learning about life in Cuba from a wide variety of individuals, and also have one night in a private residence out in the countryside.

During my life I have been fortunate enough to have visited many exotic locales, a few of which, like Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and Vietnam, shaped much of the news of the twentieth century.  Cuba has long been on my bucket list, and when this opportunity arose, I jumped at it.

But, hear this Big O:  There is still time for me to get my trip money back from The Nation, if you could give me a hop over on Air Force One.  I could take Bo to the beach and for runs along the Malecon while you try to talk some sense into Raul.  And in the evenings we could discuss Supreme Court picks over rum drinks and genuine Cuban cigars!

Think about it.  Us tourists should stick together.

Viva Cuba libre!

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