Barack Obama made history today as the first US President to visit Cuba in 60 years.
But then I remembered this song about the fall of long-standing communist regimes (Russia, East Germany) from my high school graduation year, way back in 1991, which also seems appropriate today.
Watching the press conference with Raul Castro and Obama while I was home for lunch left me feeling mixed emotions.
Of course, I’m excited about Cuba opening up and becoming more westernized with things like democratic elections, freedom of speech, etc. not to mention that this will hopefully lead to the end of the ridiculous embargo and Cubans will be able to access all manner of consumer goods. Oh, and decent wifi! 😉
But I also worry about too much westernization changing the unique character of the nation – not just their culture and history but something as simple as being one of the few countries in the world without things like McDonalds, Wal-Mart and billboard advertising everywhere you look.
Having been a couple times, I’ll admit that I’m also selfish about how nice it was to have a vacation destination which had mostly Canadians as well as a range of people from across Europe. (Our last visit saw my parents becoming friends with the Justice Minister for a Swiss province if you can believe it. Of course, he’s part of a nationalistic right wing party but nobody’s perfect!) 😉
“Right Here, Right Now” – Jesus Jones