A tectonic plate, diplomatically, shifted this past Monday and you probably didn’t even feel a tremor; and that’s a good thing. As a result of some Papal intercession and a sudden outbreak of common sense on both sides of the Straits of Florida, the People’s Republic of Cuba and the United States of America have renewed full diplomatic relations for the first time in over five decades and the US Embassy in Havana had a ‘soft opening’ to mark the change of political climate.
Suspect there’s some restiveness from former Cuban citizens who fled the Workers’ Paradise with little more than the clothes on their backs in all these years and who were the lucky ones to make it to the US. They, and in most cases, their children and grandchildren will need some time to become comfortable with yet another version of the New World Order.
Sports agents for Cuban baseball players may or may not be breathing a Cy of relief (¿Has visto lo que hice allí?) as trying to smuggle whole teams off the island in the trouser legs of their Armani three-piece suits was becoming problematic. I’ll be curious to see how long it takes Major League Baseball to set up American and National League teams for Havana. Wonder if they’d call one of them Yanquis Go Home and what would the Steinbrenner Family do?
Not forgetting the unhappiness of cigar bootleggers as their stockpile of illicit Cuban cigars loses both its cachet and a not inconsiderable amount of its resale value as relations between the two countries are ‘normalized.’ I love that word; it sounds like something you do with recipes calling for onions, but (of course) without the onions because they would make us cry.
Not sure what happens to those in the employ of Radio y Televisión Martí. In theory, there should be a lot of time for film and record library inventories, transmitter maintenance work and resume polishing. Many staffers, I suspect will compete for those in the employ of The Pentagon Channel, now known as the DoD News Channel.
One of the amusing things about growing old (up is always optional, btw) is standing in one place and watching the river flow. I was a wee slip of a lad when people I didn’t know and would never meet took white-out to the map of the Caribbean and eliminated Cuba. And here we are a half-century and change later, redrawing the map, as we prepare to meet the challenge of the new frontier.