Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not To Worry

As we Americans bemoan our fate over $4 per gallon gasoline, it’s easy to forget that we are still the wealthiest and most fortunate nation on earth. A scant 90 miles away, closer to Key West than Key Largo, is a "Second World" nation where things like freedom of speech and well-stocked Winn-Dixie stores are only a faraway dream.

Remember the recent picture of now-fourteen-year-old Elian Gonzalez making a speech extolling the virtues of Communism? Sure, a few politicians are now somehow trying to pin Elian’s return to Cuba on the Democrats and Barack Obama, because a couple of Obama’s staffers were in the Justice Department or otherwise involved when Elian was sent back to his one surviving parent.

Now I don’t even begin to claim any real understanding of Cuban politics (either here or abroad), other than to know that it has a conspiratorial and emotional edge that many Americans fail to understand. Even some of my in-laws are still planning on recovering the property that they had to leave behind fifty years ago.

But I do know that it’s a different world today, and a new ball game. Young people don’t necessarily relate to the issues of the past. We even saw one of the younger "talking heads" on cable network news a while ago, who had to ask, "Cuban missile crisis? What was that?"
El Barbudo has one foot in the grave, and the other’s on a banana peel. Change is finally coming, and soon.
And as far as Elian goes, not to worry--as any student of human "body language" can tell you: he’s not into it. And you don't have to be a psychologist to know, even at his tender age, he'd be a lot more comfortable sipping a mojito out on Sobe than reciting dated Marxist propaganda to a bunch of superannuated politicos.

Now it may require a major leap of faith, but if we decide to look to the future rather than dwell on the past, here’s a good bet: in a few short years Elian will be back in Miami, along with thousands of tourists, students, and business people making the trip legally, and in both directions.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

MY friends from Miami say it'll never happen.