Friday, August 4

Your father's a Communist

With all the Fidel Castro news these days it's reminding me of my dad's trip to Cuba. Yes, he went to Cuba and yes it was legal. Americans are allowed to visit Cuba under one of two purposes: for humanitarian or sceinentific reasons. My dad went for sceinentific reasons. The US let him go if he returned with what I called "the boondoggle book report". He genuinely did research but his dream trip was "all expenses paid" because he led the trip of other researchers/scientists (thus the "Boondoggle" title). I never read his report but I suppose I should some day. Anyway, Dad got to see the Bay of Pigs and the cave that Che Guevara hunkered down in. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me. Unfortunately, daddio isn't big on touristy pictures. He came back with mostly wildlife pix with very few sites or people in them...BOR-ING! He did come back with one picture I LOVE. It's my dad with his arm around and ancient, woman cigar maker. They are each smoking freshly rolled cigars with expressions of bliss on their faces.

He loved Cuba and swears the place will be party central once embargos are dropped. He fell in love with the people and says the architecture is stunning. His exact words were "Someone just needs to dock a tanker of paint and resurface everything and it's good as new!" He also mentioned what everyone else speaks of; the absolute feeling of time having stopped there in the 60's and what a bizarre feeling that is. He said Cuban music fills the air and you just sit back, smoke a cigar and enjoy the incredible people.

I, being a selfish wench, REALLY wanted souvenirs. Dad pointed out that they don't have much there and nothing is wasted so there's not much in the way of Cuban chochtkies. Dammit! He did mention a flea market with some "cool stuff" but, alas, he brought none of it home for yours truly. Curses!!! I'm doing my best to train him to "think of me" when he's in these exotic locales. So far I've had little luck.

When Dad got back from his trip, I called to make sure he had made it home safely. My Mom answered the phone with "WELL, your father's a Communist!". I could hear dad in the background yelling "I AM NOT!". I asked what happened and mom said "I don't know but suddenly your dad likes the idea." Dad wrestled the phone from my giggling mother and said "Look, all I said was that Communism works in a new country for about the first three months. It helps get things organized. Then human nature and takes over and Capitalism takes the lead." He was also impressed with the Cuban literacy rate. It was apparently very low when Castro took over, and is now about 99%. I see his point. My only problem now is that every time I see or hear of Fidel I think "WELL, your father's a Communist!"

My favorite euphemism, in regards to Castro, is the US governments stance of waiting for the "biological solution" to Castro. In other words "We'll just wait for the old guy to die." How's that for throwing in the towel?

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