17 February 2016

The final Cuban exodus?

Al Jazeera English

Last April, the prominent accommodation rental website Airbnb took out full-page advertisements in The New York Times and other US newspapers, featuring Cuban and US flags side by side on a spherical surface under the statement "One giant leap for man's kindness" - a play on the famous moon-landing quotation.
The cause for celebration, in this case, was the launch of rental listings in Cuba.
The campaign came in the wake of the 2014 US-Cuban rapprochement and the announcement that the two nations were on track to "normalise" relations, which had been frozen more than half a century earlier on account of the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro's slighting of US business interests in the country.
Now, the US government has eased travel restrictions to Cuba as well as certain obstacles to investment, while the Cubans have become ever more accommodating vis-a-vis private-sector activity and property ownership.
It's not clear, of course, how "normalisation" is even an option - or what "man's kindness" has to do with anything, for that matter - when the US penal colony of Guantanamo Bay continues to be illegally operated on occupied Cuban territory. A "giant leap for man's bank accounts" might have better described the occasion. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA ENGLISH.