Thursday, December 18, 2014

No more cheap Cuban vacations? Blame Harper

   There are substantial political and social implications in the revival of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.    The end of 50 years of estrangement between the two countries could signal the beginning of a new era of mutual prosperity, although significant battles are still to be fought in the U.S. Congress over the full normalization of relations with what remains a repressive communist regime.
   For Canadians - savvy internationalists that we are - the overriding consideration in the historic rapprochement is "How will this affect our inexpensive Cuban vacations?"  A massive influx of American tourists into what's been a de facto exclusive Canadian tropical island playground would mean considerable price increases and the end of the low-cost Cuban vacation party as we know it.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that it'll probably be years before restrictions on Americans travelling to Cuba are eased to any significant extent, so you can still get there while the getting is cheap. 
   Meanwhile, word that Canada's Conservative government was a key player in facilitating the behind the scenes talks that resulted in the diplomatic thaw is a tough pill to swallow for Liberal leader and noted communist sympathizer Justin Trudeau, whose late father was thick as thieves with Fidel Castro. Uncle Fidel even showed up at Pierre Trudeau's funeral, which Justin tried yesterday to spin as somehow having sown the seeds of what transpired  nearly15 years later.  Trudeau's disappointment that it was Stephen Harper and not him who sabotaged our cheap Cuban holidays was palpable.  
   If that's not delicious irony, I don't know what is.

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