Wild River Review
Wild River Review
Connecting People, Places, and Ideas: Story by Story
May 2010
Open Borders

February 21, 2009

Baja Dreaming: An Update from Cuba – Hey Detroit, Meet Me in Havana

Filed under: WRR@LARGE — Tags: , , , — joystocke @ 2:44 pm

by Joy E. Stocke – And so, while the wind blows over the Sierra Lagunas and my Internet service fades in and out, I am receiving dispatches from other parts of the Carribean. 

Hey Detroit, Meet me in Havana

by Peter Soderman

Cancun, gateway to Havana, is vile, a Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of gastronomic vaudeville for Margaritaville Americans bent on rogue acts of gluttony. But don’t most fraternities enjoy the all inclusive Marriot vacation-wet nurse-Budweiser maternity package?

These loquacious languadors of blue lagoondom (sales Mayans) even tried to get me into a time share condo, “NOW,” for which I told them:

“Number one, Bernard Madoff ponzy schemed my life savings.”

And two, “I need a time share in Cancun like I need a burlap Speedo.”

Cuba is another story and I want to be in theirs. Havana, a crumbling Caribbean jewel of Venetian Palaces built by slave labor and capitalism and unmaintainable by socialist labor and communism is home to some the best cars America ever made.

The last American cars to be quarantined were 1950s beauties, Detroit’s finest, still  rolling through Havana’s streets, omnipresent like strong American values silhouetted by the one Russian car, the Lada which is also everywhere, a truncated, Slavic cigar box of a Mr. Magoo-co-vich-looking ride orphaned of even one ruble of free market savoir faire.

Detroit doesn’t need a bail out. They just need to get their cars back from Cuba and write Fidel a bad check before Obama lifts the embargo. For the Cubans, however, it will be like the painful demise of the USSR during Perestroika. Cuba will have Castroika when Yucatan Chuck roles up to Cancunify the place.

But, we could give Ron Blagojevich – disgraced Governor of Illinois – to Fidel as Minister of Cuban Car Sales, and Ron won’t have to go to jail here at home. Instead, he’ll be doing Cold War community service there.

It’s only across the way.

“Yes,” shouts Blagojevich, “Come on down to Che Guevarra Car City for the best of America. Get them while they’re hot, these unapologetic pegasaurian praises to the wheel, anthropomorph-mobiles with faces, eyes and a mouths, so majestic that you, the driver, never need wear a seat belt, can have a six pack of Schlitz on the console and inhale a Lucky Strike  while singing Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons at the same time.”

Like the De Sotos and other road sharks, these cars have fins and can swim. If augmented with outboard motors and the incentive of blood, they probably can make it to Miami as a fleet. 
If you are ever curious who won the Cold War International Car Show, Joy, go to Cuba.
Lada, which rhymes with Nada, is nothing.
Peter Soderman is creator of Writer’s Block and Quark Park. 


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