Heading out to Ptown this weekend for a week-long vacation with both sets of parents and siblings. Read about last year's shenanigans here.
As I procrastinate on my packing and listen to Nina Simone, trying to convince myself that I will be able to just sleep in and eat whatever I want for eight days, I got to thinking about the little dramas in one's life that can consume the task of living. A stubborn parent, a brat child, a reckless sibling -- conflict is endless when everyone is hell bent on being "right."
So when I read that Condi Rice has just broadcast a message to the Cuban people tonight, offering them our country's support should they choose to embrace democracy while Castro plays footsie with death, I got to thinking that our relationship with Cuba is nothing more than just one messy family argument.
See, I have a teenaged brother that has a rather bohemian outlook on life (if only he knew what bohemian meant, but oh well). As I watch him hopscotch through one bad decision after another I can honestly understand our country's fifty year obsession with Cuba. Communism doesn't work and we've waged war upon war to save the world from a very bad decision.
Now we're back at it, this time hoping that our brothers in Cuba will come to us on bended knee, asking, finally, to drink from the fountain of our wisdom and democracy. Oh for the day when my little brother just says "you were right."
In the meantime, the back and forth on this blog over my recent post about the conflict between Lebanon and Israel has shown me that many of my readers are just hard-asses.
Dare I say that inside every blogger there's an angry big brother?
Back to Cuba, though.
When I was in college I read Ariel, one of the most beautifully written essays on the Latin American experience by the Uruguyan philosoper Jose Enrique Rodo. To illustrate the dynamic between a burgeoning superpower like the U.S. and a slower, more aloof entity like Latin America, Rodo references the story of Caliban and Ariel, characters immortalized by Shakespeare. Long story short, Caliban is the tough guy, Ariel is the dreamer. While Caliban wants to subjugate Ariel, Ariel's spirit is annoyingly resilient, stubborn, everlasting.
As Cuba's future teases the hopes of so many here in the U.S., it might be worth contemplating that perhaps things on the island won't change much after all. Perhaps we should just relent and let the Cubans live their best life while we live ours. Can we just let our annoying little brother be?
I'll let you know next week.