Cuba Libre! Well, not quite, but maybe the beginning of something important

A news item last week may just prove to be one of the most significant developments of 2014 in the long run. The rapprochement between Cuba and the USA may – and we should stress that is a “may”, not a “will” - prove incredibly important for the people of Cuba, but could also lead to broader developments.

So it is well worth reading an excellent article from my colleague at Spend Matters US, Thomas Kase. He visited Cuba in 2010 and took lots of photos, some of which are here. He’s written also about life in the country, cars and even related some of his experience there to procurement. (My daughter also went to the country on a school trip in 2007 and loved it. That was supposedly linked to her A Level Philosophy course, but there seemed to be more going to the beach and drinking cocktails than studying the intricacies of Marxist theory... !)

Back to the wider implications though. The Latin-American influence in the USA is already growing strongly, with the ethnic Hispanic population growing fast and becoming a significant political force. That can only increase if Cuba becomes more aligned with the US. And as a bridge between the two Continents, might it also make the USA feel closer to South America (and vice versa)? That might further loosen the bounds of the “special relationship” between the US and Europe or the UK specifically as well.

I also suspect that there is a lot of latent entrepreneurial talent in the country. It is clear that Cuban citizens have had to be pretty creative to survive at times – so if that energy and skill is eventually unleashed, then that might also drive the whole region onwards and upwards.

So do take a look at the piece from Thomas, and of course one of the strengths of Cuba is the musical heritage – here’s an example from the classic and iconic Buena Vista Social Club album (and film). This is Chan Chan, written by the legendary Compay Segundo. Great stuff.



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