Keep your coffee shop rants about Cuba to yourself

Travis Kabel, Lariat contributor

With another trip of the Black Caucus to Cuba, recent speculation regarding changing America’s stiff 1962 embargo on Cuba has been heating the already lack-luster coffee shop talk. Over the past week, those whose sentiments against the now-retired

Castro have become more embittered than the fathers of the Cold War, thumping their “free market” chests while loudly ruining my study time.

Who among us coffee-enriched students hasn’t heard the usual talk of coffee shop curmudgeons, proclaiming their pride in our great country, all the while smearing Cuba, our little communist neighbor?

The size of their decaf-Americano can be directly related to their hate of all things that they are not in complete agreement with. The more decaf they take to the head while saying such anti-Cuban diatribes, in all ridiculousness, can be a direct indicator of their hate for this poverty-stricken island. These great, though unforgiving men from a different era won’t allow themselves to see the glaring problems with this as equally aged, ideological embargo.

What these “commie” bashers fail to realize is that ever since the fall of the USSR, Cuba has been without a big brother and its fringe benefits. No longer is Cuba a highly subsidized Soviet state equipped with missiles and a healthy army, but a pitifully poor country made worse by our trade embargo. What once was a popular vacation spot has since become locked for the American citizenry.

While Canadians smoke cigars on its white sand beaches, we Americans are kept away from this “red menace” by our always-watchful nanny state.

If all this fear of communism were real, why are we more than free to travel and do business with China, the most successful Marxymao nation in the world? It is simple: China is powerful and owns a lot of our debt. Cuba is weak, and beating up on small little islands makes us seem more powerful than any manifesto or popular uprising.

Apparently the sanctity of the Monroe Doctrine is more important to the aging, decaf coffee-guzzling survivors of the Soviets than helping an impoverished neighbor.

If these champions of laissez-faire policies, who feel more than comfortable yelling in quiet, student-filled cafes, could only imagine the money they might be making off investments in Cuban affairs (before Japan)–if they embraced the safety in acquiring yet another ally–the decaf crew might be outside enjoying themselves, puffing on real and legal Cuban cigars, instead of disrupting my already terrible mathematics skills.

Writer’s note: This small rant is not intended to make fun of any older person. Quite the contrary, I believe in respect for our elders. It is just a small fact that the loudest and harshest critics of Cuba that I have encountered are always stereotypically the oldest.