Posts Tagged ‘USINT’

Driving taxis or cutting hair

June 14th, 2009

This morning there was time once more to walk the Malécon, the seawall promenade that borders the city, past the fishermen, the patriotic statues, the 16th-century forts guarding the entrance to the harbour.

Black flags flutter in front of the US Interests Section obscuring the 'imperialist' messages from the electronic billboard.

KENNEDY WARNE
Black flags flutter in front of the US Interests Section obscuring the 'imperialist' messages from the electronic billboard.


I stopped to snap a picture of one of the most ludicrous sights in Havana: the building which houses the “US Interests Section.” Clearly, given the mutual acrimony, the US does not have an embassy in Cuba; what it has instead is a presence in its former embassy building, now home to the Swiss embassy. In 2006, USINT staff took it into their heads to install an electronic billboard to display anti-Castro messages. Among them was a George Burns quotation, “How sad that all the people who would know how to run this country are driving taxis or cutting hair.”

Castro responded by erecting a forest of flagpoles flying black flags in front of the building (which was referred to as the ‘imperialist lair’) so that the messages could not be read. Such is the level of tit for tat that exists between the two ideological rivals. In my opinion the USINT would do better to airdrop a few million DVDs of the movie Antz.

'So tell me, Che, was this Cuba you had in mind when you fought with Fidel?' (Author musing outside communist party offices in Pinar del Rio.)

KENNEDY WARNE
'So tell me, Che, was this the Cuba you had in mind when you fought with Fidel?' (Author musing outside communist party offices in Pinar del Rio.)


And so to Bimini.