Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Odds and ends

  • Herald: U.S. Coast Guard ships will accompany Friday’s fireworks flotilla and stop at least a half-mile from Cuba’s 12-mile limit.

  • Juventud Rebelde has a nice special section on the Cementerio Colon – photos, history, legends and lore.

  • A history-minded reader thought December 5 should not have passed without noting it was the day prohibition was repealed in 1933. He writes: “Perhaps no U.S. neighbor was affected in the long term by prohibition as much as Cuba. It is notable that U.S. tourism to Cuba took off in the 1920’s during prohibition. Another side effect of prohibition was that it brought organized crime to Cuba, as alcohol was smuggled into the U.S. from Cuba and the Bahamas (giving rise to the term ‘Rum Runners’). When Fulgencio Batista maneuvered into power after the 1933 revolution, he invited the mob to run casinos in Cuba and the rest, as they say, is history. The presence of the mob in Cuba in the years that followed was a factor in creating the conditions that led to Castro’s rise to power in 1959. There is an excellent book on this issue that came out several years ago, Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Lost it to the Revolution (Published 2008) by T.J. English.”

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