Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Free Cuba Over the Horizon?

Today Fidel Castro announced his resignation as President of Cuba. This is certainly good news. But, with the appointment of his younger brother Raul as President, the future of Cuba still remains very much uncertain.

Nevertheless, Key Westers are debating the impacts of a future non-embargoed Cuba to Key West.

Key West is the closest point in the United States to the island of Cuba - only 90 miles across the Straits of Florida. That point is marked in Key West with the Southernmost Marker (pictured above).

Will Key West gain visitors interested in ferry boat travel to Cuba? Will Key West lose visitors who bypass our island to visit a new, and admittedly fascinating, destination? Will there be a wave of migrants - as seen during the Mariel Boat Lift? Will cruise ships skip Key West on their Carribbean itineraries? Will this open up a whole new world of Key West Cuba relations - something our islands have historically shared? Will real estate in Key West benefit or lose?

There are a large number of questions that, in time, will be answered.

Until then, let us today savor that Cuba is likely one step closer to freedom and prosperity. And we, as United States citizens, may soon gain back our right to free travel. Cuba Libre!
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Anonymous said...

My name is Rachel, formerly of Key West, and I must say I was warmed by the sight of the nun buoy that's positioned at the Southernmost Point. I had the dinstinct privilege to have worked with the late Billy Pinder, who designed that wonderful object. It brought back such wonderful memories to see that picture, of his colorful stories and vast knowledge of the history of Key West. I think my favorite was that one about Dr. Von Kossel (sp?) and his "late" wife. Billy would do voice impressions when he'd call my office and I was fooled so many times because of his extreme imagination and ability to take on the persona of the character he'd be portraying. May you rest in blissful peace, dear Billy. You made a lasting and positive impression on me. Relative to the article, of course, I do wish for freedom in beautiful Cuba, indeed, Cuba Libre!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Billy Pinder is related to Berl Ralph Pinder, County Justice of the Peace and Constable of the Second District in the 1960s. Can anyone confirm?

CindyT said...

No, Billy and Berl were not related.

Sunnywing said...

Billy isn't dead! He is a longtime friend of my Dad and I had the privilege to sit and talk with this wonderful man today!