The End of Castro?
The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.
« MARK TWAIN (1835 - 1910)
Recent headlines have revolved heavily around the “official” stepping down of oft-controversial Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. During his near 50 years of rule, the impoverished people of the Caribbean nation have felt the strain of a closed economy. But, with just a week under their belts, the new regime, led by Castro’s brother Raúl, has already signed into law two international human-rights treaties (both of which were long opposed by the elder Castro).
While most of the United States remains skeptical of any real change occurring, I do believe the poverty of this once-thriving nation will prompt movement, and a willingness of its government to compromise for the good of the people.
It just so happens that amidst this news, I traveled to Miami Beach—a place where Cuban culture has dovetailed seamlessly with American culture. While there is much ado regarding our current economic struggles, the wealth of our nation, and the powerful reputation of the dollar—even in its weakest of moments—is undeniable. So, while the current buzz about the economy is all “glass half empty,” from my perspective, upon entering the hotel lobby, the promotional products industry continues to have steady pull. From logoed backpacks, towels,
soaps and toys to the smiling-andbranded-polo-wearing staff distributing these goodies, American business will continue to muscle through even the worst of times.
With only 90 miles separating Cuba from Miami, a third-world economy from a first-world one, and little opportunity from vast opportunity, it may be worthy of our consideration to ponder just how lucky we are, regardless of whether the Dow is up or down.