Fall Waning Autumn Moon
All day Cuba has been on starboard and our cabin, also starboard, has made it easy to track its presence. In perhaps another 2-3 hours we will round the eastern tip of Cuba, sailing to the west of god forgotten Haiti and not far from Guantanamo. It’s a trifecta. An island so close to our shores made invisible not by stealth technology or magic, but by political decree. A quasi-military detention camp sequestered on a piece of land without sovereignty, a place where we store our most feared enemies, a place made impenetrable by the justly famous legal system for which we claim to fight. A nation so benighted and dismal that its catastrophe is a global scandal faces them both.
All three of these miseries lie well within the US sphere of influence, a doctrine announced by President Monroe, a founder become the nation’s chief executive officer. We claim the right to interfere—think Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, even Cuba during the Spanish American War, Panama—but not the right to heal. Cuba’s economy could be healed by trade with the US. Guantanamo could be healed by habeas corpus, by the very rule of law we abrogate there. Haiti could be healed by careful and long term support, foreign aid. Remember foreign aid?
I know people who have been to all three, I have not, but the time for action for all three is long past overdue. These are thoughts I had sitting on the deck tonight, watching the lights of Cuba twinkle ashore.
Aside from these solemn and gloomy reflections, perhaps unvacationlike, but there nonetheless, Kate and I had our first formal evening. I put on a blue dress shirt, a silk dragon tie, a navy blazer and gray flannels slacks. Kate made herself up with a deft hand, put on a silk blouse given to her by sister Mary, black pants and pointy shoes. We walked up through the casino, strategically located on the way to the Rotterdam dining room (the other path takes you past a long jewelry store), heading in next to many men wearing tuxedo’s and ladies in formal evening wear. Not my favorite scene, but there you are.
Afterward, we came back to the cabin, changed out of the dress clothes and sat down to read, Kate on the bed and me out on the deck watching Cuba.
One more day at sea then we hit Santa Marta. I’m looking forward to getting off the ship since we’ve been on board since October 16th and will be again tomorrow. It’s fun, but I want to see something different now.