After 60 plus years of hard-line Communist rule, Cuba has decided to ditch the dogma and legalize the sale of both real estate and cars in an effort to breathe life into a sputtering economy. Hit the applause app! First the dance of the democratic rites of Arab Spring. Now this.
I had a feeling something big was in the works when Castro’s personal Twitter feed surpassed 100,000 followers. Not bad for an aging octogenarian dictator! The original “Fear the Beard” guy and former baseball player, way before Brian Wilson was on the mound for the Gigantes. The guy who holds the Guinness Book of World Record’s title for the longest speech in United Nations history – a whopping 4 hour and 29 minute rant.
The fact that he’s been able to transition so seamlessly into 140 character sound bytes, gives me hope. One day they’ll find a cure for my own fulsome brand of babbling ambiance.
Maybe some of our own undernourished Realtors can undertake a latitude adjustment of sorts. Pack up shop. Head even further south than they’ve been, for the promised land of new open houses and greener ($$$) pastures. Re-expatriate to Havana. Ship over a fleet of shiny new BMW’s. Sell a few keys for cash while setting up a branch-office of good old American real estate know-how and ingenuity.
In Cuba, there’s pent-up demand. People are primed. Ready to embrace the fruits of the free market system rather than recoil from it’s excesses. Unlike so many of the erstwhile buyers and sellers milling around here these days. The ones who don’t seem to want to either come in or go out of the house anymore. Oddly afflicted by some form of viral agora-phobia (fear of the marketplace).
But who knows? Maybe the US will abandon Guantanamo Bay and open up 45 square miles of prime waterfront property to future development. Virgin real estate territory! After cleaning up a little left-over military ordnance and wrestling with a few thorny disclosure issues regarding its shadowy past, it could be an exciting investment opportunity. Sort of a Del Webb meets Club Med kind of thing. Caribbean charm infused with a double-down dose Dubai-style debt. Everyone knows there’s no debtor’s prison anymore.
If we actually get around to formalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba, I’m throwing Alan Greenspan’s hat into the ring as the obvious choice for Ambassador.
They’re going to need a strong voice for unfettered, laissez-faire capitalism. Someone’s got to make the case for putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse, knowing they can be trusted to self-regulate their own appetites.
Wouldn’t it be great to see Greenspan’s tarnished reputation get rehabilitated in Cuba? It could all be spun as a huge Habitat for Humanity project fueled by the glorious return of subprime lending secured by government backing. The lofty goal of leveraging 100% homeownership for all Cubans.
Funny how, if you wait long enough, things that once seemed so estranged and disparate tend to circle back and inch towards each other. Like Cuba and the U.S.
Is it a symptom of an expanding world becoming more intimately connected and infinitely more complicated at the same time? Is it proof that the fabric of space-time really is curved just like Einstein predicted? Or perhaps chaos really isn’t some dark confusing void after all but more like what the ancient Greeks envisioned it to be in their cosmology – a place of beginning from which order and possibility flowed. Not a bottomless pit of full of random bits.
But seriously folks, there are so many countries out there trying to breathe life into troubled economies, I’m going to suggest some different food for thought. Why can’t the New World Order adopt a few new breathing techniques from Wiley Brooks, founder of the Breatharian Institute of America. (Google It). Breatharians are able to live without ingesting any food or water. They subsist and thrive solely on a diet of air! Why can’t economies do the same?
I know. Some of you will point out that Wiley was busted, right here in Santa Cruz, back in 1983. After a local speaking engagement, he was caught leaving the 7-11 on Laurel Street with a slurpee, hot dog and pack of twinkies. But that was a long time ago and he’s explained all that since. Periodically it is necessary to break his fast with a cheeseburger and a diet coke. When surrounded by junk culture and junk food, occasionally you have to consume some of it just to maintain balance.