Waiting game

January 20, 2007

Financial Times- Simon Kuper and Pamela Druckerman

Andy Gomez left Cuba at the age of five, in 1961, three days before the Bay of Pigs invasion that failed to unseat Fidel Castro. Like many of the 700,000 Cubans in Miami-Dade county, Gomez still speaks English with a Cuban accent, and like most of them he has prospered in the US. He earned degrees from Harvard, raised children, grew a distinguished moustache, and became the University of Miami’s foremost expert on Cuba.

His office is housed in the Casa Bacardi, a building sponsored by the Cuban rum family, on the university’s sunny campus. In one corridor hang photographs of the family home in Havana, taken by Gomez on a working visit to Cuba. You can see sewage running on the street outside. “If my parents saw it they would be really disappointed,” says Gomez.

The house is now inhabited by a government official’s family, but Gomez’s father still keeps the deed in a safe in his bedroom in Miami. That was the dream of exiled Cubans - el exilio - here: to reclaim lost Havana. But Gomez says it will never happen. “Dad turns 80. It’s very sad. My brother and I were talking about the deed yesterday. What is it worth? Nothing.”

While Fidel Castro, also recently 80, is ailing or dying, the exiles are giving up their old dreams. Most know they will never again live on the island 90 miles across the Florida straits, not even if it goes democratic after Castro’s death....


News Center

Date Title
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1/31/07 Weak Castro in new video
1/31/07 Raúl Castro's inner circle hints at the future Cuba
1/30/07 New Congress emboldens Cuban Democrats
1/29/07 A New Castro?
1/29/07 Frozen Cuban funds running out
1/29/07 When Castro dies, the party's on
1/28/07 Nation's fabled healthcare may not be so healthy
1/26/07 Cuban migrants land on Key West naval property
1/26/07 Cuba spotlights friendship with Chávez
1/25/07 Chávez: Castro is `almost jogging'
1/25/07 In transition
1/25/07 U.S. bars trade group from going to Cuba
1/24/07 Bush emphasizes support for freedom cause in Cuba
1/24/07 What will Castro's death bring to Cuba?
1/22/07 Firms small and large prepare for business with Cuba
1/22/07 Few nations follow U.S. in condemning Cuba
1/22/07 Could oil reserves prompt an end to embargo?
1/21/07 With Raúl in charge, economic reforms debated
1/20/07 Current Record
1/19/07 Cubans to get free work permits in deal
1/18/07 Cubans remain subdued about Castro's health
1/17/07 Experts: Prognosis is grim for Castro
1/16/07 Castro reportedly in 'grave' condition
1/14/07 Fidel Castro `in good spirits,' eldest son says
1/13/07 Chief of Cuba programs to go work for McCain
1/12/07 Rights group is critical of U.N. panel
1/12/07 Raúl Castro's grip is firm, Senate panel is told
1/11/07 Cuba disputes restitution for families in U.S.
1/11/07 `Castro has died -- his time expired'
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1/10/07 Report finds fewer dissidents in prison
1/10/07 Cuban exiles divided over travel rules, sending money
1/10/07 Bolivia sends Cuban dissident to Colombia
1/10/07 Cuban Economists Envision Role For Markets in Post-Castro Era
1/9/07 Watchdog group wants a probe of Martí broadcasting deals
1/8/07 Pope urges opening up to Cuba
1/7/07 Is Raúl Castro ready to deal?
1/6/07 Cuba's entrepreneurs hope their time has come
1/6/07 U.S. holds to claim Castro is dying
1/5/07 Fund banks on Cuba
1/4/07 Messages of hope and democracy for Cuba
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1/4/07 Castro stalls any change in Cuba
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1/2/07 Havana condemns Hussein execution