Cuba, an island country in the Caribbean, is 90 mi (145 km) south of Fla., USA. On a map it looks like a fox lying down on its belly, tails to the west, back to USA and the head flat on the water, to the east. In this position one may imagine Florida as a platform spilling crude oil on the fox until it turns really red! However, the fox seems over-relaxed and displays a 'who cares' attitude.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus annexed the island to the Kingdom of Spain. In 1956, Fidel Castro along with 82 people landed on the shore of Cuba to establish an armed resistance movement, good old days! By 1961, hundreds of thousands of Cubans had fled to the United States. Then came the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Castro's rule was followed by food shortages. However, Castro did not accept US donations of food, medicines and cash until 1993! With the fall of USSR, Cuba has found new friends: Maoist China, Hugo Chávez and some Middle Eastern Islamists. Human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials and extrajudicial executions are common in Cuba, a mirror image of Cuba's new friends.
As to imprisonment of journalists, Cuba once raised itself to world's second place after Maoist China, but some Islamists have now driven Cuba down. Cuba hates computer ownership by its slaves and hostages, let alone Internet. As to the number of prisons, Cuba keeps 40 maximum-security prisons, 30 minimum-security prisons, and over 200 work camps for a population of 11,236,444. Citizens cannot leave Cuba or return to Cuba. And people's movements within the country is monitored just like the old befallen USSR!
Recently, Cuba like Maoist China has covertly adopted free market to lessen shortages of food, consumer goods, and services. Tourism is restricted to some enclaves, referred to as "tourism apartheid". This very bad capitalist behavior helped Marxist Cuba to triple its market share of Caribbean tourism in the last decade, bringing 1.9 million tourists to Cuba in 2003.
Nonetheless, Cuba now imports up to 80% of its food, and under Hugo Chávez's kind gesture, you scratch my bag, I scratch your back, Cuba receives up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day in exchange for 30,000 doctors and teachers-a friend in need is a friend indeed.
And USA exports to Cuba chicken, wheat, corn, rice and soybeans - of course, part of it is passed to the top Cuban executioners and the rest is doled out to some good Cuban informers on the basis of government rationing. Additionally, US sends to the revolutionary Cuba brand-name cola, mayonnaise, hot sauce and candy bars, as well as dairy cows. US needs good neighbors, just like a dog that needs a flea in the fur.
Now with BP spilling oil in the gulf, it does not sound pleasant to potbelly-money launderers from all sorts of remaining 'isms'. Petrodollars do not mix with oily patches, particularly when the tourist is a mega-cosmetic-surgery bitch loitering on the hot white sands of Caribbean beaches looking for a paid visitor to her top notch suite, while her husband is confiscating ordinary people's property and raping their daughters back home.