I’ve always admired my friend Larry Luxner‘s capability as a journalist to acutely synthesize and concisely express issues relating to Cuba. He and I are each Cuba experts in our own right: myself focusing on travel, and Larry a specialist on the economy.
So it was with great pleasure that today, as a kind of Thanksgiving gift, I awoke to find a missive from Larry providing me a sneak preview at three new stories he’s penned. With his permission I’m publishing one of them here.
Two months ago Larry contacted me to say that he would be aboard JetBlue‘s inaugural flight from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara–the first ever scheduled flight between the USA and Cuba since 1961. He wanted insights. Where should he stay? Where were there synagogues and Jewish cemeteries? Etc. For a pillow, I pointed him to Hostal La Caridad, the home of Santiago Martínez, where I’ve stayed on several occasions.
You can read Larry’s excellent report–A Visit to Santa Clara–on his trip in the inaugural edition of Cuba Trade as soon as the publication is released. Meanwhile, here’s a similar version that he wrote for The Washington Diplomat and in which I’m quoted. (In the Cuba Trade piece, I’m delighted to see Santiago mugging for the camera, along with a plug for his casa particular–private room rental.)
Larry also has an eye for the unique story angle…
Witness a second story in Cuba Trade entitled: ‘Puerto Rico: The U.S. Bridge to Cuba?’
… and this excellent story–‘Cuba Romance on Ice?’ (published in The Washington Diplomat)–on what the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president means for U.S.-Cuba relations. Larry insightfuly interviews José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, the Cuban ambassador in Washington, D.C., for the Cuban take on the Obama legacy and the trajectory forward now that the electorate has pitched us a screwball.