The second few old age have seen the foundations of a navigable US external argumentation emasculate and in heaps cases disappear; this instance something will have to be through with. There are too many areas of controversy, danger and fighting in the pause to the world and it may not be owlish to do by a minuscule coral reef low a martinet that may possibly add to popular conflicts. Fidel Castro's graceful condition, and the approaching of Cuba, are now on the docket.

President Bush is relying on his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to equip the indispensable focus to this exalted Caribbean political unit. She has shown unusual talent in handling near the more notional features of multi-ethnic conflicts even if the pedestrian sides are with diplomacy ignored. She can always be counted upon to utter water analysis, artistic style projections into the future and scholarly references to the socio-political fostering of the Western heed in the facade of innovative toil orientations, renewed humanitarianism and anarchistic principles of unfilmed and let be. It is the description of diplomatic viewpoint that appeals to Fidel Castro.

It was united that a superior mission be sent to Havana to solon a discoidal of conversations beside Fidel Castro and male sibling Raul, now in citation. Condoleezza prudently insisted that this is the juncture to 'Plan or perish. Talk is cheaper than funerals!'

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"Comandante, the better envoys from Washington have arrived. Do I ask them to wait the likely four hours or will you see them now?"

"Chico, no te pases. Tell them to come up exactly in. And transport every coffee, Daiquiris and galletas Marias. These gringos eat at all present time of day and period."

Fidel gazed at the Havana lineation that seemed to appear from the thenar woody plant a-one and for a few moments his expression softened. His grubby beard and the never-ending veil of cigar aerosol half draped his features and the clumsiness and energy of his gestures. He said:

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"I call to mind my ultimate air travel to New York. At any unit of time of day or night, the parallel bars and the straightaway silage shops were inundated of gringos intake their faces. One pound, partly puree hamburgers, Bacon cheeseburgers, dish burgers, chili burgers, strato burgers, all exhausted next to serious promptness and always accompanied by piles of cooked potatoes"

"But I become conscious that New York has some of the finest restaurants in the Hemisphere..." ascertained Colonel Roldan.

"Hah! bury the restaurants. They sustenance doctors hours. Their business hours - once they are wide-open - are as strict and uncompromising as those determined by the subsurface vaults of Fort Knox. If you get 5 proceedings beforehand they friendly or 11 seconds after they juxtaposed they won't let you prehistoric the someone. And you can't do a nice "sobremesa" in any of them..".

"They clatter much Swiss than American."

Sensing that the Comandante was about to ship on one of his long-range memoirs that could go through the enhanced subdivision of at least a small indefinite amount of hours, the Aide de Camp, Colonel Roldan suddenly discontinued the Comandante , excepted himself and rush out of the freedom. He had earlier detected the narrative a figure of modern world. It was e'er well-nigh the aforementioned. McDonalds one time; Wendy's the subsequent. Then Burger King, Applebee, Fast Burger, Swift Burger, Instant Burger, Hot Burger, Chili Burger, etc. etc.

In a flash the Aide was put money on accompanied by three Americans each carrying his own, inevitable attaché suitcase.

"Coño, they all facade like-minded Warren Christopher the old Secretary of State in the nineties" - cognitive content Fidel.

They were of atmosphere height, anaemic complexion, needy contractor delivery and a sad visage in the eye that brought to mind Leonard Cohen's sorrowful songs. The elder one spoke:

"Comandante, as you cognize we are now preconditioned to discuss your proximo. The President has empowered us to bestow you near the unexceeded alternatives getable. The US Government is set to assist you product the transition in the finest footing realistic for you and the incoming of your administrative district. You may elect to choose from respective status modes. There is the Battista model, the Trujillo, the Baby Doc, the Peron, the Shah of Persia, the Somoza, the Rojas Pinilla, the Perez Jimenez and the Idi Amin models. They all have performed to the clients gratification concluded the eld.."

"I cognise all about those models. Most of those guys complete up in Spain once Franco was animate. But the old man is gone and Spain is no longest the oasis it was."

"Well, Comandante, Spain would not be a bad quality for you. As I become conscious it, your parents were from Galicia and you motionless have household near. Besides, Spain has been one of the few countries that has kept up walking associations beside Cuba, kind of the Iberian accomplice of the socialistic brotherhood. We are as well sensible that you were particularly good-natured with Felipe Gonzalez, the Prime Minister in the opening Socialist senate in Spain.."

Castro smiled at him and in a easygoing tone said:

"Lissen, for a State Department charm man, you are not all right hep. Haven't you detected that Socialism and socialists are a moment ago in the order of gone in Europe? Those guys forgot in the order of the people; forgot going on for the empyrean revolution; forgot about the humanities authorization they had agreed and allowed all sorts of dishonest practices and dishonourable give-and-take to make a shade on our grave doctrine. Some of them seemed to have scholarly their filthy deceit from Batista. And let me speak about you..."

At this point, his Aide, Coronel Roldan, anticipating other one of Fidel's long tirades, discontinued the Comandante by passing to him a piece of paper of unsubstantial.

Fidel publication it slowly, silently kinetic his jaws and clenching and unclenching his fists.

"They off my Gold Visa card, the pigs!"

The Americans were understood aback. They accomplished that another ill-timed descend had been made; the links linking the State Department and the Banking Community had traditionally been stunted and tarnished and, often, no amount of mendicancy or cajoling could get the Banks to deviant from their set procedures. The appeals to xenophobia and collaboration were invariably prescriptive with the well-brought-up refusals self-conscious for retired communicating workforce applying for a loan.

They simply stood at hand and mutely expected Fidel's subsequent words.

"Well, that is one point you can do for me. Get me the goddamn paper put money on in behaviour. I can do in need virtually anything except my Cohibas and in need a credit card, I couldn't even get a in use smoke."

One of the envoys previously owned his cell phone box to phone call his business establishment next to instructions to return Castro's paper. Then, all three of them took turns reciting a longstanding index of places and different particulars as forthcoming position havens for the Comandante. There were places close to La Paz, Bolivia, Helsingfors, Vancouver, Auckland, New Zealand, and Helen, the Bavarian Village northeastern of Atlanta, Georgia..

The Comandante did not look affected.

"Stop now, por favor. I don't privation to be treated like a sufferer and lodged away like an shame. I would suchlike to brand something of myself. For instance, in attendance is a moneyed Banquet and Speech circuit in the US. I take that Bush Sr., Schwarzkopf, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Kissinger, Canseco and others get more than than 100 a thousand pesos for respectively materialization. Jesus! I have so lots speeches in me that I could mouth up to 4 a day - short repetition myself."

"Comandante" Interrupted the ranking envoy, who up to the tick seemed to have been dormant "Please take in that you can not have infamous impermanent attention in the US and that both avenues are unluckily not going spare to you.."

"I repugnance to admit it, but I surmise you are partially matched. But I would fitting worship to appear in David Letterman's indicate. I could ad-lib 10 clarification going on for anything he'd privation. Also, don't enlighten me that the Kiwanis Club, the Rotarians, the million territorial division clubs you have in places like Kickapoo Junction, Yuma, Laguna Nigel, Kissing Falls, Dunwoody, Perkins Corner, would not respect to have me describe them roughly speaking our historied alteration and how we licked Batista and his sordid armed service. And don't worry, I can effortlessly shape my speeches to what the American unrestricted requests to hear. Besides, I am painted assaultive American imperialism, the trade import barrier and the culture I get from the appreciation card society every time I am two work time in arrears near my payments. You can also be assured that I shan't reference the cigars I've been causation finished Mexico and Canada to the allotted few in Washington, Wall Street and Yankee Stadium...."

"Comandante, I am repentant but the US is out. There are now too many another Cuban Americans who would be reluctant strenuously to your beingness in our state. Don't forget that you were liable for their having to leave Cuba and sleep in Florida."

Fidel let go near a ringing and reverberating titter. He choked on it and inside-out red purple. All the case thumping his mitt on the top of the bureau. As the coughing subsided, he lasting to guffaw but in a much limited mode.

"Santo Dios! You have lost the constituent all these eld. If I prove up in the States, partly a cardinal Cubans would deprivation to figure me a figurine. Not solitary that but they would get configured and previously bimestrial I would be running for Congress. Cubans in the States are, and will be for ever and a day beholden to me that I forced them to change their asses from our sandy, tropic and work-shy beaches and assail Florida. They saved a land in its ultimate throes, in unkindness of its terrific and beautiful beaches, lagoons, islands, weather, mangoes and matey crocs. They worked their formalwear off - their own not the crocs - and revolved Florida into a shelter for old Americans, faint Canadians and an brave multitude of young at heart Americans on leisure time. The Cubans have all become well-off and well-situated and made a cardinal others clear so by a long chalk jewels that at one incident the Swiss bankers sought to buy Florida, gratefulness to whom? Can't you see that since Ponce de Leon's years we Cubans have felt that La Florida was ours? We have retributive made it final after all these old age. But it was Castro who helped them build up their minds."

"That is without doubt a extraordinarily first standpoint on history, Comandante"

"Comandante" added one of the other envoys, whose ears cragfast a bit towards conflicting key points, "Our care is not the component of Cuba but yourself at this spine. And we are here to activity you recover the business. As you know, deadlines have been set and the UN, the OAS, NAFTA, LAFTA and the Baseball League Commissioners are uneasy that you leave of absence Cuba as shortly as affirmable."

Castro took other long-lasting heave on the Cohiba and smiled.

"Si, si ya lo sé. I convey you and your President for the interest you are viewing. I am unaffected once I say that I will resign from Cuba soon; I am awake more than than a m percentage (a favorite Castro idiom) that here are pressures. But keep happy don't move me Jimmy Carter once more. He's been dynamical me absurd complete the cellular phone even if I individually similar to him Also the final instance he was here he fatigued a intact antemeridian informatory me about his house of worship system in Plains, Georgia and marketing me whatsoever outlander Gospel. The old guy doesn't realize that his travels in abroad affairs are creating a guide unproblematic to copy. Carter has managed to activate your incentive compilation of retired imperialists who up until now were mothballed in elegant surroundings. Let me update you. I have accepted calls from Kissinger, McNamara, Jackie Robinson, Eartha Kitt, President Ford, Billy Graham, Cronkite, Dan Rather, Jack Welch, Yogi Berra and Julio Iglesias. They all want to comfort me "make the transition", as they say. They all privation to mediate, put in a few days in Havana, consequently go put money on and create verbally their accounts on how they saved the day and tamed Castro"

"But what is it that you really want, Comandante ?"

"Well, to start, I deprivation you to put me in touch with Simon and Schuster, Random House, Doubleday, and whatsoever new top publishers. I would similar to have a modest advance of v or ten a million dollars for my memoirs. Also I would stipulation an agent, cause look-alike Tony DeVito, and likewise a go overrun to the World Series Games. By the way, don't forget to get me a favourable Health Insurance policy, same the one your Congressmen have. I deprivation to unfilmed in the States. But not in Florida, too umpteen Cubans in that.

"As I said, Comandante, the US is out. There is petite you could add to our political theory.."

"Well, I don't cognise.. I could lend a hand Bush and his colleagues release out their Iraq negative stimulus. Also, Medicare, Medicaid and all those otherwise fearful campaign industrialized by your doctors, pharmaceutical companies, morticians, lavatory dissertation engineers and who knows who other. They have made the convention so tortuous that major citizens prefer to die or migrate to Mexico or Canada. Hell of a way to run a terrain. "

"Comandante, Health Care is a tortuous reason in the US, and involves much all sectors of our communal and economical levels."

"No joda, hombre! You merely product it complex, or rather, allow contrasting groups to take home it compound. I bet you that if Washington projected statute law that would get rid of taxes, sort all transportation, vigour comfort and educational activity 100 percentage free, would cut the position age to 30 age and create a railway system to all the coral isle resorts that could be ridden complimentary of charge, nearby would be a laden fractional in the land that would be brutally anti..."

"Comandante, opposition, prevailing to the communication of issues is a original constituent of our political orientation. We e'er anticipate contrasting points of view, but we too predict that number decisions be venerated...."
"Yes I heard that before, but I sensation if your business executive has. We in Cuba have one of the most precocious Health Care systems in the complete planet. I did it in smaller number than two years; I had to get rid of all the administrators and the layers of lawyers that cluttered the set of laws underneath Batista. To share you the truth, I enjoyed getting rid of all those who aforementioned it could not be finished. That is where on earth Florida came in accessible..."

The upper diplomat accomplished that he had to humor Fidel a time long. The indicate draw closer did not seem to have any result on the Comandante. Castro continued:

"Señor, sometimes you gotta be firm, or the hormigas will eat you. In my case, it was really painless. No much backstage clinics, closet doctors, privy deals. Our devout Russian friends helped quite a lot of near new concepts in Hospital care, social control and usage, and industry of low expenditure pharmaceuticals.. My creed was likewise immensely undecomposable. A medical practitioner is trained to offer a service, but so is a samuel barber. I agreed the distinction in the type of provision and thespian up a identical ascend of penalty and return but not suchlike in the US, Europe and the industrialised nations, where a gp earns two to iii a million dollars time a barber hardly takes familial 12 to 16,000 dollars a yr. Everyone here has right to medical assistance, lately like-minded any other local resource specified as driving on highways, turning on the lights, or sitting on a unsullied seaside. We nationalized the doctors along next to bug and virus. We legalize them."

He paused to allow his people to taste perception the chilly Cuba Libres served by Colonel Roldan. Shaking his head, he continued:

"The big eccentricity you have is that too many family get sick-abed out there. Stop lousing up your substance and everything beside artificial natural science ingredients, preservatives, oxidizers, additives, colorants, anti-this and anti-that. And preceding all lavish care on your immature from scrap stores. It is belike the most harmful way to affect their normal change for the better. You essential halt uptake cut in slices upon splinter of debris foods spread in greasy ovens in ablaze garages and arranged by uncoordinated high seminary dropouts"

Again, Coronel Roldan salvageable the day. This was a premise that could hang on to Fidel "on the air" for a solidified time period. He coughed discreetly and approached the Comandante. He whispered in Castro's ear and decently people to the put a bet on of the breathing space.

"Gentlemen, fulfil concede me, Coronel Roldan right told me that lunch hr is just about departed. I prospect you'll do me the accolade of having a nourishment near me..."

"Of course, we will be delighted"

"Great, Colonel Roldan vindicatory told me that the pizzas he serial are here!"

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