Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The more things change

Back in the 1960s, when I was growing up in the small town of Banes, Fidel Castro seemed to spend much of his time travelling up and down the island in a fleet of Soviet-made four-wheel drives.

Then, as Castro became ensconced in power, he traded in the olive green “jeeps” for a fleet of brand new, German-made cars.

No, not the Trabants produced in what used to be the German Democratic Republic but Mercedes Benz limousines specially imported into supposedly embargoed Cuba from the capitalist West. Colour of choice: black. Windows tinted. All leather interior. And air-conditioning. Of course.

The seriously ill dictator still travels only in Mercs. Or used to.

Now we learn that his chosen successor, Raul Castro, the 75-year-old Minister for Defence, has shunned his brother’s Mercs.

Raul travels around Havana in his own fleet of brand new, German-made BMW limousines, as you can read here.


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