We are separated by 90 miles of water, but are brought together through shared relationships and the desire to promote a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba. President Obama is taking action to cut loose the anchor of failed policies of the past, and to chart a new course in U.S. relations with Cuba that will engage and empower the Cuban people.
- White House, 17th Dec 2014
Change is hard -- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations. And change is even harder when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders. But today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future -- for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world.
- Barack Obama, 17th Dec 2014
With the announcement that the White House has formally decided to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, there is only one course of action that I think must take place...
But not by the United States... By Britain.
I think that Britain should symbolically annexe Cuba for 1 day, 1 hour, 1 minute and 1 second; then hand back Cuba to the Cubans.
"Why?" I don't hear you ask because this is a device of rhetoric and it's a patently bonkers idea in the first place. Why indeed?
Because as a former British territory, Cuba might learn the ways of Cricket and Afternoon Tea and then hopefully would join the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket team.
Cuba is less than 200km from both The Bahamas on one side and Jamaica on the other. It always seemed strange to me that Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico are not part of the West Indies Cricket Board and therefore do not have players in the West Indies Cricket team.
Put it this way, Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Netherlands and the Virgin Islands are insular area of the United States; so why not?
One of the things I love about West Indian cricket is that even if the mutil-national team is doing badly, the people who come out to watch are still joyous. The soundtrack of cricket and especially the multi-national team is one of more or less continual drumming and singing.
England has its Barmy Army (which by the way isn't really allowed to perform at home) and India in India has a following approaching demi-god status but no-one can even lay a patch on the sheer amount of joy that is shown when the West Indies are playing at home.
Given Cuba's past and its strange confederacy with the Soviet Union and the fact that it still remains as one of the world's last remaining Communist states, Cuba has been something of a pariah on the world stage.
Can anyone honestly think of a better way to bring Cuba in from the cold? Extending the hand of friendship is one thing but declaring war at 22 yards and 95mph is quite another. Just like I would love to see China become a full test playing nation (the Chinese Cricket Association hopes to achieve this by 2020) I would really love to see Cuba at the very least join the WICB and field a team in the President's Cup and domestic T20 tournament.
Ideally they'd have players in the West Indies Cricket team and host test matches in Cuba. Just think about that for a second - a Test Match in Havana would be a thing of joy. I want to hear Timba at a Test Match.
Britain annexing Cuba for 1 day, 1 hour, 1 minute and 1 second, is itself a giant wheeze. The only reason for doing so would be to introduce cricket because for some totally bizarre and unknowable reason, cricket is only played in former territories of the British Commonwealth.
I'd like to see cricket in Cuba because I think that bringing joy to peoples' is itself a good aim.