One of the things you notice about Florida, especially the end facing Cuba, is that they seem to be prepping for an invasion or something. For otherwise unknown reasons, there are double height chain link fences along the freeways and a lot of cold war era military bases that are still off limits as they rust into the swamp. Even the Queen’s “Navy” of the Conch Republic, who long ago surrendered to the United States and is as loyal a citizens as you’ll find, frequently gets hassled by the Coast Guard… Who alternately accuses them of either running quasi legal water taxi and “freight” service to Cuba or drug smuggling. Then again, for an industry that cut it’s teeth on piracy, would you expect anything less? So we have a swampland frontier, none too subtly fortified against a Cuban invasion… And President Obama just opened the docks and MIA to Cuban consumers, no gunboats or surplus MIG escort needed! No doubt, late into the night, aging Cuban expatriates, good ‘ol boy cops, and unemployed soldiers of fortune will be making plans to fight the Cuban “invasion”…

But I suspect the major targets of the Cuban “invaders” will be WalMarts and used car lots… Anybody remember when the Berlin Wall fell, and East Germany’s frustrated consumers cleaned out West Berlin’s stores, even bringing back newly purchased mopeds as well as TVs by the truckload? And despite what we’ve heard about Cuban poverty, no communist economy can function without a black market, which means there’s plenty of currency in Cuba but little consumer goods to spend it on… Until now! Miami traffic is crazy enough already, now add thousands of drunken Cuban shoppers who are getting their first driving experience to the mix. Then remember that Cuba is within not just Ro-Ro ship but ferry range, being barely 90 miles from U.S. highways. Can fit a lot of motorcycles on a ferry, the U.S. has the lowest prices in the world for used motorcycles, and ain’t Cuba just the perfect climate for motorcycling?

And this moto-tourism will not be a one way voyage- I imagine the Ural folks will be the first to stage a Cuban rally, followed closely by BMWMOA with an all-inclusive several hundred buck a day luxury tour. And the old cabbies still operating those 50s american cars? They’ll sell them for 6 figure prices, buy a new Japanese econobox, and retire. Same with the narrow gauge steam locomotives that still work the sugar cane farms and the legendary prewar Macks working the docks.

So just as Levis, McDonalds, and Pepsi brought down the Berlin Wall and most all of communism, one of it’s last holdouts, Cuba, is about to surrender to big screen TVs and cheap wheels. And from their bunkers overlooking the overcrowded Walmart parking lots and bumper to bumper traffic on the Florida Turnpike. a few aging anti-Castro militias await an armed invasion… But these Cuban invaders will be armed with cash and soon to be acquired credit cards. And south Florida’s graft fueled business sector which owes it’s loyalty to profitable corruption more than any nation… will suck it all up!

Advertisements