Diplomats, Consuls and Ambassadors to the front of the line

Awaiting its Detroit debut? A 1951 Buick Special De Luxe in Havana.
    Cuba is home to the world's largest collection of vintage American cars in daily use. Detroit is home to the world's largest one-day automotive event, the Woodward Dream Cruise on the third Saturday in August.
    So why not build a connection between the two? Seems like a natural.
    Well, there is that five-decade-old diplomatic imbroglio that is the reason so many of Cuba's cars date from before 1960.
    But as Mark Phelan reports in the Detroit Free Press, one American car guy believes a shared appreciation of old iron could outweigh the political differences. Rick Schnitzler hopes to see Cuban classics joining the parade along Woodward Avenue, and perhaps modern American cars returning the favour with a display on the Malecón in Havana.
    Schnitzler, of Philadelphia, is a co-founder of Taillight Diplomacy, a volunteer group that offers its expertise in maintenance and restoraton to Cuban car owners. It recently helped authenticate Ernest Hemingway's 1955 Chrysler New York DeLuxe convertible that will be restored for display at the author's long-time home in Cuba.
    Hard to imagine a Cuba-U.S. car exchange taking place any time soon ... but fun to imagine, just the same. And isn't the Detroit event all about dreaming?
    My suggestion? Start small, with the uniquely Cuban vehicle that the island nation has already sent to other countries as a tourism ambassador.
    That's right. Put a coco taxi in the Dream Cruise.

A coco cab on the Malecón.


Anonymous said…
The embargo is an obscenity. It hurts the ordinary Cubans only. Castro and his henchmen got everything they can think of. How can USA call themselves "land of the free" when they do not allow their own citizens to travel freely throughout the world, including Cuba?!

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