McDonald’s in Cuba – nightmare or progress ?

   havana-live-mcdonalds-coca-colaMcDonald’s and Coca-Cola are welcome in Cuba, says Fidel Castro’s son

HAVANA, Feb.1 (Elsa Buchanan)  One of the sons of the revolutionary has welcomed two of America’s megabrands on its island, saying Cuba is ready to “take a break” in its socialism.

A member of the Fidel Castro clan has welcomed two of America’s most powerful corporate symbols, McDonald’s and Coca- Cola, on the island of Cuba. As the United States and Cuba move toward normalisation of relations for the first time in more than fifty years, Alex Castro-Soto – who is one of the eight sons of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro – has indicated the fast food chain and iconic brand may land on the island in the very near future.

In an interview with America Teve, Alex said that Havana is taking a “break” in its socialism.”Coca -Cola and McDonald’s are welcome in Cuba. We are neighbors , there may be a Coke factory,” the younger Castro said. “We are [taking] a “break” in our socialism, but we will not abandon it.”
A few days ago his father, Fidel, addressed a message through the Cuban press, in which he said he was not opposed to a peaceful solution to the conflict with the US but that he neither trusted Washington’s politics nor had he exchanged a word with the White House.

Cuba has been the epicenter of anti-Americanism in modern Latin America, with Fidel being one of the leading figures of the anti- American critique – from capitalism to geopolitics. Alex’s comments come less than two days after his uncle, and current Cuban president, Raúl Castro demanded that the US hand back its Guantanamo Bay military base, which appears to be an apparent bargaining tool in the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the countries.
Raúl, Fidel’s brother, Raul Castro also asked for a complete lifting of the decades-old trade embargo, and for compensation for its effects.

He argued that without these changes the recent diplomatic thaw “wouldn’t make any sense”. “The re-establishment of diplomatic relations is the start of a process of normalizing bilateral relations, but this will not be possible while the blockade still exists, while they don’t give back the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base,” Raúl told delegates during the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit on Costa Rica on Wednesday (28 January).

In early January, US President Barack Obama pledged that Washington would move quickly to restore ties with Cuba, scrapping scores of travel and economic restrictions with immediate effect and dispatching a US delegation to Cuba for a first round of historic talks. Alex, who is one of the sons Fidel had with his wife Dalia Soto del Valle and is the official photographer of Fidel, also added that his father was in good health, fed well, studied and drank tea regularly.
Fidel, who helped lead the Cuban Revolution and became the leader of Cuba in 1959, when he created the first communist state in the western hemisphere, has not been seen publicly since January last year, and his last official photograph dates back to August 2014.
Raúl has governed Cuba since July 2006, when he was designated as the President of the Council of State in a temporary transfer of power due to Fidel’s illness.