Fidel Goes Head to Head With the Mouse

What does Fidel Castri need to do to make Cuba appealing to the Cubans?

January 17, 2000

What does Fidel Castri need to do to make Cuba appealing to the Cubans?

There is also the question of parenting. And as every parent knows, bribery is one of the most powerful tools in shaping a child’s attitudes and responses.

One of the less seemly aspects of his Miami relatives’ campaign to keep Elian in the United States has been their rather blatant attempt to sway the child by exposing him to the most seductive aspects (from a child’s standpoint, anyway) of American materialism.

All of this reminds me of a vacation I took with my five-year-old son this past summer to Greece. Upon arriving after a day of travel from Germany to Crete, we had a late dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Captivated by being on that beautiful island, at a lovely hotel, having dinner in a fancy restaurant, just the two of us, I asked my son: “What could possibly be better?”

Even though my son had spent most of his life growing up in Europe, not the United States, his response was immediate and succinct: “Disneyland.”

Of course, by the end of our holiday the Minotaur had taken pride of place — if only temporarily — in my son’s imagination. But, clearly, Fidel is going to have to work hard to make his impoverished island more alluring than Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom.