Tonight, the best food related hour of television one can find, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, travels to Cuba. Leave it to Bourdain to tread where the chickenshit national media refuses to wander. Our nation’s culinary conscience, represented by Bourdain, now overlaps to the political—and since I have a deep love of Cuban food I couldn’t be happier.
I know why the United States still keeps Cuba in the stranglehold of a trade embargo. Florida politics. A few thousand Cuban ex-pats in Miami keep our citizens from freely traveling to a country a mere hundred miles or so from our border. Why? Because Fidel Castro gave the United States the finger over fifty years ago. Because JFK and the CIA fucked up the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was a terrible idea to begin with. Add a bunch of spineless, ass-kissing politicians (from both parties) to this recipe and you have an empanada of apathy, one stuffed with a gooey filling of the status quo.
There can be no other explanations. We trade with China, a communist country, and it is damn important that we do or our economy would be further in the toilet if we didn’t. We trade with Vietnam, another communist country, only this time Vietnam has the distinction of being the site of a bloody war where 50,000+ Americans died. Yet Cuba, a small island nation close to our home, continues to remain suffocated by American ego, as represented by our lackluster, corrupt politicians.
I’m hoping Bourdain uses his hour wisely. I hope he will not shy away from our insanely stupid Cuba policy, while mostly highlighting what we are missing. Cuban culture. Cuban food. Cuban music. Bourdain usually is not afraid to make a political point or two, but possesses the good sense not to be preachy. That ability is part of why No Reservations remains one of my favorite shows of any type to grace the airwaves. Bourdain also remains the ultimate in culinary cool. No bullshit. No catch phrases.
As for me, I’ll take a reservation for two (thanks to my lovely wife) to watch the Travel Channel this evening. ¡Viva la food revolución!