I told him the situation was in flux, since the Trumpists took power. He said the Cubanos would be joyous to meet an actual American bluesman. I just couldn't pull the trigger and go.
Now, I regret that I did not take advantage of a possible opportunity then, because exactly what I warned Robert about has taken place. John Bolton leading the charge (is it a coincidence that both Bolton and Teddy Roosevelt sport massive mustaches??), the United States Government, i. e. Donald J. Trump (l'etat c'est moi), has declared a Cold War against Cuba.
Our government has decided to forbid the American people from any interaction with the people of Cuba. It is a process of demonization.
If the lie about Cuba being our enemy is screamed loudly and shrilly enough, people will begin to say, "Damn, Bolton must be right! We wouldn't cut 'em completely off if they were our friends. They gotta have something to hide. Missiles? Bioweapons?" etc. etc.
Cuba can't remotely threaten the United States of America. They haven't got the weapons: no nuclear-capable missiles. Or any missiles that we know of. No bombers.
They haven't got the logistical capability to supply an aggressive act against the US. No landing craft for an invasion, and not enough fuel to power all those things, nor food to feed its bellies.
And there is something called Landsat that can minutely (down to the date on a coin) observe anything that remotely looks like a ship bearing any kind of weapon whatsoever from any point on the planet before it ever gets within thousands of miles of Cuba. If people were not so behaviorally modified to expect and fear foes, the very idea of any military threat to the US by Cuba would raise laughter heard pole to pole.
This is naked Goebbels strategy. Tell the big lie long enough and people will take it for the truth. And Goebbels didn't have the advantage of Computer-Age Information Overload surrounding the lying message such that few really look beneath the surface of the misleading propaganda.
Bolton, in our names, y'all, is attempting not only to economically but socially isolate Cuba. He is trying to engineer events such that Cuba can be spun as a Hermit Kingdom needful of regime change.
It's the same neoconservative playbook again and again and again, and Bolton's been there the whole time, if not at the President's ear, counseling from the wings from which he was guaranteed to return. I am surprised he was not named Secretary of State from the gitgo.
One thing that almost certainly would have happened, had Hillary Clinton be elected President, is the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba, a process started in the Obama Administration. Of course, one other thing that would have occurred is that international diplomacy would have continued to be carried on by Ambassadors, not on Twitter in the middle of the night.