With the recent rapprochement and thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States these entertainers are now being allowed in. The consumer goods and franchises will follow. We saw the same thing happen back in the 1990s as western rock bands began to flood into the Eastern Bloc and Russia itself.
Watching the footage of the concert in Cuba it occurred to me that one concert probably did more to undo the Castro's grip on the country than fifty years of sanctions.
I'm reminded of the same thing when I look at Vietnam which is now permeated with Western business, fast food restaurants and the like.
The seduction of Western culture and in particular its American variety (with all of its myths) is very powerful. This aspect of American culture gives the United States a great deal of power abroad and governments and cultural leaders are right to worry. Once this culture finds it way in, it's very hard to get rid of.
Putting myself in the shoes of the American Establishment, I might wonder if peace and trade and the export of America's decadent culture wouldn't have done more to 'defeat' the opposition in places like Cuba and Vietnam. Instead the US harmed these nations for many years by imposing sanctions and fighting a dirty war with the Cubans and in the case of the Vietnamese there was a long very painful and highly fatal hot war. Of course the US also continued to work against Vietnam right into the 1990s by supporting the Khmer Rouge and working to counter Vietnam in every economic and diplomatic sphere. Globalisation finally ended the enmity and the US turn against China has brought the former enemies into a de facto alliance.
The wars were a waste of life and resources and yet it must be remembered there are many corporations (along with their stock holders) that did very well indeed. They were enriched by these operations.
Ironically in the US (as we're presently seeing) the Cuban community has been given political power and influence far beyond their numbers. Allying with the Republicans after the Bay of Pigs and certainly in agreement with their hawkish anti-Castro policies the Cuban-American community has provided the primary inroad for Right wing politics into America's Latino community. And now we see presidential candidates of this background being heavily promoted by different sectors of the conservative movement.
And yet none of this would have happened had the United States not chosen to back the invasion of Cuba and set off the chain of events that led to the decades long sanctions regime supplemented by sabotage and assassination attempts.
These two countries and the US policy concerning them demonstrate that even standing in the shoes of unbelieving governmental powers... war is almost unnecessary and a waste. From the Christian standpoint this is certainly the case. And yet nations love war, it's a tool for power both in terms of projection and consolidation, a means of manipulating and controlling the populace, a means of profit and in the end men like to steal, plot and murder. Pride and vengeance are the ways of the world, the lusts of the flesh, eyes and the pride of life. Men will happily kill for it especially if they can order others to do it for them, die for them and if at the same time they can fill their treasure chests.