Americans Can't Get Enough F'd Up Miami and Cuban History

Maybe it's because Fidel finally seems to be stumbling around on his last legs. Maybe it's because Raul, the "younger" brother who's still older than John McCain, seems to be loosening some rules.

Who knows? But Americans popular fascination with Cuba and its Miami exile community seems higher than ever.

To wit: The New York Times' annual 100 Notable Books of the Year came out on Sunday, and a couple best-sellers about the Miami-Cuban connection made the cut.

"Bacardi and the Long Fight For Cuba" tells the story -- as you might have guessed -- of Miami-based rum giant Bacardi and the eponymous family's personal crusade against the Castro brothers who drove them out of their homeland. And it's a pretty insane story. One company director, living in Miami and pissed about the Bay of Pigs, went so far as to buy a B-26 bomber and commission a crew for personal bombing missions over Cuba.

"Telex From Cuba," a novel, is set in the wealthy United Fruit Company enclave as the Castros plot a revolution in the hillsides.

Just to top it all off, "Che" -- Stephen Soderberg's 3-hour epic about everyone's favorite chic revolutionary -- is supposed to premiere later this week in Miami Beach.

-- Tim Elfrink 

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