Spicoli Brokers Obama-Castro Gitmo Hookup?

No, that headline is not just a hallucination brought on by the tryptophan-induced haze you've been stumbling around in since stuffing that turducken down your gullet yesterday.

It's just, quite simply, the strangest post-Thanksgiving news on the planet. Somehow or another, Sean Penn, the liberal wunderkind who will forever be remembered as America's favorite surfer-dude stoner at Ridgemont High no matter how many Oscars he wins, scored an interview with reclusive Cuban leader Raul Castro. 

Penn quotes at length from that interview in a story just posted on The Nation's website, which also features highlights from his time palling around with Venezuelan president/funnyman Hugo Chavez.

The real shocker from Penn's sitdown with the younger (relatively speaking) Castro, is that he'd like to meet with President-elect Obama. At Gitmo.

Castro tells Penn he'd like to talk about U.S.-Cuban relations in person, but that it would only be fair to meet in "neutral territory." Castro then flashed a little of the family's fiery wit:

"We must meet and begin to solve our problems, and at the end of the

meeting, we could give the president a gift ... we could send him home

with the American flag that waves over Guantanamo Bay," Castro tells Penn.

Hey, who knows? Obama's on record as wanting to shut down Gitmo (of course he's referring to the notorious detention camps there, not the base as a whole). And we know he's all about meeting with unpopular world leaders.

Hell, if this all goes down, maybe it's not too late to pull back that offer to let Hillary take on Secretary of State -- maybe what we really need is a little more surfer diplomacy.

-- Tim Elfrink

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