Write Comment

Many media pundits are telling us that Obama has fixed relationships with Cuba. Funny thing, Cubans in Miami think the deal stinks. They came here with nothing and built a new life and know what lives are like for those still in Cuba. When the government runs everything, you get abject poverty and nothing really works well. As you see the current video footage of Cuba put together with the story of Obama’s big success, you can’t help but notice the cars on the streets in the video. See, they are from the 50’s and 60’s frozen in time because the Cuban economy has been frozen in time. Obama has done his best to make us into Cuba. Now, he wants to help Cuba stay Cuba by giving them economic help. But, it could be worse. We could get Elizabeth Warren, Obama on crack. When we see footage and get past the cars note the people idle on the streets. With the Castro brothers the people pretend to work and the government pretends to pay them. As the article below shows, it all adds up to an average of $20 a month. At least the Obama deal with Cuba will lower the prices for classic cars here soon. There could be as many as 60,000 coming back here.


Sign at a protest in Miami: Their release angered the protesters in Miami. Two women held up a sign saying “Obama’s message to Castro: Imprison Americans and get 3 spies and an embassy.”


60K Classic American Cars In Cuba — But It’s Hardly A Dream Cruise

View Comments

credit: Brenda Priddy: www.facebook.com/brendapriddyandcompany

jeffgilbertJeff Gilbert

Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News….

Read More

DETROIT (WWJ) – The potential normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba has attracted the interest of auto enthusiasts — because of the large number of vintage American vehicles on the road.

“Cuba is one of those markets that stood still in time,” said AutoTrader.com analyst Michelle Krebs, as the 1959 Cuban revolution essentially put an end to imports of American cars, and meant many of the cars that were on the road at the time of the revolution are still on the road today.

But, while 60,000 vintage American vehicles sound like a daily Woodward Dream Cruise, the reality is that it’s a daily chore to keep those old cars operational.

“People in Cuba make very little money,” said veteran auto journalist Brenda Priddy, who’s been to Cuba twice. “So they do what they can to keep their vehicles running.”

That often means scrounging for replacement parts, improving their own replacement parts, or — more often — going without replacement parts.

“Most of the older cars will have one windshield wiper, because that’s all they can find.  That’s all they can afford.  Many people don’t drive their cars at night, because they don’t have headlamps, they don’t have the bulbs.”

credit: Brenda Priddy - www.facebook.com/brendapriddyandcompany

The American cars from the 50s are mixed in, Priddy said, with lower-end Asian imports, and Soviet era vehicles that also take a lot of work to keep going.

There are some classics that have been completely restored, at great expense, but those are the exception, not the rule.

Most of the older American vehicles, Priddy said, have been adapted to meet Cuban needs.

“The American cars on the road will have diesel engines, 15 coats of house paint on them.  They have been extended to accommodate more people, because it seems like every car in Cuba is a taxi cab.”

credit: Brenda Priddy - www.facebook.com/brendapriddyandcompany

The self-styled taxis are often driven by people who are professionals — including doctors — who would make higher wages in other countries, but instead shuttle tourists during off-hours to make extra money.

Cuban pay, Priddy said, averages about $20 a month.

Krebs says that means Cuba is not likely to become a market for new American cars — at least not right now.

“Their economy has to improve a lot more, and individual wealth for consumers has to increase before there’s any automotive market there,” she said.

But the normalization of relations could make it easier for Cubans to get replacement parts from the U.S.

Priddy said the current embargo requires those parts to be delivered personally by family members, or — often — by couriers posing as family members.

“When you’re at the airport, you’ll see people going to Cuba to visit their family, and their luggage may consist of four or five tires.”

Priddy doesn’t see the improvement of relations with the U.S. changing the automotive landscape in Cuba anytime soon.  Rules that have kept Cubans from purchasing western made vehicles have already been relaxed quite a bit in recent years, and the impact has been minimal.

“Although anybody in Cuba can go and buy a new car at this time, the majority can’t afford it.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Twitter: @jefferygilbert
Facebook: facebook.com/carchronicles

1 interesting comment, join the discussion

I started the original blog, “Grandparents of America Awaken”, before Barack Obama was elected for his first term. When you hire someone for any job based solely on the color of his skin and not his credentials, you are begging trouble. When you believe diversity/affirmitive action trumps all, and buy the teleprompter act as greatness, you will be disappointed.  When you overlook the fact that the candidate never bothered to show up for work in any previous job, you shouldn’t expect the person to show up after the election. When you overlook  a candidate’s association with far-left socialists, it’s like excusing your child’s prison sentence due to his bad choices in friends.

When you re-elect that same failed candidate because the other candidate is rich, you have crossed the line into ignorance. Now, two years later you finally get it, you made two really big mistakes. Now, only 38% of you still support Obama. It took bad decision after bad decision to get there. It took lie after lie to convince you the man is a serial liar. It took playing golf while an American was beheaded to sell you he’s lazy. It took watching the whole world turn on him for you to turn on him.

But, we are finally there. We won’t elect a woman just to check off the gender diversity box and say we’ve done it all now. If an election were held today Romney would beat Obama by a landslide. This country is sick of all the problems the man has stuck us with.

There is hope that we can pull out of this tailspin and put the country back on a path that will allow my grandkids to chase the same dreams I chased.

Even Illinois may save itself from the damage the democratic machine has inflicted before the state does the Detroit bankruptcy thing.  The rich guy, Rauner, is leading the Obama clone, Quinn, by 7% with two months left.  Trashing the rich guy simply because he was successful is no longer working. Maybe he became successful because he is smart and knows how to run things. Maybe he won’t steal from the voters like so many Illinois politicians have done through the years.

This election is key for me. If Rauner wins, I’m hanging it up. I’ll be convinced that the country has been Carterized, not cauterised, but Jimmy Carterized. We got Reagan because Carter was the worst president in our history. He’s been supplanted by Obama. If Rauner can do it in Illinois, someone will do it in America two years from now.

Obama will have put the democrats on the shelf for another 8 years and that should be long enough to fix all they have broken. No need to vent anymore.

5 interesting comments, join the discussion

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess
the highest seats in Government,
our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent
its ruin.”
Samuel Adams, 1776

the three stooges

It’s sad, not funny. We have put the country in the hands of those who would make us Cuba. The top man is a narcissist. Kerry may fall below Biden on the IQ scale, and Holder is a reverse racist.

So, why wonder why we are in the mess we are in. A place most of us never thought we would see. Detroit in the making.

Still feeling complacent? More interested in reality TV, watching government destroy sports by poking into that business with big priorities, like the name Redskins, or unionizing college football. Or, spending every leisure minute watching your kids play sports year around on travel teams coached by incompetents?

Countries like America can’t be diminished. Believe that? There was once a Roman Empire, A British Empire, and a USSR. The latter is making another run at diminishing after they went broke fighting in Afghanistan. Two of the people in the pictures above will decide what we do about ISIS and Russian military aggression.  How do you feel about that?

A week ago two leaders spoke about the ISIS issue. One, our president, had a press conference. He took the first question and gave a 12 minute answer. It was word salad. Tossed around lots of words and said nothing. The other, David Cameron of the UK spoke for about  the same amount of time on the entire issue. He said radical Islam is out to kill all of us. It’s their mission. He said they are coming after the UK and other Western countries and we need to quit pussy footing around the threat. “Radical Islam” has never passed the lips of Obama. May never.

I’m old and tired with a short shelf life and I care. What’s your excuse?’