Ongoing: Democracy + Communism: In Print - NYT :: Cuba: Communism Relived: Cuba_Paskova_013

(L-R) Yandi Corrioso Samoraz, 22, and Raymel Medina, 16, go for an evening dip in the water, with construction of the new port visible in the background, in Mariel, Cuba. Raymel says he'd like to learn more about the world, but extremely limited internet access in his city, and in the country in general, makes this a challenge. (Internet access is either difficult to find, or prohibitively expensive.) Mariel's tranquil appearance belies its important place in both the history and future of Cuban-American interaction. It is where Russians unloaded nuclear warheads in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and the gateway through which 125,000 Miami-bound emigres fled during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. The town is now the site of construction of a deepwater container port and a free-trade zone, a critical ingredient for which will be the future of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, in place for more than 50 years but now under speculation of being lifted.

(L-R) Yandi Corrioso Samoraz, 22, and Raymel Medina, 16, go for an evening dip in the water, with construction of the new port visible in the background, in Mariel, Cuba. Raymel says he'd like to learn more about the world, but extremely limited internet access in his city, and in the country in general, makes this a challenge. (Internet access is either difficult to find, or prohibitively expensive.)  

Mariel's tranquil appearance belies its important place in both the history and future of Cuban-American interaction. It is where Russians unloaded nuclear warheads in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and the gateway through which 125,000 Miami-bound emigres fled during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. The town is now the site of construction of a deepwater container port and a free-trade zone, a critical ingredient for which will be the future of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, in place for more than 50 years but now under speculation of being lifted.